smoking

  1. New e-cig dangers

    I don't know a single smoker who hasn't tried to quit at some point. I'm sure you know some people like that.

    Maybe you smoke and you've tried to quit -- and failed -- yourself.

    If you're a smoker, it's the single biggest step you can take to improve your health. But there's one quitting strategy you definitely shouldn't try, and that's electronic cigarettes, aka  an "e-cig."

    I'm sure you've seen the ads for them. They're in magazines, on the radio, in mall kiosks and even on television as obnoxious celebrities spew nonsense about how e-cigs helped them to take back their "freedom," as if the freedom to kill yourself is somehow worth celebrating.

    It's not.

    The ads imply that smoking an e-cig is somehow safer for smokers and those who might inhale secondhand vapors, but that has never been proven.

    Dr. Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said e-cig vapor can contain metal particles so small they can pass into the bloodstream from the lungs.

    And if there's anything you don't want rushing through your bloodstream, it's metal particles -- because metals exposure can cause everything from chronic disease to brain damage.

    In addition, the "e-liquids" or "smoke juice" used inside e-cigs are so potent that just spilling a little on yourself could cause vomiting and seizures. It could even kill a child, according to another new report.

    Finally, some people also seem to believe e-cigs might help them to quit smoking -- but that's just not true.

    If anything, e-cig smokers are actually less likely to quit over the course of a year, according to the new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    So if you smoke, quit -- but don't do it with any tricks, gimmicks, or half-measures. And don't even waste your time with the so-called smoking cessation drugs, which come with big risks and don't even work for many people.

    Instead, go cold turkey -- statistically, still the single most successful long-term quitting strategy around. And if you have trouble fighting off the cravings, try hypnosis or acupuncture.

  2. 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.

  3. Smoking cigarettes damages mental health

    Smoking can cause depression, anxiety and more -- and new research confirms that quitting the habit can help chase these and other mood disorders away.
  4. Healthy Aging

    If you want to live longer and avoid major disease, stick to these five basic "clean living" habits.
  5. Vitamin E can undo the effects of tobacco

    Smokers who quit and take vitamin E supplements see bigger improvements in heart health than smokers who quit without taking the nutrient.
  6. Signs of stress can kill you

    Stress can be as bad for you as one of the worst habits of all: New research finds it can increase your heart risk to the same extent as smoking.
  7. Smoking can cause sudden cardiac death

    Women who smoke face up to triple the risk of sudden cardiac death of nonsmokers.
  8. Smoking cigarettes and early death

    We know smokers live shorter lives. Now, new research puts a number on it: Women who smoke die 10 years earlier than those who don't
  9. Study says Chantix is safe, here’s why it’s wrong

    The antismoking drug Chantix has been linked to depression, violence and even suicide – so don’t trust a new study that claims it’s safe for depressed patients.
  10. How secondhand smoke harms memory

    Tobacco isn't just bad for the smoker. New research finds that nonsmokers who inhale secondhand smoke perform worse on memory tests.
  11. Acupuncture and hypnosis proven to help quit smoking

    Acupuncture and hypnosis are proven to be more effective than patches, gums and even drugs at helping smokers to kick the tobacco habit.
  12. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can slash cancer risk

    There's another great reason to eat more seafood as the latest research shows how the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil can slash your risk of cancer.
  13. Nicotine may slow cognitive decline

    Could nicotine possibly be good for you? Short answer: Yes... sort of, and a new study shows again how the most addictive ingredient in cigarettes could help boost the brain.
  14. E-cigs cause lung damage

    If you're trying to quit smoking, you've got the right idea. But if you think smokeless "e-cigarettes" are a safer alternative or a tool to help you quit, your right idea is on the wrong track.
  15. Gimmicks won't help you quit

    There are plenty of gimmicks out there that claim they'll help you to quit smoking -- not to mention a couple of risky Big Pharma drugs. And just about none of them work.
  16. The next wave of cholesterol meds

    If you thought statin meds to lower LDL cholesterol were useless, you should see what they're cooking up next: drugs to raise your HDL levels.
  17. Risky business: Sleepless kids are bad news

    Kids who miss out on sleep aren't just groggy in school -- they're also far more likely to do all the things that give parents nightmares.
  18. The fastest way to boost your health

    Close to 50 million Americans can dramatically reduce their death risk by making one simple change right now -- and it won't cost a cent. In fact, it'll save you thousands of dollars a year. Despite that fact, most people can't (or won't) make that one simple change. You may have guessed by now that I'm talking about smoking -- more specifically, quitting smoking.
  19. 8 ways to reduce your dementia risk

    There's no surefire way to keep dementia at bay, but there are steps you can take to dramatically slash your risk -- including the following lifestyle changes you can make, starting today.
  20. The real reason for Prozac Nation

    Who's responsible for the antidepressant frenzy that's led to 10 percent of all Americans taking these dangerous meds? If you guessed shrinks, you're only partly right. Fact is, there's been a stunning rise in the number of non-psychiatrists dishing out mood drugs.

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