Candace's Favorite Things

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WEDNESDAY WELLNESS.... "Smoking Cessation - Reasons to Quit"

Sometimes a topic is so important that it’s worth repeating. If you’ve been reading my blog since it went magazine style (meaning it’s now written 6 days per week), you may be questioning how you missed this subject matter the first time. You didn’t. I’m just feeling it only fair to warn you that I am but kissing the topic of smoking cessation in this, my FIRST OF MANY ARTICLES on the issue. Tips to help one quit smoking will revisit this blog, take it to the bank... it's necessary. It's necessary becuase quitting smoking is such a hard road . It has a history of being a stop and start and stop again type of propostition. We need to help and not hinder those caught In the sticky web of it's addictive pull. In other words, smokers need all the help they can, NOT ATTITUDE!  For those of us who don't smoke, or worse yet... who once did partake and now have become the stereotypical obnoxious  ' EX - OFFENDERS', we need to realise that we are often perpetuating the  problem by inflicting our "Holier - Than - Thou" attitudes upon those who are stuck in the throws of this rancid adiction. We  need to knock it off, plain and simple and with compassion in our hearts, begin to become a part of he solution. We, more than anyone else should be able to understand that this is a tough, develish addiction. One that needs the people who understand the most,  to step up to the plate and offer a helping hand of  HOPE! Truly, who can better help , than those of use who have broken free from the chains of this ugly, smelly, nicotine ridden prison. As a country, this is such an important issue for so many reasons; however, the topic and lung disease in general holds a special place in my heart. My Father and my Grandfather both passed away from Lung Disease! While I can and have talked plenty on the subject of smoking cessation, alas I am but a neophyte in my depth of knowledge compared to the folks who research it daily. Even still,  have decided to do much of my volunteer work with the AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION. Since approximately 1996, I began my to invest my time as a volunteer with this worthy organization and even received an award for my work in the” FIGHT FOR CLEAN AIR”. During my time with the A.L.A. I discovered they have a fabulous Free, Online Smoking Cessation Program that I will leave you with as the most amazing tool out there to assist you in this fight. Yes, I know about this battle because I used to smoke!!! DO you need a moment? Yes I did. But …I won this war and I quit back when I was 23. Funny, (as in scary odd like), I remember it as if it were yesterday. So I speak from a bit of experience. Wish I had access to this private, online resource then. Though back then “on line” meant being on your land line home telephone….(actually, it was the only kind of phone that existed). OH that hurt!! The site is and the ‘ffs’ stands for ‘Freedom From Smoking’. SO, I implore you. With all the education we have now days about the dangers of smoking, I find it outrageous that there are still, an estimated 47 million adults in the U.S. who currently smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of those people want to quit smoking completely.

During my research in preparing to write this week’s “Wednesday Wellness” , I read an article and thought it so well done, that I decided it was more important to let you hear the truth from this source than to brush up on my research and then reiterate the facts! Please, I implore you. As we open our first dialogue on the topic of smoking, its dangers and the hope of living free from its addiction…I ask you these three things. PLEASE…Read this article – Then, go to the online “freedom from smoking” site and finally - Sign up! It’s a start… on your way to what is most assuredly, the FIRST and most important PHYSICAL STEP you can make, on your journey to living an Abundant Life. And please forgive, while posting the piece below, I may be accused of using scare tactics. Folks, these are just the facts. I’ve been accused of hitting below the belt in like fashion before. I’ll say now what I said then….”I do not apologies for hitting where ever I need to, if it saves even one single, precious life”

Until Tomorrow,

This is the Health and Fitness Diva. I’m on your side and in your corner and I’ll keep fighting for you.

1. Smoking increases the chance of heart attack, stroke or cancer

Cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, is a major concern for smokers. For every cigarette you smoke, the greater your chances of getting heart disease become. According to, quitting can lower your risk of having a heart attack by 50 percent in the first year. Smoking also increases your chance of smoking-related cancers, which make up 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Some common smoking-related cancers affect the lung, larynx, mouth, tongue, lips, pharynx, stomach and other vital organs.

2. Smoking can lead to lung cancer, emphysema and other lung diseases

Smoking every day for years increases your chance of getting lung cancer and smoking-related diseases. According to, smoking is the cause of nearly nine out of 10 lung cancer cases, as well as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other lung diseases. Quitting smoking today can prevent further damage to your lungs and reduce your chances of developing cancer and lung diseases.

3. Smoking can give others secondhand smoke

In addition to risking your own health, smoking puts other people in danger from secondhand smoke. For every puff you take in front of your spouse, family members and friends, the greater the chance that they’ll get lung cancer, heart disease and infections from inhaling nicotine and other toxic chemicals. Smoking around children can cause sudden infant death syndrome, lung infections, asthma, ear infections and colds. When you consider the dangers you are putting your loved ones in by smoking – is it really worth it?

4. It’s a very costly habit

Smoking is an expensive habit. On average, a pack-a-day smoker spends upwards of $30 per week and over $1,600 per year on cigarettes. For every year you keep smoking, the more money you will burn through and not save. In addition to purchasing cigarettes, smokers also pay more for health insurance because they are a greater risk to health insurance companies than non-smokers.

5. Smoking weakens the immune system

Smoking weakens the immune system and puts you at greater risk for infections and illnesses. Cigarettes depress antibodies and cells that help fight infections. Those who smoke may be more prone to respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and influenza, which may take longer to fight off and recover from. A weak immune system is very dangerous to those who already have ongoing health problems and generally gets worse over time.

6. You will look, smell and feel better

Smoking cigarettes has lost the sexy, glamorous appeal that it once had. Cigarette smoke permeates through everything, including your hair, clothes and skin. Over time, smoking cigarettes can stain your fingers, nails and teeth yellow. Smokers also tend to have dull skin and hair because they aren’t receiving enough oxygen. The list goes on and on, but one thing’s for sure, quitting smoking will drastically improve your outward appearance and make you feel better all around.

7. You will regain control of your life

Like any addiction, cigarettes are highly addictive and can negatively affect your physical and mental health. When you are driven by an addiction, such as nicotine, your brain craves the drug and you respond by feeding it. When you quit smoking, you can regain control of your life and confidently say no to your cravings.

8. Your family and friends

If you don’t want to quit for yourself, quit for your family and friends. Chances are you have a handful of people in your life who’ve been begging you to quit smoking, but you never did. The truth is it’s never too late to quit. There is so much more to live for than cigarettes could ever give you, and it will mean so much to those who love you to give up smoking.

9. You’ll live longer

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking takes an average of 13.2 years off an adult male’s life and 14.5 years of a female’s life. Quitting smoking adds years to your life because you are reducing the chance of disease, cancer and other smoking-related illnesses. Your overall physical and mental health will improve when you quit smoking, which will do wonders for your state of mind and happiness.

10. Smoking causes wrinkles

Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process, resulting in wrinkles and damage on the face and body. Smokers can start to show skin damage after only 10 years of smoking, so unless you like the look of sagging skin and wrinkles, now is the time to quit and let your skin come back to life.

(MRI Technician Training)

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