What you should know about smoking and drinking | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

With pollution in food, air and water as well as the stressful state of emotions, one is bombarded repeatedly by hazards to optimum health and well-being.

Your daily concerns take center stage now.  Here are several options you may consider with regard to your possible addictions.

 Is there a quick way to kick the habit of smoking cigarettes?

It is called “butting out.”  You cannot stop the addiction unless there is sufficient motivation.

To begin with, you must know the facts:

Each time you take a puff, you are inhaling 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT.

In combination, these toxic substances create free radicals (or unstable molecules missing electrons).  Because these molecules are incomplete, they attack normal cells by stealing their electrons.  A chain reaction of damaged cells occurs. 

Enter antioxidants, which shield your cells from radical damage.  While they cannot promise a miracle defense, each vitamin and mineral has potency. 

This doesn’t give you the license to smoke, and then take a multivitamin supplement.  The best way to rehabilitate your life is to simply quit.  The anti-oxidant stars are vitamin C, E and B complex (beta-carotene).

How to quit smoking:

1. Declare it as your new non-negotiable reality.

2. Try nicotine gum or patches.  Nicotine replacement products are designed to wean the body from addiction gradually.  If this is the method you have chosen, then be aware that anything acidic will clear your body of nicotine faster.  The point of patches is to minimize nicotine withdrawal symptoms.  Go easy on orange juice, grapefruit and other acidic drinks.  (Reference:  Thomas M. Cooper, D.D.S. co-author of “The Cooper Clayton Method to Stop Smoking.”)

3. Join the wellness bandwagon by signing up for membership in health clubs/associations.  Smoking is the number one taboo.

4. Use a buddy system. Team up with a friend who has the same goal.  Make sure you check on each other’s progress.

5. Reward yourself. Set up an escalating series of prizes for yourself (depending on your budget, of course).


Month 1 – Cut down cigarettes from one pack to half or 50 percent

Prize:  One whole day at the spa

Month 2 – Reduce smoking by 75 percent

Prize:  Weekend stay in your favorite hotel

Month 3 – Zero smoking

Prize:  Trip to Paris or go on a Philippine island-hopping vacation for two weeks with the family.

Lifestyle habit

If I drink alcohol everyday, am I at risk for alcoholism?

Do you drink heavily?  Most doctors agree that a glass or two of wine daily is an acceptable lifestyle habit.  But beyond the limit of two servings, your habit could lead to alcoholism.  When you drink to overcome a withdrawal symptom, then this is a big red flag.  For example, after your second glass, you  crave for more.  The urge becomes greater after every drink.

A withdrawal symptom is nervousness or anxiousness.

Visit www.ncadd.org, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc.  Their self-test for alcoholism could guide you properly.  Questions may strike a familiar chord in you.

Do you drink heavily when you are depressed, disappointed, under pressure, or have had a quarrel with a loved one?

Has a friend ever spoken to you about your drinking problem?

Do you get into scandalous situations when you are drinking?

Recent studies have shown that light to moderate drinking may be considered safe, plus there is the health benefit of lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Others, though, should check if they are sensitive to yeast (because of the process of natural fermentation) and preservatives like nitrites (which may cause headaches).

Of late, experts have increased the maximum tolerable consumption to not more than three drinks for a woman and six for a man.  More than these numbers increases your risk for cancer and serious problems with the liver, brain and pancreas.

Something to ponder:

Brain researchers observed that every time alcohol is ingested, it causes the brain to convulse.  Alcohol causes tremors and seizures when taken in excessive amounts.

In Braindiseases Weblog, doctors cite the CAGE criteria:

C – Cut down.  Do you feel a need to cut back on your drinking?

A – Anger.  Do you ever feel angry and offended when someone brings up your drinking habits?

G – Guilt.  Guilty about your drinking? 

E – Eye-opener.   Is your drink your eye-opener each morning?

Should your drinking problem worsen, seek medical help.  It doesn’t hurt to see a therapist.  Alcoholism has often been related to emotional and psychological challenges.

Take charge by abstaining if you have strong will power.

Start eating and drinking nutritiously.

This week’s affirmation: “If I can will it, then I can do it.”

Love and light!

Next week:  Are you addicted to sex and drugs?

E-mail the author at coryquirino1@yahoo.com

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