quit smoking

Quit smoking

Quit smoking easily
quit smoking infographic aipctshop

Start Stopping: Expert offers practical approach to quit smoking

We talked with the Tobacco Consultation Services for U-M’s M-Healthy Program, about kicking the addiction.

Q: How do you respond to people who think that because they already have cancer, there’s no point in quitting?

A: The research shows two things: First, people who have any type of cancer who quit smoking have better quality of life. Inflammation in the lungs decreases, allowing more oxygen to flow, which helps with fatigue. Second, if you look at studies examining the effects of lung cancer treatment, regardless of whether it’s chemotherapy, surgery or radiation, life expectancy is longer for those who quit smoking.

Q: How do you know when you’re ready to stop smoking?

A: People who are addicted to a substance are never going to be 100 percent ready to quit. We tell people it’s OK to love smoking and to want to continue to enjoy it, but if there’s 51 percent of you that recognizes it’s not good for you and you don’t want to smoke, then it’s time to start quitting.

Q: What do you mean by “start quitting”?

A: The average smoker makes nine to 11 quit attempts before becoming an ex-smoker. It’s important to realize you’re not weak if you’ve tried a couple times and haven’t been successful. Nicotine is a real addiction; staying off it requires management similar to any chronic disease. The only failure in quitting smoking is when a person quits trying to quit.

Q: What kinds of medications are available to help?

A: Nicotine replacement in the form of patches, gums, lozenges or inhalers can help prevent symptoms of withdrawal without exposing a person to the 4,000 other chemicals in cigarettes. Other options are Chantix, which blocks nicotine receptors in the brain, or the antidepressant Zyban, which has been shown to stave off cravings.

Q: Why would someone need an antidepressant to help quit?

A: The nicotine in cigarettes, sadly, serves pretty well as an antidepressant. And studies have shown that 45 percent to 55 percent of smokers may have an underlying depressivedisorder they’re self-medicating with nicotine. Smoking becomes a coping mechanism: “I feel bad, but when I smoke a cigarette, I feel better.”

Q: So it may become a way to cope with a cancer diagnosis then, too?

A: Guilt is a nasty emotion, and it’s something that can get in the way of the quitting. It’s very easy for people to get caught in a cycle of “I did this to myself, so why should I quit smoking?” But it’s a matter of learning to deal with the negative aspects of life the way nonsmokers or ex-smokers deal with them. Instead of a cigarette, maybe you seek out a friend to talk to or learn to meditate.

Q: Smoking is often social. How do you handle couples where only one person wants to quit?

A: There needs to be some negotiation between the person trying to quit and the person still smoking to make sure both feel like the other is being respectful. Maybe you create smoking and non-smoking areas in your home, or you agree never to offer cigarettes to someone trying to quit.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for ways to cope with triggers that cause someone to crave a cigarette?

A: It’s not uncommon for me to have someone come into my office and say, “I’m ready to quit and I’m going to exercise instead.” Well, if you smoke a pack a day, it’s estimated that you spend about three hours and 20 minutes on smoking or smoking-related behavior; very few people are ready to exercise that much. It’s important to develop a new menu of behaviors to replace smoking. Adjusting the daily routine is important, too. If you’re used to reading th morning paper with a cigarette, maybe sit in a different chair or take a shower first instead.

Q: Finally, if people you love smoke, how do you encourage them to stop?

A: Motivation has to come from inside. Lectures and guilt trips don’t work, and if anything, may cause a smoker to become more entrenched in the habit. For some, money may be a motivator: a pack-a-day smoker could save over $2,000 a year on cigarettes. Get them to start talking about what they want for the future; try to help them see that smoking won’t help them achieve those goals. Most importantly, tell them how much you love them and that you’re there to support them when they’re ready to quit.

Natural Acne Cures: Homemade Acne Remedies and Treatments

We’ve all suffered from Acne at some point in our life, it is one of the world’s most troublesome and annoying problems we face.  But it is a problem that can be dealt with without having to buy the thousands of various commercial brands of skin care products that are expensive and do little more then natural cures.

We all know what Acne is, Acne Vulgaris is a common skin condition that results in painful outbreaks on the skin that can last for a long time, from blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and more, it is a result of the sebum clogging up the skin pores.  The physical effects are not life threatening but the emotional affects, self esteem, depression that results in acne break outs is debilitating at times.

Papaya is one of the hottest ingredients in facial cleaners today for a good reason, the benefits to the skin from Papaya go back centuries and continues to be one of the most reliable remedies for skin problems.  An enzyme found in papaya called Papain reduce inflammation and promotes healthy skin.  Get one papaya, cut in half, remove the seeds, spoon the fruit out and mash it up.  Apply the mashed papaya to the face and let it sit for 15 minutes, rinse off the mask with warm water.  .

Baking Soda:  One of the most common items found in almost every home due to it’s 100’s of uses and acne treatment is just one of them.  Sodicum bicarbonate acts by alkalizing the skin neutralizing the acidic pH where irritation occurs or increase pH acidity where the skin is too alkaline.  So this balancing act relieves inflammation and irritation but is also antiseptic to combat the bacteria of acne.  Prepare by adding baking soda with warm water, until the mixture becomes firm enough that it won’t break but can still spread on the skin.  Apply to the face and let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash off.

Apple Cider Vinegar:  One of the most powerful natural remedies for Acne and available world wide.  The natural anti bacterial properties help treat acne as well as balancing out the skin’s pH levels so it makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow on the skin.  As it will dry out the skin do not apply too much.      1 part Apple Cider Vinegar to 1 part clean water at 1:1 ratio, dip a cotton ball into the solution and apply a small amount to the affected area, leaving it on for 10 minutes or overnight.  Wash the area when finished.  If the skin is getting too dry use a moisturizer after washing off the apple cider vinegar.
Avocado is a powerful antioxidant that can help treat acne naturally.  It is used commercially in multiple over the counter acne treatments but you can make the same at home.  Further there are a multitude of ways to use Avocado such as mixing with honey, egg whites and oatmeal, to using it alone.  A simple mix is to open the avocado in half and scrape the flesh into a bowl mashing it until it becomes pasty.  You can add at this stage other ingredients like egg whites or oatmeal or honey or all.  Apply to your face as a face mask, let sit for 15 minutes, wash off.
Lemon Juice is another product that helps relieve the inflammation and helps fight the bacteria that causes acne.  Many of todays expensive skin care products contain this simple natural product because the acidic content of the lemon is an astringent that helps the pores close and leads to blemishes drying up.  Generally you can see positive results in a day or two.   But if you have darker skin avoid using lemon juice because the use of lemon juice on darker skin can cause pigments to appear.  Mix 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice 1:1 to 1 tablespoon of water.  Apply to the acne with a Qtip or cotton ball, let it sit for 10 minutes, wash off.

Garlic has antibacterial properties as well and contains a lot of antioxidants to repel free radicals.  Crush up 2 cloves of garlic and add 1 or 2 tablespoon of water and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Apply the mixture to the affected areas.  Let it sit for 10 minutes, wash off.

Tea Tree Oil has been used for a variety of health issues such as unclogging pores and removing excess oil to treat existing acne and prevent further outbreaks due to it’s natural antibacterial properties.  First obtain some tea tree essential oil, water, and if you like some aloe vera gel.  Mix tea tree oil to water at a 1:9 ratio.  Using a dropper is best, 1 one drop of tea tree oil to 9 drops of water. Dip a Q tip or cotton swab and apply the mix to the affected areas.  You can alternately mix tea tree oil with the aloe vera gel and apply to the affected areas.

Essential Oil mixes and blends, while Tea Tree Oil is one of the more famous, we strongly encourage the use of natural essential and herbal acen products over commercial available over the counter products.  Essential oils are natural and effective where as what we buy in the stores has chemicals to extend shelf life and other additives that can cause more problems then good.  If the above solutions do not work for you then you might want to try giving some other essential oil mixes a try.  If those do not work, then most likely most store bought products will not aid you also.

In that case then it might be time to see a dermatologist and look at a more professional treatment of retinoid gels and creams and possibly Accutane / issotretinoin.

Acne is a problem that can go away! Sure, there are hundreds of commercial brands of cosmetics and skin care products that are available in stores, but most of them prove to be expensive or end up having meager results in treating acne. Aside from that, it’s also often that we hear about the terrible side effects of some of these skin care products that prove to be more of a liability than what they’re worth.