Aging Effects of Smoking
Smoking makes you look and feel older in a number of ways. Smoking deprives the skin of oxygen. Many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke result in destruction of collagen and elastin, making skin sag. It will even make your breasts sag! Puckering the lips to inhale causes wrinkles around the lips, as well as wrinkles in general. Bags under your eyes, decreased physical endurance. Smoking causes age spots, yellows your teeth and damages your gums. Smoking accelerates thinning of the hair, and contributes to development of cataracts and psoriasis. And smoking is also one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction in men and decreased libido in women.
Why You Must Quit Smoking to Get Younger.
Tobacco is stealing from your retirement.
Lets run some numbers shall we? Thirty years of smoking one pack a day equals 10,950 packs. When I started smoking, cigarettes cost under $1.00 a pack. Today, the cost is about $6.00 a pack where I live. So, I’m going to pick a somewhat arbitrary number of $3.00 a pack as an average. 10,950 x 3 = $32,850. Today, at $6 per pack, it’s costing $2,190 a year. Run your own numbers here:
Smoking causes Cancer and other diseases
Most people have the false belief that nicotine alone causes cancer. But, whether nicotine alone is carcinogenic is an unknown. Most research indicates that while nicotine is very toxic in larger doses, by itself it does not cause cancer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine#Toxicology. What nicotine does is cause an addiction that makes tobacco users continue to ingest tobacco. There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. This includes not only the natural by-products of tobacco combustion, but also additives. There are currently 599 additives approved for use in cigarettes. While obviously some of these ingredients are harmless (like water) others are a cause for concern. Over 4000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette – 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanides and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke. Forty-three known carcinogens are in mainstream smoke.
How to Quit Smoking to Get Younger
I have a confession: I was a cigarette smoker. I smoked for over 30 years. Not very very healthy, right? I knew I was not long for this world if I kept up my cigarette habit. And the recent tax increases were taking a big bite out of my already tight budget – more money than even my much hated pay TV bill! I tried many of the quit smoking methods – many times, over many years – with varying degrees of success. None of them “worked” – by that I mean, I still returned to smoking. The closest I came was nicotine gum – that lasted a few months. For some reason, probably the easy availability of cigarettes anytime night or day – I always relapsed. I’ve tried:
…And I still went back to smoking. Here’s a summary of available “approved” treatments for cigarette addiction to help quit smoking to get younger:
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
INHALERS are the first hand-to-mouth delivery system for nicotine replacement therapy. Users simply inhale through the mouthpiece using deep or shallow puffs. Prescription only.
Today, smokers don’t have to tough it out alone. New medications, some over-the-counter and some prescription, can help take the edge off of nicotine withdrawal. The first thing to do is discuss the various methods with your doctor, to determine which method might work best for you.
NICOTINE GUM is a temporary aid that takes the edge off the craving without the intake of tars and poisonous gases. Over-the-counter.
|THE PATCH helps relieve withdrawal symptoms by providing you with a steady amount of nicotine while avoiding the hazards of smoking. With the patch, you will step down your dosing until you no longer crave nicotine. Over-the-counter.
THE LOZENGE is a form of hard candy that releases nicotine as it slowly dissolves in the mouth. The lozenge will help to reduce nicotine cravings. You can buy it without a prescription.
NICOTINE SPRAY delivers nicotine the fastest, so is good at reducing sudden cravings. Prescription only.
Reference: New York State Department of Health
Non-Nicotine Replacement Therapy Drugs and by Prescription Only
|ZYBAN is a non-nicotine pill which reduces craving for Nicotine.• Bupropion hydrochloride (Zyban) was approved in 1997 to help smokers quit. The drug, available by prescription only, is also sold as an antidepressant under the name Wellbutrin.• Common side effects include insomnia and dry mouth.• Treatment with bupropion begins while the user is still smoking, one week prior to the quit date. Treatment is then continued for 7 to 12 weeks. Length of treatment is individualized.• Dosing should begin at 150 mg/day given every day for the first 3 days, followed by a dose increase for most people to the recommended dose of 300 mg/day. The maximum recommended dose is 300 mg/day, given as 150 mg twice daily. An interval of at least 8 hours between successive doses is advised.• People who have not made significant progress towards abstinence by the seventh week of therapy are unlikely to successfully quit during this attempt, and bupropion treatment should be discontinued.• The average wholesale price for bupropion is approximately $2.50 per day.||CHANTIX(verenicline)Tablets
The newest drug approved by the FDA. Not available until August, 2006.Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and constipation.Treatment with Chantix begins one week (7days) before your quit date. This allows Chantix build up in your body. You can keep smoking during this time. Make sure that you try to stop smoking on your quit date. Take Chantix after eating and with a full glass (8 ounces) of water. Treatment is up to twelve weeks. If you have completely quit smoking by twelve weeks, ask your doctor if another twelve weeks of Chantix may help you stay cigarette-free.For the first three days you begin with one white tablet (0.5 mg) each day. Then from days four to seven you take the white tablet (0.5 mg) twice a day- one in the morning and one in the evening. From day eight to the end of the treatment you take the blue tablet (1mg) twice a day- one in the morning and one in the evening. Dosing may change based on a doctor’s opinion referring to your side effects. Prescription only.For more information visit www.chantix.com
I had pretty much exhausted my options for “Approved Treatments” and was ready to concede defeat. So, when some friends told me that they quit smoking, I was all ears. They were using e-cigarettes. For those of you that are unfamiliar with e-cigarettes, here’s a short intro:
Anatomy of an Electronic Cigarette
After using different brands, models, and suppliers, I found the best design for my needs to be the i-Clear 16 with an Ego-C battery. I prefer a stainless battery – I found that colored batteries are painted, and the paint chips off. I decided that the iClear 16 is best suited for beginners and it is very durable. I have broken every other brand of clearomiser I have owned, but not my iClear 16.
So, what’s it like, “smoking” an e-cigarette? It’s NOT smoke; it’s vapor. It takes some getting used to – if you’re expecting it to be like a traditional cigarette, you will be disappointed. It draws harder, tastes different, and takes longer to absorb the nicotine into your system. But after a day nor two, I was down to only one real cigarette a day: the morning smoke. After that first week, I had maybe 3 cigarettes in the 2nd week and none in the third. I still get the urge to go buy a pack and ruin my quit, but if I stop and have a short “vaping” session, the urge faded. I decreased the strength of the liquid over time until I was using liquid with no nicotine. But I figure, even if I kept using e-cigarettes instead of smoking, I’d still be better off.
As for how I feel, well – “Damn it, Jim, I’m a blogger, not a doctor!” but I can tell you I feel better. I sleep and breathe better. I’ve got my sense of smell and taste back. I realize this is completely unscientific, but after one year off the real cigarettes, I’ve got more energy. I quit smoking to get younger, and it worked!
Below is a segment from “The Doctors” syndicated TV program discussing the health aspects of e-cigarettes. Keep in mind this was from several years ago. Newer e-Cigarettes are better and much cheaper now.
So, If you’re a smoker trying to quit, give it a try. I would check the forum first and get advice and answers to any questions you have. You can find it here: http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/. Then find a vendor (below) and place an order for a starter kit – make sure you get complete e-cigarettes and charger. Don’t forget a bottle of e-liquid to get you started.
I am providing links to vendors at the end of this post. I will list ONLY vendors I have actually used.
Quit Smoking to Get Younger NOW!
You must be 18 years old to purchase and/or use electronic cigarettes. These products are not marketed as smoking cessation or “stop smoking” products, nor are they to be marketed or used as drug delivery products. They are not meant to treat or cure any diseases or illnesses. We do not claim that these products are healthy or healthier than real cigarettes, rather they are considered only to be an alternative to real cigarettes. Nicotine is a poison and can cause dangerous increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Nicotine should not be used by individuals with hypertension or heart disease or who are nursing or pregnant. Consult your doctor before using any of these products. Keep all nicotine cartridges, nicotine liquids, and all other electronic cigarette components away from children at all times.
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