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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
October 29, 2012
Trick or Treat?
It’s the time of year when little ones don their costumes and go door-to-door asking “Trick or Treat?” on Halloween. Whenever I hear that phrase, I think about how the tobacco industry has tricked people for years by adding more nicotine to their products to hook people into smoking. Most people begin smoking in their teens as a way to fit in with a crowd and never realize just how addictive it can become. These teens never imagine that they’ll still be smoking in their adult years. The truth is that 3,800 teens start smoking every day. Of those, 1,000 will become regular smokers and raise their risk of a heart attack, lung cancer and COPD.
Although lighting up may at times feel like a treat, it’s a deceptive trick. I often hear participants say they find smoking relaxing. Think about the act of smoking—inhaling and exhaling, deeply. What is that? It’s deep breathing! You can get that sense of relaxation without the harmful effects by simply practicing deep breathing. If you are quitting this week, give yourself a real treat and listen to the deep breathing exercises that are included in the program. You will feel tension float away if you concentrate and do what the narrator suggests.
It’s no secret that the tobacco industry spends a huge amount of money on advertising. They need to replace the smokers who die every day with new smokers or they’ll go out of business. Tobacco advertisements make smoking look glamorous or cool. The truth is that smoking is anything but cool. Is it glamorous to stand outside in the rain to smoke? It might be downright cold to stand outside and smoke in the winter but that’s a different definition of “cool,” isn’t it?
If you feel tempted to slip this week, remember the phrase “Trick or Treat?” You might be tricked into thinking that a cigarette will help relieve stress or make you feel better, but that’s a big mistake. The treat is found when you can stand up and proudly say “I quit!” What other treats have you found in becoming smokefree? List them on the Message Boards.
This week, remember the 4 D’s:
- Drink lots of water. Eight 8-oz. glasses a day are recommended for everyone.
- Delay. The urge to smoke will pass in just a few minutes, whether you smoke or not.
- Do something else. Keep your hands busy during an urge curve. Work a puzzle, play “Words with Friends” or another game on your smartphone, or doodle.
- Deep breathe. Treat yourself to a relaxation exercise!
Focus on the treats, not the tricks, this week.
See you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
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