Saturday, September 6, 2008

Top 12 Smoking Myths - I

About 2.4 million cases of tobacco-related cancers were diagnosed in the United States from 1999 to 2004, finds a recent study by the CDC. Lung and bronchial cancer make up for about half of these cases. Just as the harmful effects of smoking persist, so do the myths surrounding smoking, which often prevent smokers to quit.

Though there exist treatments and drugs for cancer, but it is a tough disease after all.

The following are the first 6 of the 12 most common myths about smoking.

Also find resources to help you quit at the end of the post.

Myth #1: Smoking is harmful only to the smoker: It's fallacious because inhaling second hand smoke is just as harmful if not more. And often it's tender kids who are the recipients of such smoke, which is even worse.

Myth #2: Smoking/chewing tobacco lowers blood pressure: This one's perhaps the biggest joke about smoking. The fact is the blood pressure can increase, and doctors often advise patients with high blood pressure to quit smoking.

Myth #3: Tobacco smoke uplifts your mood: (This myth is true!) Since, nicotine is a stimulant you might feel alert and relaxed (and happier, because of: see VJ Sleight's comment) but in fact as the effect wears off it can put you in a worse mood than you previously were in. In the long-run however, it might hurt you more because it can potentially wreck your health.

Myth #4: Tobacco chewing and Cigars are safer, because the smoke's not inhaled. Tobacco smoke is harmful, whether from a cigarette or a cigar. Chewing tobacco isn't safe either as those who chew, often get afflicted with oral cancers, etc.

Myth #5: "I can quit, whenever I want to:" This one presumes that it might be difficult for others, but not for the person herself. The fact is that it's tough for any one because Nicotine, the principal component is one of the most addictive substances around. However, the medical industry has devised many treatments that do make it easy for you get rid of the addiction.

Myth #6: Just a few cigarettes a day are fine: No they're not because only a couple of cigarettes have enough nicotine to harm you. And the addictive power of cigarettes makes it more likely that you'd crave for more of them.

Start off with the following resources:

In the US

In the UK
You might also want to browse through the Top 10 Tips To Stay Healthy

Watch out for the next post for the remaining myths...

5 comments:

VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting said...

Actually Myth #3 is true that smoking lifts up your mood--because nicotine fits into the receptors in the brain and releases dopamine which is the "feel-good" neurotransmitter. When a smoker says that they enjoy smoking, what they are really saying is that they enjoy the effect that nicotine has on their brain. When quitting, it is the lack of the cascade of dopamine that causes depression and negative feelings. this mood elevator is not to be confused with intoxication like alcohol or drugs because this is much more subtle. For free quitting tips visit: ww.StopSmokingStayQuit.blogspot.com
VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting, a former smoker, cancer thrivor and Tobacco Treatment Specialist

Fred Clay said...

Hi VJ Sleight,

Thanks for the correction, "smoking a cigarette" does lift up your mood as you explain. At the same time "smoking" per se can be a damper to your happiness via the harm it does to your health.

Fred

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