Kicking the Habit for Good

My hubby Chris hasn’t had a cigarette in two weeks. The longest he has ever been without in 16 years. Way to go, honey! He calls himself a, “Non-smoker” which makes me smile ear-to-ear. I really hope he sticks with it for the sake of his health but more so for our son. I lost my mother to lung cancer 2.5 years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by that my heart aches for her.

What is so sad is that the 45,000 deaths per year in Canada due to cigarette smoking can be preventable. How? By kicking the habit for good!

But before we get into nutritional support for quitting smoking here is a friendly reminder of why smoking is nasty.

Some Nasty Facts about Smokers
Cigarette smoking kills more than 45,000 people a year in Canada, making it more lethal than AIDS, automobile accidents, homicides, suicides, drug overdoses, and fires combined.

One in every five deaths is attributable to smoking.

Of the 45,000 deaths each year:
29,000 are among men
16,000 are among women
100 are among infants

It reduces life expectancy by 15 to 25 years and is the single most preventable cause of death.

Smoking is the primary risk factor in 85% to 90% of lung cancers. About 15% of all people who smoke develop lung cancer.

People who smoke a pack a day have almost two and a half times the risk for stroke as nonsmokers.

Cigarette smoking may be directly responsible for about 62,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

Smokers are more apt to develop degenerative disorders and injuries in the spine (my mother had 3 bulging discs and numerous cancerous tumors on her spine and sacrum)

Women who smoke tend to start menopause at an earlier age than nonsmokers, because toxins in cigarette smoke damage eggs.

Smokers age much more quickly than non-smokers (wrinkles, sagging skin, gray hair, baldness, yellow teeth, cataracts)

Smokers wreak of cigarette smoke (you may not smell the stale tobacco but we sure as hell do!)

Smokers often have deficiencies in numerous nutrients, including – zinc, calcium, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta-carotene, Lycopene, Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Free radicals in cigarette smoke destroy the body’s natural antioxidants.

Now that you've decided you are done with being a nasty smoker here are a few suggestions to reduce cravings and withdraw symptoms.

Suggestions to reduce cravings and help with withdraw symptoms
• Maintain constant blood sugar by eating 6 meals a day, consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, plant protein and whole grains.

• Reduce or eliminate (slowly) refined sugar, salt, refined flour, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods.

• Ease withdrawal symptoms with a mainly vegetarian diet, which slows down the removal of nicotine from the body.

• Exercise regularly. Start with gentle exercise such as walking, yoga and Pilates. Deep breathing exercises are excellent.

• Snack on raw sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds – the zinc content may reduce cravings by blocking taste enzymes.

• Eat plenty of oats. Studies show oats diminish cravings.

• Soothe the nerves by drinking calming herbal teas (i.e. German chamomile) – if you are on medication always be careful as to which herbal teas you are consuming. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure.

• Drink lots of water 2-3 litres per day

• Incorporate these whole foods: cantaloupe, citrus fruit, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens.

• Supplements: High potency Multi-Vitamin and Omega 3, 6 & 9

Smokers also tend to have poor adrenal function. Foods which support the adrenal glands include potassium rich foods – raw almonds, avocados, yams, lettuce, lentils, spinach, pineapple, strawberries, kale, bananas and brown rice.

Physical Benefits after Quitting

20 minutes - Blood pressure and pulse rates return to normal
8 hours - Levels of carbon monoxide and oxygen in the blood return to normal
24 hours - Chance of heart attack begins to decreases
48 hours - Ability to taste and smell increases
72hours - Lung capacity increases
2 weeks to 3 months - Lung function increases up to 30%

1 to 9 months
Decreased incidence of coughing, sinus infection, fatigue, and shortness of breath; regrowth of cilia in the airways, increasing the ability to clear mucus and clean the lungs and reducing the chance of infection; overall energy level increases.

Long-Term Effects of Quitting

After a year, risk of dying from heart attack and stroke is reduced by up to half!



LiveChat85 said...

Great article, I didn't know that smoking can be connected to early menopause of a woman.

What age Does Menopause Start

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