|After seventeen years of smoking, I've quit. I'm done with it. The reasons:|
Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, including at least 50 carcinogens that are released when a cigarette is smoked. Some are found naturally in the tobacco leaf, and others are created through combustion or burning. Some of the chemicals and poisonous gases in cigarette smoke are:
· acetone (used in paint stripper and nail polish remover)
· carbon monoxide
More than 45,000 people will die this year in Canada due to smoking. Although the amount of chemicals in each cigarette is small, it is cumulative -- the amount stored in the body increases with each puff of a cigarette. There is a little bit of chemical in each cigarette puff, and there are over 10 puffs per cigarette. Over a year, at one pack of cigarettes a day, a smoker will inhale 73,000 puffs of dangerous chemicals. Nicotine (found naturally in tobacco plants) is a powerful stimulant to the brain and central nervous system. It is extremely addictive. When inhaling cigarette smoke:
- The smoker gets an immediate concentrated dose of nicotine in the bloodstream.
- Nicotine hits the brain within 6 seconds – faster than mainlining heroin.
- Nicotine causes blood pressure to rise and increases heart rate.
- Nicotine may also have a depressant effect.
The first daily dose of nicotine stimulates the large bowel while curbing appetite and slowing digestion. It lowers skin temperature and reduces blood circulation in the legs and arms. This makes the heart work harder. Nicotine is very poisonous if consumed in large amounts and may cause nausea in new smokers or any smoker who gets too much of it. Sixty milligrams of nicotine taken at one time will kill the average adult human being by paralysing breathing. The reason it doesn't kill smokers quickly is that it is taken in tiny doses, which are quickly metabolized and excreted by the body. The damage cigarettes do to your body should be obvious. Understanding the effects to the body, no reasonably intelligent person would ever consider smoking.
Society does not condone smoking anymore
Since nearly 4 out of 5 people in this country don't smoke and there are now more ex-smokers than smokers, it's highly likely that most of your friends and family are non-smokers. Pretty well impossible to smoke in a building of any kind these days, so off you go to a designated area outdoors. Going outside in the pouring rain, or freezing cold, to feed a habit is most unpleasant and time consuming. Try taking long flights when you’re addicted to nicotine, it’s hell.
Finally, the economic costs of smoking. At almost $9 a pack, the cost of smoking is staggering. I did the math, at a pack a day I can afford those tube amps I've always lusted for
Giving up Smoking
The addiction is almost evil, what other drug do you legally administer 25 times a day? When inhaling cigarette smoke, the smoker gets an immediate, concentrated dose of nicotine in the bloodstream. It hits the brain within 6 seconds – twice as fast as mainlining heroin. Many smokers also find handling a cigarette to be a soothing habit. This resulting dependence on nicotine – both psychological and physical – is responsible for continuing the cigarette habit even in smokers who know that it may be (or is) harming their health. Everyone wants to quit, the task is not trivial.
When you stop smoking, your brain and body begin the process of healing itself. At the beginning of the quitting process, people will experience symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Quitting smoking has been proven to be as hard (or harder) than kicking a cocaine or heroin habit. The most common symptoms include:
Irritability, frustration, anger or anxiety
Difficulty in concentrating
Problems falling asleep or frequent waking
Slight depression or feeling down
What happens to your body when you stop smoking?
· Within 8 hours carbon monoxide level drops in your body, oxygen level in your blood increases to normal
· Within 48 hours your chances of having a heart attack start to go down, and your sense of smell and taste begin to improve
· Within 72 hours bronchial tubes relax making breathing easier, lung capacity increases
· Within 2 weeks to 3 months circulation improves, lung functioning increases up to 30%
· Within 6 months coughing, sinus congestion, tiredness and shortness of breath improve
· Within 1 year the risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half
· Within 10 years the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
· Within 15 years the risk of dying from a heart attack is equal to a person who never smoked.
If you’re a smoker, you will realize health benefits if you quit; the damage done is not necessarily permanent. If you’ve never smoked, read the above and exercise common sense. Go over every one of these points with your kids, and for those friends and family that are smokers, pass it along. I’m not on a crusade, and since I’m on my third day of quitting a bit on edge (to say the least). Bear with me……