Monday, 29 April 2013

Smoking Sucks!... The Life Out of You

There are many things which I, (sadly), still do not understand, regardless of my fourteen years of life and knowledge. Like why there is cancer, why do we feel pain, who invented the alphabet, why GCSE's are so difficult to pass these days, why people wear socks and sandals etc. etc. Another question I wish I knew the answer to was why do people smoke? I honestly cannot understand the appeal of smoking a cigarette. What's so fun about inhaling the following substances? 
Ah, the smell of sewer gas, beautiful...-ly repulsive.

People tend to smoke for various reasons. Some people smoke as a stress-reliever, others smoke as a social activity. Some smoke to give off a confident bravado, others to keep their weight down. Some have a cigarette when feeling bored or lonely, others smoke when they need a break.

What's so appealing about terrible oral hygiene, wrinkles, loss of bone density,  bad skin, (maybe even resulting in psoriasis), foul smelling clothes and hair, reduced athletic performance, greater risk of injury with slower healing time, weaker immune system then resulting in increased risk of illness. Is it worth it?

Did you know?
  • Urea, a chemical compound that is a major component in urine, is used to add “flavor” to cigarettes.
  • In most countries around the world, the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products is now 18, raised from 16, while in Japan the age minimum is 20 years old.
  • Contrary to popular social belief, it is NOT illegal to smoke tobacco products at any age. Parents are within the law to allow minors to smoke, and minors are within the law to smoke tobacco products freely. However, the SALE of tobacco products is highly regulated with legal legislation.
  • Scientists claim the average smoker will lose 14 years of their life due to smoking. This however does not necessarily mean that a smoker will die young – and they may still live out a ‘normal’ lifespan. This simply means that the day they die, they will regret smoking for they could have lived for an extra fourteen years.
  • Cigarettes can contain more than 4,000 ingredients, which, when burned, can also produce over 200 ‘compound’ chemicals. Many of these ‘compounds’ have been linked to lung damage.
  •  Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. It has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.
  • Sugar approximates to roughly 20% of a cigarette, and many diabetics are unaware of this secret sugar intake. Also, the effect of burning sugar is unknown.
  • Some people (mostly males) can be aroused by the sight of smoker smoking (usually females). This is called the Smoking Fetish, and affects a small number of the population. As with most fetishes, the reason for this arousal can usually be traced back to incidents in childhood. However, cigarettes – particularly menthol's, force blood away from the penis if smoked while aroused.
  • Most smokers take up the habit in their mid teens, well before the legal age for purchasing them, and is seen as a right of passage towards adulthood. Other perceived rights of passage include: aftershave, wearing stilettos, alcohol, drugs and sexual intercourse; with a combination of these sometimes being cited as the main causes of teenage pregnancy.
  • Most smokers take up the habit in their mid teens, well before the legal age for purchasing them, and is seen as a right of passage towards adulthood. Other perceived rights of passage include: aftershave, wearing stilettos, alcohol, drugs and sexual intercourse; with a combination of these sometimes being cited as the main causes of teenage pregnancy.
  • Smokers generally report a variety of after-effects; such as calmness, relaxation, alertness, stimulation, concentration and many others. In fact, smoking will produce a different effect in each individual depending on ‘what they expect to get’; turning the cigarette into the worlds most popular placebo (satisfying the brains hunger for nicotine being the only ‘relaxing’ factor). The smoker will then use these expectations as a means to continue the habit.
  • Several active ingredients and special methods of production are involved in making sure the nicotine in a cigarette is many times more potent than that of a tobacco plant.
  • ‘Toppings’ are added to the blended tobacco mix to add flavor and a taste unique to the manufacturer. Some of these toppings have included; clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, dill seed oil, cocoa, carrot oil, mace oil, myrrh, beet juice, bay leaf, oak, rum, vanilla, and vinegar.
I hope you, my beautiful blog reader, are not a smoker. For this would contradict everything that I have said in this post. But if you are indeed a smoker and you have been inspired to quit, here are some tips:
  •   Design your own personal game plan
    Write up on a piece of paper all the reasons as to why you wish to quit smoking. Be sure to tailor your list to your needs and desires. List all the places where you usually keep your cigarettes.
  • Start you stop smoking START plan
    S= Set a quit date - when you aspire to quit your habit
    T= Tell family, friends and co-workers you wish to quit and hopefully they'll support you and be a form of emotional support.
    A= Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face whilst quitting.
    R= Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products away from your home, work place, car etc.
    T= Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.
  • Stay active
  • Keep yourself distracted/busy
  • Keep your mind busy
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie
  • Go on walks
  • Keep other things to pop in your mouth as a substitute: chewing gum, nuts, dried fruit, mints etc.
  • Drink lots of water to flush out the toxins from your body and helps the cravings pass quicker.
  • Use Nicorette Products
  • Attend nicotine support groups
  • Try hypnosis, acupuncture, counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy.

    If you do slip up after starting your path to recovery, remember:
  •  You’re not a failure if you slip up. It doesn't mean you can't quit for good.
  • Don’t let a slip become a mudslide. Throw out the rest of the pack. It's important to get back on the non-smoking track now. 
  • Find the trigger. Exactly what was it that made you smoke again? Decide how you will cope with that issue the next time it comes up.  
  • Are you using a medicine to help you quit? Call your doctor if you start smoking again. Some medicines cannot be used if you are smoking at the same time. 

    If you smoke, I hope you've been inspired to stop. For I personally feel strongly against smoking. I believe it is signing yourself up for suicide. If you don't smoke... You go, you legend, you!

    I really appreciate the time you took out to read my blog post. It's just something that has become much too common in the community; it's intolerable.

You are always in my thoughts ~
Hazera Sapna Khatun...x

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