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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
October 1, 2012
Best Way to Stay Smokefree for Life
We live in a digital “have it your way” kind of world. When we want information, we have it at our fingertips. When we want to communicate quickly, we text or post to our social networks. When we want to become smokefree, it’s a little tougher. There is no instant way to get through that process.
Some participants have asked me over the years if using another form of tobacco is safer, such as using chewing tobacco, snuff, cigars, hookahs or e-cigarettes. The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that there is no safe tobacco use. It all comes with consequences, so it makes sense that trading one form of tobacco for another is just jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Let’s examine each one:
Smokeless tobacco has 28 cancer-causing agents and using it increases the risk of developing cancer in the mouth, gums, and pancreas. Smokeless tobacco includes chewing tobacco, snuff and snus. The amount of nicotine that is absorbed from smokeless tobacco is 3 to 4 times the amount delivered by a cigarette.
Cigars contain the same addictive, toxic and cancer-causing compounds as cigarettes. A single large cigar can contain as much tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes. The consequences of smoking cigars are similar to those from smoking cigarettes, including 4 to 10 times the risk of dying from oral, esophageal or laryngeal cancer as compared to nonsmokers. Those who smoke cigars heavily or inhale deeply also increase their risk of developing COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Hookahs or Water Pipes
Hookahs, also called water pipes, are relatively new to the U.S. Because a typical hookah session lasts 40–45 minutes, exposure to dangerous chemicals is increased with hookah use. Lung cancer and other diseases have been linked to hookah use.
There is no scientific evidence that e-cigarettes are safer to use than regular tobacco products. The FDA has found that these products contain cancer-causing agents and toxic chemicals, including one of the primary chemicals found in antifreeze. There is also no scientific evidence that these products will help smokers quit.
What does work? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that the best way to quit for good is to combine a behavior modification program (like FFS Online) with the use of an FDA-approved medication. There is no easy “fix” to this process. It takes hard work and commitment. Remember that millions of Americans have become smokefree and you can too!
If your Quit Day is coming up, keep these tips in mind:
- Reward yourself. Give yourself something extra to reinforce your hard work.
- Get extra rest. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier than usual.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Contact your buddy and get the support you need to stay strong and stay smokefree.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.