Why is Smoking So Addictive?

Smoking is a very dangerous addiction, yet people can’t give it up easily. Find out why smoking is so addictive, what are the problems that result from smoking, what are the treatment methods for it, what the benefits of quitting are and much more about smoking here.

Smoking rushes nicotine to the brain and this is the fastest method of delivery; smoking also gives smokers precise control over their nicotine intake. Therefore, both ‘speed and control’ greatly enhance the addictive effect of nicotine on the brain. Smoking actually introduces nicotine to the pulmonary beds of the lungs from where nicotine is directly transported to the brain in seconds.

Nicotine mimics the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; it binds to and activates the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Once nicotine reaches the brain, it quickly spreads to the activated brain regions such as reward, memory and learning centers. These firing receptors cause the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and addiction. So, in order to maintain these dopamine levels, a person needs to smoke frequently. Smoking may actually maintain dopamine levels by reducing enzymes that break it down or by increasing the level of molecules that inhibit dopamine clean up.

Simultaneously, nicotine also influences other areas of the brain that control mood, energy levels and memory as well as cause long-lasting neurological changes. As a result, the brain gets used to a constant dose of nicotine and therefore when you stop smoking, you experience withdrawal symptoms. This also makes it a difficult habit to kick.

What is Passive Smoking and What Are the Risks?

Passive smoking can be defined as involuntary inhalation of secondhand tobacco smoke. This secondhand tobacco smoke is a mixture of smoke exhaled by active smokers as well as smoke released from smoldering tobacco, diluted with ambient air. Passive smoking generally occurs in closed environments, but open environments are equally prone. Passive smokers are also exposed to carcinogens and toxic components present in secondhand tobacco smoke.

Passive smoking can have serious effects on an individual’s health. The health effects of passive smoking are as serious and debilitating as smoking itself. The risks outlined below have been linked with passive smoking.

Cancer – About 3,000 cancer-related non smoker deaths are directly attributed to passive smoking each year.

Heart Diseases – Approximately 50,000 non smoker deaths occur from heart related issues and can be linked to passive smoking.

Respiratory Diseases and Problems – Second hand smoke causes higher rates of lower respiratory infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia. It is also a contributory factor for upper respiratory irritation and infections as well as decreased lung function.

Ear Infections – Passive smoking is accountable for an increased number of ear infections.

Low Birth Weight – Second hand smoke is responsible for 10,000 low birth weight births a year and is a major factor for many infant deaths.

Asthma – Second hand smoke is responsible for nearly 8,000 new cases of asthma annually.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – Passive smoking is related to nearly 2,000 cases of SIDS each year.

Still births – Passive smoking is also accountable for an increased risk of still births and spontaneous abortions.

What happens to your skin when you quit smoking?

Smoking is harmful and the dangers of smoking are serious. Tobacco smoke contains 43 cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds besides 400 other toxins that include nicotine and tar. Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco and tar congests the lungs, inhibiting normal breathing. Additionally, smoking causes lung and throat cancer, heart disease, emphysema, as well as bronchial and lung disorders.

Non smokers are also at risk of developing smoking related illnesses through passive smoking. A pregnant woman who smokes increases the chances of her baby dying from SIDS, being underweight and having behavioral problems. The world’s leading cause of death and disability, smoking-related illnesses cause 30 million deaths per year.

What Should one do If He Wants to Give up Smoking?

Giving up smoking is the most difficult thing. So, to give up smoking, you:

  • Must have the desire to give up smoking and create a strong will to avoid a smoking relapse
  • Must learn about the effects of smoking, understand its consequences and face the fact that you need to stop smoking and follow, finish and maintain a quit smoking plan

Once you have made up your mind to quit smoking, half the battle is won; because most smokers do not think about quitting. Smokers often try to quit more than once before they actually succeed. But continuing to try also needs grit and perseverance; it also shows how committed you are to the cause.

Once you have learned about the dangers of smoking, you will definitely feel more committed to quit. Learning about the health implications is enough to shock most people into quitting quickly.

You must prepare to quit smoking. You must distance yourself from friends, situations or places that compel you to smoke. Be surrounded by people who can help you with your initiative.

If you can’t quit cold turkey, don’t hesitate to use stop smoking aids like medications and NRTs. Most people are able to quit and stay quit with external help.

If you want to quit smoking and remain a quitter, you have to stay away from temptation and persistent nicotine cravings. ‘Slipping up’ will only lead to a relapse so keep yourself motivated to remain smoke free. https://selfchec.org/healthy-habits/stop-smoking/body-changes/

Tap Water vs Drinking Water – Which is better?

Do you drink tap water as your major source of drinking water? Many Americans do and thereby are saying it’s the best drinking water source for them. Is this a wise choice?

One of my clearest childhood memories is returning to the U.S. from the Congo, where I was raised. It seemed incredibly wonderful to be able to drink water directly from the tap. I was used to drinking only water that had been boiled and then filtered.

This blessing of quality tap water is both affirmed and cautioned by Rene Ebersole in her June/July article in National Wildlife, 2004, entitled, “Is Your Drinking water Safe?” She says,

“The quality of U.S. tap water rates better than what is found in most countries, but it doesn’t mean you should take it for granted. It’s clear, smells fresh, tastes good, but is it safe to drink?…Truth is American water supplies are some of the cleanest in the world. Still, it sure doesn’t hurt to be cautious.”

She goes on to recount the example of Washington, D.C. Less than a year previously, thousands of D.C. residents were informed that their tap water was tainted with dangerous levels of lead which could have serious effects on children if continued to be consumed. There was a scramble on the part of the city to get to the root causes, and a scramble on the part of the residents to buy drinking water filters. She goes on to say that there are three dozen other water systems in the U.S., most smaller communities, that have lead levels above the federal safety standard.

Erik Olson, Senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, puts us on guard by saying,

“Most Americans take it for granted that their tap water is pure and their water infrastructure is safe. They shouldn’t.”

Is Tap Water the Best Drinking Water for You?

The American Society of Civil Engineers released its “2005 Report Card” on America’s tap water. This was a report card prepared by 24 civil engineers representing a broad spectrum of civil engineering disciplines. They gave the nation’s water infrastructure a “D” and said that the drinking water itself had declined from a “D” to a “D-” in the past 4 years.
They said the federal funding in 2005 was $850 million, but that this was “less than 10% of the total national requirement.

Some studies estimate that as many as 7 million Americans become sick from contaminated tap water each year. This comes as a result of 1) aging pipes that break and bring in contaminants into the water and breed bacteria, 2) out of date treatment facilities that fail to remove 21st Century contaminants, and 3) such things as storm water run offs, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, industrial pollution, hazardous waste, and oil and chemical spills.

A report from the National Resources Defense Council found that the quality of drinking water in 9 major cities was a risk to the health of some residents, those most susceptible to disease as the elderly or small children. The cities with the poorest water quality were: Albuquerque, Boston, Fresno, Phoenix and San Francisco.

What Would It Take to Make Tap Water Fit for Drinking in America?

The deteriorating quality of tap water for drinking has no “quick fix” because it is rooted in a whole infrastructure that needs to be renovated and updated to respond to current kinds of pollution. It is estimated that to upgrade and restore the nations water system would cost between $230 and $500 billion. So far, this has not become a high priority in the U.S. budget. And even if the money were available right now, it would take many years to do the restoring and updating. We need to keep pushing for change, but also have alternate ways of purifying our drinking water in the interim.

The current threats of terrorism and chemical warfare add a new urgency to the need for updating and protecting our water infrastructure. David Ozonoff, professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health and an expert on waterborne illnesses says,

“We’ve figured out how to build very efficient water delivery systems, but these systems can either provide safe drinking water, or deliver poisons and harmful organisms into every home, school and workplace. One misstep can lead to disaster, so we must vigorously protect our water sheds and use the best technology to purify our tap water.”

What You Can Do to Improve Your Tap Water?

There is currently a debate over whether or not to drink bottled water or tap water? For many years most Americans drank their tap water. Then due to concerns over tap water there has been a massive movement on the part of Americans to drinking bottled water. Between 1999 and 2004, the global consumption of bottled water doubled. Americans lead the world in the consumption of bottled water.

However, many are taking a second look at the quality of bottled water. They have found that the quality of bottled water is in reality no better state, and sometimes worse, than tap water. In fact about a quarter of bottled water actually comes from taps and then sometimes treated additionally. The advertising industry has sold us a bill of goods with their pictures of glaciers and springs on the bottles and their vocabulary of “pristine” and “mineral” etc. So today there is a whole movement back to the tap!

This looks like a battle of words over “the lesser of two evils”. Why not take your tap water and pass it through a quality filter of the type you can trust and come out with a much better quality of drinking water, perhaps the best drinking water available. It has the added benefit of being able to filter out any added pollutants that could be used by an enemy force.

More info: https://www.optimizedlife.com/advantage-and-disadvantage-of-drinking-water/

Selecting The Best Menstrual Cup

With increasing awareness of the adverse effects that our lifestyles are having on the environment, many people aspire to reduce the size of their ecological footprint and change the way they live their lives. The use of washable menstrual cups (a.k.a. reusable menstrual cups) can be one of these environment-preserving changes. But, aside from being eco-safe, washable menstrual cups are also quite convenient.

A menstrual cup is a bell shaped cup which serves as a form of period protection. The cup is worn inside the vagina as a sanitary napkin and tampon alternative. Instead of absorbing menstrual fluids, the menstrual cup prevents them from leaking out of the vagina and stores fluids until a time when the wearer is ready to remove the cup.

The best menstrual cup have been known to hold at least twice as much fluid as an ordinary tampon which means that they can be used for at least twice as long without replacement or maintenance making them a popular tampon alternative for women with highly active lifestyles. In fact, menstrual cups are quite popular for women who travel and participate in endurance sports like marathons and triathlons.

Washable Menstrual cups are made from either latex or latex-free hypoallergenic silicone so that women with sensitive skin need not worry about irritation. These cups can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years barring a change in the size and elasticity in the wearer’s vagina for whatever reason. Sizes vary from 40mm to 45mm widths to 46mm to 55mm lengths with capacities of anywhere from 13ml to 30ml.

During menstruation periods, it is perfectly normal to simply rinse and reinsert the washable menstrual cup between uses. Though, it is also advisable to boil the entire cup in water afterwards. Some hypo-allergenic cleaning products, specifically engineered for washable menstrual cups which are usually sold by the same manufacturers.

More info here: https://www.yourmoontime.com/

Healthy Lifestyle For Your Family

Everyone wants a healthier lifestyle and be able to live a long life. Most folks know they need to eat less and exercise more, but to live a truly healthy lifestyle means so much more. Creating a healthy lifestyle means adopting a healthy nutrition regimen, moving your body as well as reducing stress and maintaining a positive outlook. While it may seem as if many changes need to be made to adopt a healthy lifestyle, there are some simple ways to begin your healthier regimen. Below, you’ll find three core tips to living a healthy lifestyle.

1. Create a healthy nutrition regimen. One of the biggest factors to living a healthy lifestyle is to adopt a healthy eating plan. Make sure to get in a good balance of protein, healthy fats and healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables each day. Reduce or eliminate the amount of processed foods, fast food and soda you consume in a day. The amount of “empty food” being consumed by people each day is staggering and should be reduced drastically or eliminated completely. Eliminating these alone and committing to eating more fresh, whole foods would easily help to increase health and induce weight loss. It’s also important to make sure your body is fully hydrated. Water will not only support your metabolism in weight loss but will also aid in your body’s absorption of essential nutrients.


2. Moving daily has to also be a commitment in a healthy lifestyle or weight loss plan. This doesn’t mean everyone has to run out and join a gym, it simply means people need to move more – whether it’s walking, hiking or swimming. Getting out and moving not only helps improve your body it also helps improve your mind and this is the key piece to a successful Weight Loss plan. We are living in a time starved world and most people have very busy lifestyles which means we are moving less. Moving your body not only helps you burn calories but also helps lubricate the joints and challenges your balance.

3. Think positive and reduce stress. Creating a healthy lifestyle is about focusing on gratitude and being committed to positive thinking. This has long been associated with folks who live a healthy life. Stress and negative thinking leads to the production of cortisol which leads to weight gain. In addition, having a more positive attitude leads to a healthier immune system. Your body responds to what your brain tells it, so it is important to constantly feed your body the message that it is healthy and happy. Pretty soon you start to believe it as your mind and your body become more fit. You will soon notice that everything starts to fall into place. You begin to sleep better because you are exercising more and you are eating better because you feel better.

Exercise, eating right and a positive attitude are what is needed to live that healthy lifestyle you always wanted. Start taking steps toward your healthy lifestyle today. Remember to set attainable goals, take baby steps toward your new healthy regimen and make sure your new healthy plan fits into your lifestyle. For more info: larepublica.es