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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 25, 2011
Our Lungs and the State of the Air
One of the wondrous things about our lungs is how they not only help us to take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, but they also have the ability to clean themselves. There are hair-like particles in the lungs called cilia that move in a sweeping motion to remove mucus, which attracts much of the dust, germs and other unwanted matter that gets into the lungs. When a person smokes, his or her cilia become coated with tar and don’t work as well. When that person quits, the cilia “wake up” and start working again to move mucus out of the bronchial tubes. When you quit, you may start coughing more than before—and that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that your body is getting back to its normal state.
The lungs are an amazing organ, made to move fresh air into our bodies and get rid of waste gases. Breathing fresh, clean air is vital to lung health.
On Wednesday April 27, the American Lung Association will release its annual State of the Air report concerning air pollution and how many Americans live in areas with unhealthy air quality.
Two of the most widespread pollutants, ozone and particle pollution, can cause some alarming symptoms ranging from shortness of breath and asthma attacks to chest pain, heart attacks and even premature death. Long term exposure to air pollution can increase women’s risk of lower lung function and developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
You may be thinking, what does this have to do with me and why should I care about clean air? Well, you already know that smoking causes health risks. Couple those with health risks from air pollution and that doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it? Find out what the report says about the state of your air, what you can do to lessen your risk from air pollution and what you can do to improve air quality where you live by visiting www.stateoftheair.org.
Until next time, remember the 4 D’s to help you get through any cravings:
- Drink plenty of water. Are you getting enough water each day?
- Do something else. A change of activity will help you through urge curves.
- Delay. Don’t give in the urge. It will pass in 3–5 minutes, whether you smoke or not.
- Deep breathe. Allow yourself some deep breaths to relax. In fact, why not treat yourself to a relaxation exercise now?
I’m adding a 5th D to that list:
- Discuss your feelings, concerns and thoughts on the Message Boards!
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.