Smoke Free Blog

Tips on how to quit smoking

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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.

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Yes, You Can Use Your E-Cigarettes in Public!

If there’s one question that people wonder about, it’s whether or not they can really use their e-cigarettes in public. It’s a hard question to answer, because everyone’s location is different. However, what has to be understood is this:

An electronic cigarette does not produce smoke. It does not produce flame. It does not produce ash. These three things are the biggest reasons why smoking in public places is not allowed. The smoke is offensive to other people, and there are a lot of valid concerns about secondhand and even thirdhand smoke these days. However, that doesn’t mean that you can always pull out your e-cigarette and start vaping.

E-Cigarettes

You will need to stop and make sure that you’re in a space that lets you have space between you and everyone else. If you just plunge in without thinking about it, you’ll end up just alienating the people around you. That’s definitely tends to get the attention of the wrong people — like the police. IF you want to use your e-cigarette in a public place like a small, it wouldn’t hurt to at least run it by security. Otherwise you’re going to get stopped a lot, and you can even get asked off the property. This is something that you will definitely want to make sure that you avoid as much as possible.

Restaurants are the same way. It’s up to the owners and the managers about whether or not they are okay with you using your e-cigarette. Instead of taking offense, you should take the time to educate. Let them know that your cigarette doesn’t produce any flame, ash, or smoke. Once they see that you really aren’t hurting anyone, you never know — you could start a trend!

Of course, if you do get someone that tells you to put it out, this is not the time to argue with them, or make a big scene. If you’re in a restaurant, you’re not really on public property. The establishment can still tell you to leave, and it doesn’t really matter if you’ve finished your business there or not. Of course, the restaurant wants to make sure that they earn your loyalty, but if you’re going to be belligerent about anything, they would rather take the loss!

Overall, it’s important to make sure that you really handle yourself the right way when you’re out using your e-cigarettes. You never know though. As time passes and more people join the revolution, you might see establishments actually posting signs that it’s okay to use your e-cigarette there!

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Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

If a person spent a dollar for every time he said that he will find ways to quit smoking cigarettes, then he would have probably earned enough to buy a new cellular phone. Kidding aside, smoking has already grown from being a bad habit into an addiction. A significant number of people rely on smoking for many reasons, and they stick to their routine despite knowing that cigarettes actually kill them slowly. Over the years, there have been many campaigns that aim to effectively convince people to stop and find effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes.

Some stories are successful while most result to failure and relapse. Therefore as expected, the cases of deaths and chronic diseases continue to increase nowadays. Coupled with sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition, people turn out living unhealthy lives. Over time, more and more people get addicted to coffee. And usually is it too late when they decide to quit for real. Many consider quitting a tough decision.

However, it is actually one that can save your life. And it can also save the people around you. Over the years, there have been numerous campaigns and information drives about quitting. However, here are some of the ways to quit smoking cigarettes – for good!

There Are Two Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes

The first one is the gradual decrease of smoking over time. This means that as time goes on, you smoke one less cigarette each day. Over time, you begin to smoke less and less until you have no more to smoke. This may seem effective but actually, it is not. First, the process or gradually stopping implies that you will still continue to smoke for a period of time. Therefore, you are still exposed to as much risks as you will still be getting the bad effects of the cigarette since technically, you have not stopped at all. Second, this method is more prone to relapse. Since you will have the mentality that you will be smoking less each day, it is easier for you to give in to temptation because you may think that you can do better the following day.

The second and more effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is called the “cold turkey”. This method involves the sudden stopping of smoking. It is true that it will require more effort since it is harder to stop at once. However, there are less chances of relapse when quitting is performed this way. Furthermore, you begin to reap the rewards of quitting immediately. In fact, studies have shown that people who quit smoking experience better blood flow and lung activity within minutes of now taking cigarettes. Therefore, stopping right now will truly help you and your body.

Quit Smoking Cigarettes

Other Ways to Quit Smoking Cigarettes:

Make It a Group Decision

One of the most effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is to make it a group decision. Most of the time, a person will have smoking buddies. These are the people that he would chat or spend quality time with while smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is not only a habit for some people as it is also a method of socializing. Similar to drinking alcohol, cigarette smoking is another way to fit in. Furthermore, there are many people who smoke when they spend time with a specific group of people such as their families and friends.

Therefore, one on the effective ways to quit smoking cigarettes is by quitting as a group. This is more effective because each one can monitor the performance of each member of the group. Usually, when only one member of the group quits, he or she ends up smoking again when spending time with the group. However, if everyone quits, the group is able to stick to the decision and help each other become healthier people. Read More