If you are a smoker, you are sick of hearing this, but…. it is REALLY important that you stop smoking! Smoking throughout the day is akin to living inside a burning building. Smoking degrades the collagen of your skin, causing premature wrinkling, destroys the cells inside your lungs, promotes heart disease, cataracts and cancer because of the oxidizing radicals released into the blood stream. It can also contribute to back pain by dehydrating the spinal discs.
Bone is a living tissue dependent on the functions and support provided by the other body systems. When these systems are not able to perform normally, bone is unable to rebuild itself. The formation of bone is particularly influenced by physical exercise and hormonal activity, both of which are adversely affected by cigarette smoking.
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and increases the level of harmful substances, such as carbon monoxide. In addition, nicotine causes a constriction of the small blood vessels that feed your spinal discs, shutting down their nutrient supply. Over time, the loss of normal blood supply leads to your discs becoming dehydrated and they begin to degenerate. Smoking is also known to cause an increase in estrogen loss in women who are perimenopausal or postmenopausal, which can result in a loss of bone density and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.
There is no question that it is difficult to quit smoking. Many people who have quit say that it was the hardest thing they have ever done. But it is not impossible. People do it all the time. If you currently smoke and want to quit, there are a number of effective medical programs that can help you.
Some people find acupuncture to be very helpful at reducing cravings and many people have used nicotine patches for the same reason. Some people have also found complimentary therapies, such as hypnosis, to be helpful in quitting smoking. But these are not as effective as your unswerving, absolute commitment to do whatever it takes to not smoke today. Just limit your not smoking to today only. You can tell yourself that you can have a cigarette tomorrow if you just make it through today. Tomorrow morning when you wake up, tell yourself the same thing. There are many addicts who have successfully kicked their alcohol, heroine or cocaine addictions this way. Kicking any addiction is tough. You can expect to feel stressed, anxious and irritable at first. To expect anything else is unreasonable. But you can also expect that over time it will become easier and easier to not smoke.
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