how to quit smoking

  1. Secondhand smoke can damage arteries in children

    Another reason to quit smoking

    Do it for the kids.

    If you won't quit smoking for yourself, do it for your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- the ones around you now, and the ones who may be yet to come. Smoking and secondhand smoke may be more dangerous than you think.

    Smoking won't just shorten your life and deprive these children of precious time with a beloved relative.

    It can also have a direct and damaging effect on their health, too.

    It's the notorious secondhand smoke, and I'm sure you've already heard plenty about the risks to everyone around you, from family members in your home to strangers at the bus stop.

    Now, new research confirms that this secondhand smoke is especially damaging to children.

    And the more they're exposed, the higher the risks.

    Children in homes where both parents smoke have thicker arteries. By the time they reach adulthood, their carotid intima-media thickness is 0.015 millimeters thicker than that of kids in homes where parents don't smoke.

    This may not sound like a very big number. It's less than the width of a human hair.

    But it's real damage -- equivalent to 3.3 extra years of aging -- and it's the type of damage that can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke years later.

    Even worse, it's permanent damage.

    The effect was only seen in kids who live in homes where both parents smoke. But don't be fooled; even if only one person smokes in your home -- even if there's a child in your life that doesn't live with you but visits -- secondhand smoke can do real and lasting harm.

    There are more than 250 damaging compounds in each puff, including 50 known carcinogens.

    In addition, kids who grow up with smokers are more likely to smoke later and more likely to have other bad habits. They're also more likely to be obese, according to the study in the European Heart Journal.

    So if you smoke or have a loved one who smokes, don't delay. Quit.

    And if you need some help kicking the habit, I recommend proven natural drug-free therapies such as acupuncture and hypnosis.

  2. The dangers of e-cigs

    The dangers of e-cigs

    If you're starting the year off with a promise to quit smoking, you're starting the year off right. But if you think "e-cigs" will help, you may have the right idea... but you've got the wrong approach.

    Despite what the marketing might lead you to believe, electronic cigarettes haven't been proven to be safer than regular cigarettes -- and they haven't been proven to help people quit.

    According to new research on the dangers of e-cigs, they might actually be more addictive and more risky.

    Turns out that when people puff on an e-cig they inhale more deeply and puff more frequently than they do when they smoke normal cigarettes, according to the study conducted by researchers from New York University.

    That means more nicotine... and more chemicals.

    And that's not the only way e-cigs could be worse for you.

    Unlike normal cigarettes, which burn out and require you to light another one to keep smoking, e-cigs can keep going and going. A single cartridge has about as many puffs as two to three packs of cigarettes.

    But since you never have to stop to pull out another cigarette and relight, you may not realize how much you're smoking taking in more nicotine which is one of the dangers of e-cigs.

    E-cigs may not even be as safe for bystanders as advertised. While the makers claim e-cig emissions are harmless water vapor, a second new study shows these clouds still contain potentially harmful levels of nicotine.

    The best way to quit smoking isn't with e-cigs, and it's certainly not with drugs. Smoking cessation drugs come with risks ranging from weird dreams to dangerous, violent and even suicidal behavior. (Get the ugly truth here.)

    Instead, go cold turkey -- the one approach with the highest long-term success rate.

    If you need a little help, don't turn to nicotine patches and gums. Try acupuncture and hypnosis, both of which have been shown to help ease the cravings and improve your chances for success.

  3. Heart-healing benefits of quitting smoking

    The heart can heal itself from the damage of smoking twice a fast as anyone thought, according to new research.

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