Smoke Free Blog

Tips on how to quit smoking

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Are E-Cigs As Good As They Say?

You may have noticed that more people are switching to electronic cigarettes in order to get their nicotine fix under the assumption that it is completely safe and they are not absorbing all of those nasty toxins commonly associated with tobacco cigarettes.

This is certainly the point that is being put across by the companies themselves. The problem is electronic cigarettes have not been rigorously tested by the appropriate authorities to establish their long-term effects. The fact that they have not been tested is a worry especially with the market growing as fast as it is. Yes it may only account for a small percentage of smokers, but when you see that the major tobacco companies are also looking at producing their very own versions it does at least hint towards the longevity of the electronic cigarette industry.

The way in which these cigarettes work is that they allow smokers to inhale nicotine in the form of a vapor that is produced by a liquid that sits in a cartridge. This does mean that it still has this dangerous toxic chemical, which can cause major health issues if you take too much, but at least it is clean and pure unlike the stuff you find in normal cigarettes. The industry has also looked at ways to make it more appealing by producing different flavors from menthol to bubble gum, but even with this there are some issues.

E-Cigs

The main concern with the flavors is that when you mix child-like tastes with fancy marketing it may make smoking appealing to a younger age group. The issue here is that they may then move from these safer e-cigarettes to the more harmful type tobacco cigarettes. As a result, parents are asking authorities to take the proper steps to prevent this from happening.

Now the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, have two ways in which they can proceed. First, they need to challenge those companies that claim you can quit smoking by using their product and ask for evidence that this is the case as it is clearly misleading if they are misinforming users. Next, they should also look at banning those tasty flavors and reverting it back to the normal smoking tastes in order to deter children with the advertising to follow suit.

The FDA has been actively working on all of this since 2011, but it is now time for them to put these plans into motion rather than merely discussing what will happen. The market is expanding at an exponential rate and they must act now before they have an even bigger mess to try to sort out in the future.

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How to quit smoking with a Vape Pen

What are the benefits to quitting smoking with a Vape Pen?

Quit_Smoking_With_Vape_Pen

One of the most exciting claims that have been made about vape pens is that they help people quit smoking. Until recently, evidence for this claim was mostly anecdotal. Different vape pen and e cigarette users would talk about how vaping helped them quit, and the internet was full of recommendations about how to quit smoking the easy way. However, these claims were not backed up by scientific research until very recently, because the studies had to follow people for a long time to make sure that the effects were lasting and that people were really successful in quitting smoking by using vape pens. These studies are starting to be published now, and the claims of the people who have been vaping all along are now being scientifically validated too.

A very recent study published in The Lancet, found that 22% of people who start vaping are able to quit smoking entirely after 1 month, and after a year 46% of vape pen users have completely quit smoking. Of the people who still use both vape pens and tobacco cigarettes, they reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by an average of 5.3 cigarettes per day. That is a really significant decrease in cigarette consumption. In other words, vape pens can help you quit if you’re trying to quit, and can also help keep you from going back to cigarettes if you used to smoke in the past. Also, this study just targeted vape pen users and did not specifically look at people who were trying to quit smoking regular cigarettes. We’d be willing to bet that you’d have a better success rate at quitting smoking if you put your mind to switching to vape pens instead of cigarettes, than if you just started vaping because it tasted good and didn’t care about quitting cigarettes. We’re waiting to see more studies specifically on quitting, because everyone who has quit cigarettes before knows that you need all the help you can get!

So how do you quit smoking with a vape pen?

Well, the “how” is really simple. You get a vape pen and you start vaping! Nothing to it, right? But if you’ve tried to quit smoking cigarettes before, you know that quitting smoking is also really simple in theory – just don’t smoke anymore – but devilishly hard when you’re facing cravings. So the better question is, how do vape pens solve the problem of cravings? There are several layers to this answer, so we’ll just put it in a list format.

Quit Smoking with Different Nicotine Levels

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Nicotine cravings are the biggest part of why it is hard to quit smoking. Nicotine is an addictive drug, and once you’re hooked it’s practically impossible to just stop having it anymore. People even get withdrawal symptoms from not having their nicotine! This is why so many doctors prescribe nicotine patches for people who are trying to quit smoking, to lessen the effects of not having nicotine in your body. Vape pens let you get the nicotine you need. You can buy e juice in a variety of different e juice nicotine levels. A lot of people use the weaning method to get themselves off nicotine when they use their vape pens – start out with a strong concentration, and then gradually move to weaker and weaker concentrations as your body gets used to having less and less nicotine. You can even buy 0mg nicotine e juice, which is just the flavor without any nicotine in it at all. There are a lot of people who do this, and continue vaping whenever they feel the need to puff on something without becoming dependent on nicotine again. Which brings us to the next point:

Oral Fixation when Quitting with Vape Pens

Once you have smoked cigarettes for a while, the feeling of putting a cigarette in your mouth and puffing is itself incredibly satisfying. A lot of people have cravings, not just for nicotine, but also for this sensation and experience of having something in their mouth. People who use nicotine patches to quit smoking are often recommended to chew gum or eat hard candies to satisfy this oral craving, because it can be so strong. However, chewing gum is simply not the same experience as puffing on something, inhaling something flavored and exhaling a cloud of smoke, is it? Read More

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Back Pain and Smoking: Yet Another Reason to Quit

Over 80 percent of the population will experience low back pain at one point or another. Back pain is the number one reason for missed workdays and the second highest reason for visits to the doctor. Because your back is a complex structure of bone, muscles, joints and nerves, there are many different reasons you could attribute to back pain. And, believe it or not, smoking is just another one to add to the list.

Studies Connect Smoking and Back Pain

Researchers have discovered several contributing factors to low back pain, including a lack of exercise, poor work ergonomics and a high body mass index. Numerous studies also confirm that people who smoke are three times more likely to experience chronic back pain than non-smokers.

Smoking doesn’t just affect your lung health; it increases your risk of neck, shoulder and joint pain as well as intervertebral, or spine, disc disease.

Back Pain

How Smoking Hurts Your Back

Although your body is remarkably resilient, smoking can negatively affect its ability to use nutrients and heal. Studies demonstrate that smoking contributes to atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque inside your blood vessels. The condition reduces the supply of blood and oxygen to areas fed by small capillaries, such as the vertebrae and the discs that cushion the bones of your spine. A lack of blood supply can impede your spine’s ability to heal.

Smoking may also damage the tissue of your lower back and other parts of the body. It increases the breakdown of existing bone and reduces your body’s ability to generate new bone. An addictive substance, nicotine has been shown to inhibit the activity of osteoblasts, which are specialized cells that help build bone tissue.

Smoking also reduces the absorption of calcium that you need to build strong healthy bones. Over time, these negative side effects can lead to osteoporosis as well as degeneration of your bones and discs, which may cause back pain.

Smoking Intensifies the Pain

Nicotine interacts with proteins that play a crucial role in the central and peripheral nervous system. This may inhibit the hormones and chemicals that your brain uses to detect and process pain stimuli. As a result, smokers persistently experience more intense and longer lasting back pain.

While the exact connection between smoking and back pain is complex and still being investigated, this should give smokers yet another reason to quit.

Author Bio:

Doug Johnson, PA | North American Spine

Doug Johnson helped create North American Spine and manages all medical staff, in addition to training physicians in proper AccuraScope® procedure techniques.

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Health, Diet and Dopamine for the Non-Smoker

Tired? Depressed? Feeling in need of something extra when you quit smoking?

When you quit smoking your body is going to be affected by various changes. Since your brain and your body are now no longer getting the regular fix of nicotine you will feel a little different for a few days.

This is the period that most people fail in their attempts and start smoking again. It has nothing to do with willpower or your own desire to stop smoking but your body trying to adapt to your new life.

Do not worry! This is perfectly normal and these minimal effects will be different for everyone. It is not a painful experience. Your body just needs to readjust to the new you.

One of the major factors involved in quitting smoking is the lower levels of dopamine that your body will produce. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter and nicotine increases the levels of dopamine in your body. This is what makes you feel good when you smoke. Food has a similar effect, hence the reason why some people start to eat more when they quit smoking.

The function of dopamine in the body is deals mainly with your pleasure and happiness. Lower levels of dopamine can be seen in depression, lethargy and poor attention. When you stop smoking cigarettes, you may feel some of these symptoms. Do not worry. This is perfectly normal.

Low levels of dopamine can also occur with stress, poor nutrition, poor sleep, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. When you become a non-smoker, you should try to avoid caffeine and alcohol for a while.

Stress. There is that word again that is so associated with smoking. Remember that any increased stress you feel is because your body wants dopamine and, more importantly, a cigarette. Do not give in. You have come so far already!

How is your diet right now? What are you eating? Do not, under any circumstances, start eating more because you think that it is a substitute for cigarettes. This will not work. Avoid caffeine and foods containing too much sugar, saturated fats and high cholesterol.

Now is a really good time to eat more fruit. The natural sugars in fruit will help your body adjust to the new non-smoking you. Fruit and vegetables will help with protecting your body from free radical damage. Antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E are good for you right now. Buying some food supplements will help as well.

Eating natural foods and, especially, some nuts will help with your dopamine levels. Almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy products, lima beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are all good foods for increased dopamine levels and this will be a lot better for you than nicotine ever was.

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Are Ecigarettes Really Cheaper Than Tobacco Cigarettes?

Many people get excited about electronic cigarettes because they hear about all of the benefits they offer. What they don’t expect is that they could also be saving money with electronic cigarettes. It may be hard to believe that an electronic device that lets you smoke nicotine infused water vapor will save you money over tobacco and a bit of paper. Fortunately for smokers who want to switch, electronic cigarettes really are less expensive in the long run.

Benefits of Smoking Electronic Cigarettes

There are a number of reasons to make the switch besides saving money. With electronic cigarettes you’ll also get rid of the nasty ashtray smells that come with being a smoker. That’s right, ecigarettes don’t smell bad. You’ll never have to worry about your clothing, your hair, or you house smelling stale and smoky. You can smoke in the car without worrying about what to do with that stinky cigarette butt. And you can smoker around your non-smoking friends without offending them with the carcinogenic second hand smoke you’re exposing them to.

Ecigarettes

Electronic cigarettes may also be a little bit healthier, although most companies will admit that no smoking habit is healthy. Nicotine is still not good for you, and ecigarettes that contain nicotine are still highly addictive. But tobacco cigarettes contain smoke and tar that causes a lot of damage when inhaled into the lungs. At least with electronic cigarettes you don’t inhale any smoke and tar.

And of course, the thing that usually tips the balance for people is the fact that they’ll be saving money with electronic cigarettes. How is a complex electronic item less expensive? Well, the truth is that when you invest in the initial starter kit, you will pay a lot more than you would for a pack of cigarettes. But you’ll probably spend what you normally spend in a month – anywhere from $50 to $200. After that, you’ll only be buying the refill cartomizers, which are much cheaper than getting a new pack of cigarettes when you run out of smokes.

Cartomizers can last as long as two or three packs of traditional tobacco cigarettes, and they are cheaper than most packs of cigarettes. In a year you could be saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on how much you spend on cigarettes now. If you’re not sure how much you are spending per month, it’s time to start keeping track. You might be unpleasantly surprised when you realize how much money it is costing you to keep up the habit.

Making the Switch

Not everyone is enthusiastic about making the switch, even thought they know they’ll smell better and be saving money with electronic cigarettes. People are wary that the ecigarettes won’t live up to their expectations, or that they just won’t like them. But the surprising thing is that many people who do switch are thrilled they’ve done so, and they learn to enjoy those electronic cigarettes even more than they liked tobacco.