William James once said, “All of our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” And the truth is that we are nothing more than a mass of our personal habits. Every habit has its own routine: cue, feeding the habit and reward. In terms of smoking tobacco, the cue could be anything from a morning coffee or evening drink, to a spike in stress levels or something that makes you angry. In the life of a smoker, any of these cues usually result in lighting up a cigarette. Of course, we then have to find a place where smoking hasn’t been banned yet. That’s the feeding – finding a place to light up. And the reward? We all know that. It’s the feeling of stress and anxiety washing away with each pull or simply enjoying the inhalation of nicotine with a drink. Over time this routine no longer involves a conscious decision; it has become a neurological craving.
We are constantly reminded of the numerous health effects of smoking. When walking a flight of stairs or engaging in other more strenuous physical activity, the question of quitting pops up in the mind of a smoker.
But what does it really feel like to quit smoking?
Continue reading “What Does It Feel Like To Quit Smoking?” »
Nicotiana tabacum, better known as cultivated tobacco, is the main plant species used in making cigarettes, cigars and other smokeable tobacco products. The plant contains numerous phytochemicals, the most prominent of which is nicotine. It binds with the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the body and leads to the release of dopamine and serotonin, among other neurochemicals. The release of these two organic chemicals work as neurotransmitters and are responsible for the feelings of pleasure and happiness, which helps to explain why tobacco is one of the most addictive and hard to quit substances known to man.
Second hand smoke – the most argued social danger of tobacco
Smoking tobacco imposes a lot of dangers – both social and health related. One of the most argued social dangers associated with smoking tobacco is second-hand smoke – a mixture of smoke from the burning end of the cigarette, that lingers in the air hours after the cigarette has been extinguished. Inhaling second-hand smoke can cause adverse health effects when done on a regular basis. Studies show that non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke either at home or work increase their risk of developing tobacco-related health issues.
Another major social issue related to smoking that does not get as much coverage – primarily because the public is so preoccupied with second hand smoke – is residential fires. In fact, a recent study from the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of California suggests that smoking tobacco is the leading cause of both residential fires as well as fire related deaths. Continue reading “Dangers of Smoking Tobacco – E-Cigarette Alternatives” »