North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Health

April 7, 2009

Plenty of tools available for those who want to kick habit

Health Watch By Amanda Hamil

The North Jefferson News




Type in “quit smoking” on Google and you will come up with close to 7 million searches.

The staggering number of Internet searches being done on how to quit smoking is a true testament to how hard it is to quit and how many people are searching for the answer. Hopefully after reading this article, you will be better informed as to why you are addicted, how your health is being affected and what you can do to finally kick the habit, once and for all.

It is difficult to stop smoking because of the addiction to nicotine, a natural product found in tobacco. Once nicotine is inhaled and released in the bloodstream, it produces a calming effect. It may also boost your mood or make you feel more alert.

Your body will eventually adjust to the amount of nicotine received, building a tolerance to its effects. Once your body gets used to having nicotine, being without it for a few hours may cause you to feel nervous, dizzy, angry or tired. These withdrawal effects are what make quitting smoking so hard to do.

Most people know that smoking is bad for you, but you may not know exactly what smoking is doing to your health. Here is a brief list of the adverse effects of smoking:

• Lung cancer

• Cancer of the mouth and esophagus

• Bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix and stomach cancer

• Lung problems, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and pneumonia

• Heart attack

• Stroke

According to a study done by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), you could lose up to 13.2 years of life if you are male, and up to 14.5 years of life if you are female. The good news is that no matter how long you have smoked, quitting now is tremendously beneficial to your health. Even one year after quitting, the risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.

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