By Linda G. Ritchie, Ph.D.
Forty-six million Americans smoke. The majority of them say they want to quit
Did you know that smokers take in 300 times more carbon monoxide from a single cigarette than from the exhaust of a running automobile or truck over the same length of time it takes to smoke a cigarette? Human beings are naturally adverse to the smell and taste of tobacco. Blow smoke into the face of a child and it will cough and sputter. Animals instinctively run from smoke
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths in the United States. It is the leading preventable cause of death. It is responsible for more deaths annually than vehicle crashes, drug abuse, alcoholism, suicide and murder combined!
Smoking damages just about every organ of the body. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, 200 of which are known to be poisonous (such as carbon monoxide), and upwards of 40 have been identified as carcinogens. The effects of smoking are undeniably destructive yet according the American Heart Association, 46 million Americans still smoke. The majority of them say they want to quit.
The heath consequences of smoking are real and can be deadly. However, it is important to remember that you can take control of your health and your life by quitting. Smoking is a habit and habits can be changed. The good news is that once you stop smoking, your body will immediately begin the process of healing and repair.
Ask yourself the following questions: 1. What is smoking doing for me? 2. Do I actually enjoy it? 3. Do I really need to go through life paying through the nose just to stick these things in my mouth and suffocate myself?
Becoming a non-smoker will provide you with a multitude of physical benefits but there are equally important psychological gains that you will enjoy once you become a non-smoker as well….improved self-esteem, feelings of self-empowerment and less tension in your life. If you are single and dating, it will open up a whole new pool of dating possibilities because let’s face it, non-smoking men and women do not want to date a smoker
Most smokers worry about being able to deal with the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal; however, the psychological cravings can be even more difficult. Effective smoking cessation treatment incorporates methods and strategies for dealing with both.
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