How To Stop Smoking Naturally

Smoking kills, damages sex appeal and performance, and harms the unsuspecting. Most smokers can't quit. Nicotine rivals heroin and cocaine addiction. But natural solutions work.

Okay, the bad news first:

Smoking kills a half-million Americans each year -- surpassing combined deaths from AIDS, car wrecks, homicides, suicides, drug overdoses, and fires. And if you're near a smoker, know that exhaled smoke particles are smaller and reach deeper into "second-hand" smoker's lungs.

The Innocent

Studies link smoking to miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Pregnant smokers increase their child's risk for attention deficit disorder (ADD), conduct disorders, depression, substance abuse, and lower intellectual achievement. Each year 4 million children fall ill from second-hand smoke.

Guys

Smoking contributes to impotence (decreases blood flow) and infertility (reduces sperm density and motility).

How You Look

Smokers look older and are 5 times more likely to develop deeper (and more) wrinkles. And smokers are more likely to go bald, prematurely gray, and develop periodontal disease.

Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke & Dementia

Smoking causes at least 20% of all heart disease deaths and 30% of all cancer deaths. Smokers in their 30s and 40s have 5 times more heart-attacks. Second-hand smokers have 25% more lung cancer. A pack a day doubles your risk for stroke -- oral contraceptives increases that risk. And smokers have over twice the risk for dementia, including Alzheimer's.

Osteoporosis & Incontinence

Women smokers have higher risk for osteoporosis; postmenopausal women have 50% more hip fractures. A study of 600 women revealed incontinence among smokers doubled.

Sight & Hearing Loss

Pack-a-day smokers have twice the cataracts and macular degeneration. Older smokers have 70% higher incidence of hearing loss.

GOOD NEWS

"The good news is that this addiction can be overcome, and that health benefits begin almost immediately," writes Dr. James Balch in Prescription for Nutritional Healing. And if you want it from someone who's been there, read Quit Smoking for Good by Andrea Baer. Baer, a former 2 pack-a-day smoker, tried to quit more than 50 times before finding success. Her book tells you what she learned and how to quit. Also recommended: No Ifs, Ands or Butts, The Smoker's Guide to Quitting by Krumholz and Phillips (Avery Publishing, 1993). Vaping is a newer, although more controversial way to quit, and with vape juice coming in flavors such as tobacco, some ex-smokers can enjoy the same nicotine buzz and tobacco taste in a less harmful way.

WHY IS IT TOUGH TO QUIT?

Nicotine impacts the brain like cocaine and heroin, producing pleasure from increased dopamine activity. Cigarettes relieve minor depression, suppress anger, mildly enhance concentration and sense of well-being. Ads show smokers enjoying life. Evidence of effectiveness? 86% of young smokers buy the most advertised brands -- Marlboro, Camel, and Newport.

WHAT HELPS?

Exercise, fresh fruits and vegetables (and fresh juices), vitamins, minerals, and herbs reduce cravings and irritation.

Spirulina and chlorella, low-fat and high-fiber foods speed detoxification and maintain energy.

Eat several leafy green salads daily, snack on fruits, vegetables, whole unsalted (preferably organic) nuts and seeds. Eating fish more than twice weekly limits tobacco damage. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, junk food.

Vitamin E (400-800 IUs) protects tissue and cell membranes.

Selenium (200-300 mcgs.) supports vitamin E and reduces cancer risk. Note: take one half-hour before or after vitamin C to optimize absorption.

Vitamin A reduces cancer risk and supports tissue health. Beta-carotene protects smokers against lung cancer.

Smoking depletes vitamin C. Take 500-2,000 mgs. 4Xdaily.

Zinc (50-80 mgs. daily) protects tissue, mucous membranes, and reduces toxicity. Balance zinc with copper (15:1 ratio), e.g., if taking zinc 60 mgs., take copper 4 mgs. (Note: Do not exceed 100 mgs. of zinc daily).

Smoking destroys B vitamins. B12 decreases cellular damage. B3 (niacin) opens circulation constricted by nicotine and lowers cholesterol. B5 (pantothenic acid), especially with vitamin C, protects against stress. Take folic acid (1-2 mg. daily). Choline nourishes the brain.

Coenzyme Q10 (200 mgs. twice daily) aids detoxification and protects your heart.

Magnesium and calcium calm nerves (minimum: 1 gram each).

Vitamins C (5-20 grams in divided doses) eliminates toxins and builds healthy tissue.

L-cysteine (amino acid) with thiamine and vitamin C protect lungs and reduce coughs. Glutathione, formed from L-cysteine, acts as an antioxidant.

Valerian and skullcap (herbs) calm nerves and reduce cravings.

Massage therapy speeds detoxification.

Homeopathy

Ask for Stop It Smoking by Natra Bio.

Aromatherapy

Nicotiana, Sagebrush, Angelica, Chamomile, Chaparral and Lavender help withdrawal and soothe frayed nerves.

Fasting

Want to get it over with as soon as possible? Consider a 5-day fresh juice fast (not bottled) to quickly remove nicotine. But fresh juices help even with food.

Hypnosis

Private sessions are effective. After an hour-long session and a follow-up, patients are taught self-hypnosis for home use.

Acupuncture

Entirely painless, it involves attaching 3 tiny staples to the edge of the ear. No side effects.

Nicotine Replacements

Some smokers quit with over-the-counter nicotine replacements. About 20% of patch-users quit after six months. Many prefer Nicorette gum because they can control the nicotine dosage, and chewing satisfies oral urges. One study found only 16% of those using prescription nicotine nasal sprays and cigarette-like inhalers (Nicotrol Inhaler) abstinent after a year.

COUNSELING & SMOKING PROGRAMS

Counseling or smoking programs improve success rates. The American Cancer Society (800-ACS-2345) and the American Lung Association (800-LUNG-USA) offer programs. Investigate hospital and self-help groups.

WHAT TO DO UNTIL YOU QUIT

If you're not exercising, start. Regular exercise reduces a smoker's heart disease risk (but not lung cancer or emphysema).

Follow previous recommendations. And don't quit quitting. Persistence eventually pays.

Tips

· Quit when there's limited stress for at least 3 days. Lost your nerve? Try again. Relapse among smokers, like any addiction, is common.

· Strong cravings? Take naps, warm baths or showers, meditate, read, walk, take valerian or skullcap. Drink plenty of water (speeds detox and maintains energy); eat fresh fruits and vegetables (and fresh juices), whole grains, and fiber-rich foods. Oral fixation? Munch carrots, apples, celery.

· Tell others you've quit; you'll be embarrassed if they catch you smoking. Pay someone if they catch you (enough to be a deterrent). Ask others not to smoke around you. Don't tempt yourself, associate with non-smokers.

· Change routines: eat many small meals (maintains energy, reduces withdrawal symptoms); sit in a different chair; rearrange furniture. End meals differently: play music; eat fruit; make phone calls. Frequent non-smoking places.

· Set short-term goals; reward yourself. Save cigarette money; buy something.

· Put butts in a glass jar with water. Note the dark oily liquid; think of your lungs.

· Weight gain? Try a weight-reduction program -- when comfortable, quit smoking.

Not Ready to Quit? Relapsed?

· Smoke only half cigarettes; postpone the first cigarette as long as possible.

· Follow previous recommendations. And DON'T GIVE UP.

BOTTOM LINE: Combining diet, supplements, exercise, counseling, homeopathy, aromatherapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, and massage works. Some include nicotine replacements. And remember: You CAN quit. Millions have.



Sources

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Quit Smoking for Good by Andrea Baer..

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James Balch, MD and Phyllis Balch, CNC.

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