I Hate Public Smoking Areas

college-student-smoking

I’ve been meeting my fiance at her college after work once a week so that we can spend more time together. I usually have to waste about an hour of time before she gets out of class, so I hang out around the school and check emails on my phone.

The wait doesn’t really bother me, but what does bother me is that just about every spot to sit down and take a break is surrounded by smokers.

After not having smoked a cigarette in more than a month and replacing tobacco completely with my electronic cigarette, I absolutely can’t stand to be around cigarette smoke anymore. It stinks and gives me a headache. As I’m sitting around I can’t help but watch these smokers, most of them young kids, and feeling terrible that they are throwing their life away for a pleasure so trivial.

* image provided courtesy of Seth Sawyers via Flickr

Smoking On Television and in Movies Should Be Banned

movie-theater

You know when you see someone smoking a cigarette on TV and it looks so relaxing that it makes you absolutely crave a smoke? I don’t get that feeling anymore. I’ve been clean from cigarettes for more than a month and my desire to smoke a real cigarette is almost nonexistent.

Every time a Bruce Willis or Mickey Rourke movie would come on TV (which are the types of movies I tend to watch), I’d have an incredible urge to smoke a cigarette. While I enjoyed my tobacco, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the TV would make cigarettes look. Now when I see someone smoking, in real life or TV, I think of all the bad things that come with smoking.

I remember what it’s like to have nasty breath, dry eyes from all the smoke in the room, and even a slight headache from depriving my body of oxygen.

Why did I ever smoke? Oh yeah, that’s right – because cigarettes are one of the most addictive drugs ever. I didn’t want to smoke, but the addiction made me believe I didn’t want to quit either.

I strongly believe that if I never gave an electronic cigarette a chance, I would be destined to an early grave. I was almost positive that I would suffer from a tobacco-related sickness or disease later in life, most likely lung cancer. That’s why I committed myself to quitting.

Did you know that dying from lung cancer is just like drowning? I don’t want to go out that way!

* image provided courtesy of Raymond Shobe via Flickr

Cigarette Smoke Really Stinks After Quitting

smoking-in-sync

I haven’t smoked a real cigarette in more than a month now and it feels great. If you know me, you know my one weakness is alcohol. I go out with friends just about every weekend for a few beers and I can’t help but smoke when I drink.

My electronic cigarette has completely satiated my desire for a cigarette every time I’ve gone out for drinks in the past month. Over the latest couple of weekends I’ve also noticed that my desire for the electronic cigarettes has even decreased quite a bit, which I’m very happy about.

I haven’t felt so good about my health in a long time. I feel great, my anxiety has dropped and I’ve noticed that I even have more energy throughout the day.

Something else I’ve noticed after using the electronic cigarette since the end of July is that I now know how non-smokers feel to be around smokers. Since I’ve always smoked cigarettes, I never really noticed the smell of the smoke or it didn’t really bother me. I can barely stand to be around someone smoking anymore and find myself walking around smoking areas in front of restaurants and other businesses.

Up to this point, I’m very pleased with my progress in quitting smoking tobacco.

Smoking in sync!!” image by Alessandra is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Prevent Lung Cancer Caused By Smoking By Eating Fruits and Vegetables

fruits-and-vegetables

Dr. William Li recently gave a speech at a Ted Conference where he spoke about a new treatment for cancer. The treatment inhibits angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels, and has had great success rates on a variety of cancers. Sadly, lung cancer isn’t one of them, but Dr. Li still offered some great news for smokers.

It turns out that there are actually lots of foods and drinks which can help prevent cancer before it progresses into a deadly disease.

  • Green Tea
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries
  • Red Grapes
  • Red Wine
  • Bok Choy
  • Kale
  • Soy Beans
  • Ginseng
  • Maitake Mushroom
  • Licorice
  • Turmeric
  • Nutmeg
  • Artichokes
  • Lavender
  • Pumpkin
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Tuna
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Olive Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Dark Chocolate

All of the foods above are antiangiogenesis and have various levels of potency. By smoking, you may have already caused the mutation of DNA in your blood cells to the point where they may form into cancer later in life. You should do what you can now to prevent it.

To learn more about the research that Dr. William Li did, watch the video below.

* “Fruit & vegetable basket” image by muammerokumus is licensed under CC BY SA 2.0

Smoking Causes Depression in Teens

I started smoking when I was a teenager in high school, almost immediately after starting as a freshman. I was 15 and I remember doing it because all of my friends were doing it. During lunch breaks it felt good to go stand outside the little store across the street from the school, talking about whatever. I thought it helped me relax and relieve stress from all of the hard school work. Now when I look back on it though, I realize I was only trying to fit in. It was one of the worst decisions of my life.

After reviewing a study from scientists at the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal on the “Use of cigarettes to improve affect and depressive symptoms in a longitudinal study of adolescents,” I wonder if it may have entirely changed the course of my life. While many young teens, and people in general, think that smoking improves mood and has self-medicating effects, the recent study actually shows that in the long-term, teens who smoke report higher depressive symptoms.

This study took 662 high school students from grades 7 to 11 and asked them up to 20 questions regarding their use of cigarettes as mood enhancers. To provide a wider range of results, they also mixed in students from secondary schools, urban and rural schools, French and English students and schools located in neighborhoods of varying levels of socioeconomics.

There were three groups: those who have never smoked, those who did not use cigarettes to self-medicate, and those who did use cigarettes to self-medicate. The research looked at several symptoms that show signs of depression; anxiety, nervousness, feeling tired often, trouble going to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, feeling unhappy and worrying too much.

Based on the above signs of depression, the study showed that smokers who used cigarettes as mood enhancers had higher risks of depressive symptoms as compared to teens who have never smoked.

Now the reason I wonder if my own smoking habits as a teen has altered my course in life is because I also had small bouts of depression. Never to the point of requiring professional help, but my friends can tell you that I would get quite down on myself. I felt hopelessness for my future and in 10th grade I dropped out of high school. I began hanging out with some bad people and got into a lot of trouble. I just didn’t care anymore.

A year and a half after dropping out of school, I took a hard look at my life and was embarrassed at what I had thrown away and what my family thought of me. I could see it in their faces. So I went back to school, graduated and went to college. I’ve never been happier.

I’m not saying that cigarettes had anything to do with this entire series of events, but what if it did?

*image courtesy of Valentin.Ottone

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