SMOKING CAN DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH ! SO IT SEEMS CAN SOME AIDS CLAIMING TO HELP YOU STOP

STOPPING THE ROT.

September 8 th 1988 ! That was the day I entered {again} my Doctor"s surgery with a request for antibiotics to fight a developing chest infection. The GP sighed as GP"S are wont to do in such circumstances and began to write out the prescription. As he did so he stated the obvious that it would not be long before I visited him again with the same request and that until I ceased to smoke the cycle would continue. Then he offered a challenge by throwing out the line that of course, it was inevitable because I was too addicted to stop ! As he hoped I bridled at the suggestion and he thrust home home his point by opining that £10 said I could not stop. Impulsively I took up the bet and, glad to say won it, and have never smoked since.

I refer to my personal story here, as later in this piece, I will tell how my wife won her personal battle with the dreaded weed, in context with revelations over this weekend that at least one aid to assist others to stop smoking may be as dangerous to the health of the user as the tobacco affliction they seek release from by using.

Recent years have seen great efforts made to both advise and warn people of the dangers of smoking. In the UK. The NHS spends millions annually to advise and warn people of the risks they run in smoking and offers a wide range of initiatives to help those who wish to cease the habit. The maths show that spending such large sums are well justified when set against the ongoing costs incurred in treating the many ailments that beset habitual smokers in later life.

Even so, despite all such efforts and continued increased taxes forcing up the cost to the consumers of tobacco products, smoking remains a cornerstone for far too many. Many it seems, would wish to give up but lack the determination and resolve so to do. Aids to assist these persons have mushroomed and indeed, many people try many of them, some with success but others without any benefit.

This takes us back to my wife as promised !

PERSONAL WILL THE KEY.

I MET MY WIFE IN THE 1980"S AND LIKE MANY OF HER TIME SHE WAS A COMPULSIVE SMOKER. LIKE OTHERS OF THAT ILK, SHE WAS IN DENIAL AS TO HER ACTUAL DEPENDENCE ON THE WEED AND IS NOW HORRIFIED TO THINK THAT SHE WAS CAPEBLE OF SMOKING UP TO 40 CIGARETTES DAILY.

When I ceased smoking in 1988, like many others, converted to a more sensible life path, I attempted to persuade my wife to shun the habit. I tried everything from coercion to patches all without success. Then, as 1998 bade us farewell, we celebrated New Year"s Eve with friends in a smoke filled pub until the year 1999 was well and truly commenced. That morning, I awoke first and saw my wife open her eyes, grimace, swallow briefly and then announce that she was never going to smoke again. This had been heard many times before of course, often in similar circumstances and as a result I took no heed of it at all. However, at various times as the day progressed she repeated the assertion and refrained for a whole day from reaching for the packet she always had handy. So one day became two, then three and so on, until I became aware that she was indeed serious. No anti-smoking aids of any type were involved. Simply, her personal will and resolve saw her through the difficult early days to a smoke free future. I am delighted to report that she is still a non smoker to this day and we live in a clear smoke free home.

These personal stories are apposite here to point out that both of us believe fervently that personal will is the plank and foundation upon which ridding oneself of an addiction is firmly based. At the same time, we are in favour of any aid, help or assistance that can be given to aid the weaning off process.

Thus, to this weekend and the revelation that one such aid may do at least equal harm to the user keen to cease smoking. For some time, we have seen advertisments for "E-cigarettes" as a healthier alternative to smoking.These, as the name implies are tubes which look just like a cigarette but contain no tobacco. Instead they consist of a cartridge which houses a liquid containing nicotine and which, battery driven, is turned into a vapour that the user inhales in the same manner as with tobacco smoke.The latter is as we all know contains carcogenic chemicals which afford the body harm, whilst the former is said NOT to contain these but to reproduce the other effects of normal smoking for the user.

It seems on the face of things, a good aid to weaning away from tobacco and is indeed, used by many at the moment. However, studies in Germany have highlighted the fact that like actual cigarettes, E-cigarettes can cause acute irritation to the respiratory system. Thus, in my own case they ,if used, would have continued to cause me like repiratory problems to those experienced through tobacco cigarettes.

Some Ametrican states now ban the use of the E- cogarettes, as in 2009 some reseach found traces of carcogenic sustances, albeit in lower concentrations than in tobacco cigarettes. Canada and Australia have also banned their use. The E-cigarettes are thus coming under closer scrutiny now and with good reason considering over 1 million are sold annually in the UK now.

Many of these are imported product and that is also a cause for some concern as they are not regulated under the provisions for tobacco products, nor are they classed as being medical products, and so bypass regulations that would apply if they were.

Currently my son"s mother in law is using such a device as she attempts to support her pregnant daughter who has, through her own will and commonsense being pregnant, has found the resolve she needed to stop smoking. Her mother will not take kindly to this news for sure, but it may be just the spur she needs to strengthen her own resolve. We remain certain that it is purely the will of the individual that can take addication away. That ,we feel covers all types.

I love a glass of red wine but decided, just to see if I could, to have a dry January. Aided by another chest infection which needed antibiotics, I am pleased to report success. Thus, resolve plus any type of harmless aid that suits you as an individual, is my formula to achieve the desired result. However, it does seem as if E-cigarettes are not the way forward for those seeking to cease smoking.If you are attempting to cease, my best wishes to you and the hope that above all you can find the personal gritty resolve that is needed. Believe me, it DOES get easier as the days and weeks go by if you stick at it.


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