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DR. JAY LIPOFF: Where's There's Smoke There's Several Fires
By Dr. Jay Lipoff
“Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics.” – Fletcher Knebel
Unfortunately many people still smoke regardless of the research and even kids still think it is cool. Hey if your parents can do it and they have always told you they know what is best, why can’t you?
I don’t care if the cigarette companies advertise that they have light cigarettes, low tar (that sounds healthy, eaten any asphalt lately?), all natural ingredients or fiber. Smoking is terrible for your body. End of discussion.
Now I’m not going to bash smokers here. I will use sarcasm and science just to inform and educate people on the reasons they should stop. Don’t shoot the messenger. I have friends who smoke and would just like to keep them healthier longer.
As far as I can remember, each house has a chimney to remove the smoke and deadly fumes. If smoke wasn’t bad then seal up the chimney and close the flue. Keep your windows closed when you smoke in your vehicle and don’t throw the darn butt in the streets. I’m going to start throwing my apple cores on your yard. Hey and they are biodegradable.
As a kid it never made sense that smoking was bad, but second hand smoke wasn’t. It doesn’t make sense. I thought this as a kid and the govern ment continues to waste millions of our tax dollars, like they do so well, on research studies to prove the blatantly obvious. Smoke is deadly period. Doesn’t matter if you’re smoking alfalfa sprouts. Remember stop, drop and roll? “Question. Firemen wear oxygen masks so they don’t breathe in … (BZZZ) … What is smoke? I’ll take common sense for $400, Alex.”
When you smoke you may not realize it but everything you are near, like your clothes and hair, smells like an ashtray. The odor is strong. Many states have adopted a position to make smoking in indoor facilities illegal because other people, who have chosen not to smoke, are forced to breathe in the second hand smoke.
Now non-smokers can actually go out to a bar or restaurant and come home without stinking. I used to leave my clothes in the garage because I couldn’t stand the smell of them or myself when I returned home. I had to take a shower to clean the smell off me.
If you wish to smoke, that is your choice. However, over 125 million non-smoking Americans continue to be in places like vehicles, work environments, public places and homes where they are exposed to second hand smoke. People should not have to breathe in your smoke if they are in a common or public place. Maybe ask the people around you if they mind if you fire one up.
When possible, the non-smokers should also make a conscious effort to avoid those places that do allow smoking like bars and restaurants. It’s a dual responsibility, not just the people who continue to smoke. To minimize your exposure, go elsewhere.
When exiting a building that has all of the smokers huddled up by the doorway or inside the vestibule like a gang, hold your breath when you wade through the cloud of toxins. You could also stay upwind of people at open air events if they are smoking, like parents at a kid’s soccer game. That may be more beneficial than you know. Want some revenge? Eat lots of beans and that will give you a chance for retaliatory fire. Haha.
Smoking decreases your lung capacity and destroys your health. I have always mentioned, once, to any patients who smoke, the best thing I could do for them beyond relieving their pain, would be to get them to stop smoking. I can’t emphasize that enough.
Around 30 percent of all heart disease deaths in this country are directly related to smoking. The Centers for Disease Control found not only does smoking affect almost every organ in the body, but it is responsible for almost 440,000 deaths a year, or nearly one of every five deaths. There are over 4,000 chemicals released into the air and close to 50 of them are known carcinogens. No one should breathe that.
Besides lost labor due to illness and death, healthcare for conditions related to smoking combine to a staggering cost of more than $175 billion a year. It is the leading cause of “preventable” death in the United States. It also effects circulation, skin, your voice, arthritis of the spine, osteoporosis and your children’s health.
In the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine a study found that second-hand smoke would kill approximately 6,200 children as a direct cause of their parent’s smoking. Will it include one of yours?
Babies have died due to low birth weights from a mother smoking during pregnancy, sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory infections, asthma and burns. Smoking has also been linked to behavioral problems in kids.
There is even a threat to kids known as third-hand smoke. Remember coming from Uncle Charlie’s house or the bar and wreaking of that cigarette smell? University of California researchers have found the smoke residue on clothes, skin, hair, car seats, carpet and more can be potentially dangerous for months, even though there has been no recent exposure of smoke. Walking on the carpet for instance, can send toxins back into the air and potentially enter the lungs and cause breathing problems like Asthma or worse, Cancer.
So if you can smell the odor of smoke in a house or car, it can harm your child, and you. Kids who slept in rooms of smokers had three times the level of nicotine in their body then those that slept in another room. Airing out the house is the only hope to reducing that smoky smell and some of the dangers.
When I hear a new patient say hello to the office manager I can usually determine if they are a smoker. The signs are visible and audible. You may not notice it but your voice can start to sound raspier than Demi Moore’s.
My parents recently quit. Now my father has had his share of heart problems and he was finally forced to quit smoking. I hope it’s not too late. I would like him to see my kids graduate from college. My mom just quit cold turkey after forty plus years. Another family member used Chantix to curb their cravings and it worked. Talk to your Medical Doctor and see if they can help guide you safely. Some people have found Acupuncture to help too.
I know quitting isn’t easy. Quitting causes weight gain because the drugs in the cigarettes increase your metabolism and keep you thinner. You also need to satisfy the oral fixation and tend to put food in your mouth.
When you notice your cravings creeping up like an unrelenting monster, try to chose nicotine laced lozenges or gum to curb your cravings. Crunchy foods without a lot of calories would be good like celery, cereal, carrots or almonds.
The effects on your lungs and your health are much more severe than 10 or 15 pounds you might gain. So to counter weight gain, go exercise and start eating more sensibly. You can quit. You can do this. For you and your family. You will even save a bunch of money. How much is a pack now, $8? You may choose to quit due to finances.
You also need family support. It isn’t easy to quit when another family member insists on continuing to smoke. You need their support and encouragement.
Get Ready For A Big Change
After your last cigarette, your lungs and heart will start to repair damaged tissue and your nose may smell food a little more distinctly. That’s in the first few days. Even before this your blood pressure will drop, poisonous gas levels will drop, body temperature will rise, nerve endings grow and your chance of a heart attack decreases.
After one year smoke-free, you will notice greater lung capacity, sinus changes and less coughing. Plus, your risk of developing heart disease is cut by one half. Beyond that, the risk of lung disease or cancer can be dropped in half after 10 years of quitting and heart disease is almost that of a non-smoker after being clean for 15 years. The sooner you quit, the sooner your body will start to repair itself. What are you waiting for?
The government has raised taxes and the prices of cigarettes so high that by quitting you could save enough money to pay for that new gym membership, a new game for the family, or boost your rainy-day slush fund.
It isn’t an easy task but I wish you the best of luck, and most importantly, health. Have a great week.
These topics come from my book, “Back At Your Best; Balancing the Demands of Life With the Needs of Your Body.” It is available in book and Kindle format at Amazon, www.BAYBBook.com and at my office.
Thank you to everyone who has email questions. If you have any type of personal health concerns or questions, feel free to email me at DrJay@BackAtYourBest.com. I will answer them in private or in this section in a week or two.
Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is the owner of Back At Your Best Chiropractic & Physical Therapy, LLC, which is located in the Wildewood Shopping Center. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1990, a Doctorate of Chiropractic (D.C.) from New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) in 1994 and he became a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT) in 2005.
Dr. Lipoff is an Executive Board Member, International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science; has a radio segment: Back At Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less, Co-Founder, Drug Free Training USA; Member, NY Strength-promoting the importance of physical conditioning; Board Member of Public Relations Committee, Maryland Chiropractic Association; has done over 15 nationally broadcasted radio interviews, has articles in print and referenced in over 100 print papers, magazine and on websites, President, Wildewood Business Network-promoting better business relations and community outreach.
* DISCLAIMER: THIS ADVICE AND ANY OPINIONS MENTIONED ARE THAT OF DR. JAY LIPOFF AND NOT OF THE BAYNET.
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