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How long have you been a smoker? While having that cigarette can be immensely satisfying at the moment, we know that a temporary nicotine fix is the only benefit. Cigarettes are detrimental to our health, the health of those around us, and are quite expensive.

Are you ready to clean up your act and save money? Here are four ways you can become a non-smoker today, no matter how long you’ve been smoking.

1. Cold Turkey.

“Just stop smoking.” It sounds outrageous, but this has been the method that has worked for thousands of people for the past century. Certain motivational programs have you set a date to quit and stick to it. You remain aware of when it is you’re most likely to want to smoke and distract yourself during these times.


The most difficult part is making it through withdrawal. The symptoms can be more intense, considering you’ve stopped all nicotine consumption at once. The effects one may feel include irritability, anxiety, depression, dizziness, headaches, and weight gain, to name a few.

2. E-Cigarettes.

Cigarettes are much more than just nicotine. In the average tobacco cigarette, you’ll also find carbon monoxide, ammonia, acetone, toluene, and more. These, along with the literal burning tobacco entering your lungs, are arguably more damaging than nicotine alone. Therefore, many simply use vaporized nicotine in a device like the Smok Stick V8.

E-liquid is placed inside of a chamber – usually a tank – and heated by a Li-Ion battery. This produces the nicotine vapor you inhale. The biggest advantage is that you can control the amount of nicotine you get, choosing liquids with specific concentrations which allow you to reduce dependency. You can even vape for the hand-mouth satisfaction after you’ve eliminated nicotine if that helps keep you “clean”.

3. Medications and Other Nicotine Replacements.

For some, the hand-mouth action provided by e-cigs is too tempting. They’ll remain very attached to the action, which means they’ll think nothing of resorting to a tobacco cigarette when their electronic device falters or is otherwise unavailable.

That’s why a nicotine patch or gum may be a better option for them. These provide specific amounts of nicotine to satiate the smoker, with patches typically being part of a step-down program to reduce dependency. Medications, which inhibit nicotine receptors in the brain, can also eliminate dependency, but come with many side effects.

4. Hypnosis.

It won’t work for everyone, naturally, but people who are highly suggestible have some success through hypnosis. This method may be best for smokers who already despise cigarettes, but need that message to sink into their minds a little deeper.

The goal of anti-smoking hypnosis is to access the subconscious. It helps to identify the underlying cause or trigger that leads one to smoke. From there, we can change the way we view cigarettes, absorbing the subconscious message that tobacco is poisonous and undesirable.

Stop spending your money on harmful chemicals, and say goodbye to hacking coughs, yellow fingernails, and bad breath forever. Reduce your risk of deadly disease and clean up the air around you with one of these four methods. If you find that one method isn’t effective in breaking your addiction, try another. With persistence, you can join the one-million-plus people who kick the habit every year.

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While there has been great progress in reducing the number of teen smokers in the past decade or so, the figures are still stark. As many as 5.6 million American youngsters will suffer from an early death due to an illness caused by smoking and tobacco. It’s an enormous figure, and begs the question: why are they still using cigarettes?

There are many factors at play, here. For many people, becoming a teen is the start of a process of experimentation. But it is also a period of life where issues such as self-esteem and stress start occurring. There is the peer pressure factor, too – which still has a strong effect on teenagers who want to fit in with their friends.

We’re going to look at all the factors that are affecting teenage and young adult decision-making when it comes to starting smoking. With so many avoidable illnesses still on the horizon, it is vital to shed some light on the reasons why. Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons teenagers start smoking.

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Becoming adults

One of the biggest reasons teens start to smoke is simply because they are becoming adults. The older you get in your teen years, the more likely you are to smoke or use tobacco products on a regular basis. There is a slight discrepancy here in that younger adolescents are more likely to try smoking. However, as youngsters grow into their late teens, these one-off experiences are more likely to develop into a habit.

Addiction

As everyone knows, nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. It makes perfect sense, then, that the earlier a teenager starts smoking, the more likely they are to form a habit in the later teen years. The stark facts are that the tobacco industry targets these people as they make up the vast majority of customers. Around 90% of all people who smoke started out as an adolescent. Clearly, if people can delay starting using tobacco and other products until they become a young adult, there will be fewer smokers.

Genetic disposition

On the subject of addiction, it’s vital to understand people have a genetic disposition for enjoying substances. The drug affects people’s brains in different ways, and there is evidence to suggest that some are more likely to become an addict than others. It might be worth talking to your doctor if there are addicts in your family, as there may well be a genetic cause underpinning all of it. While there is no single addiction gene, research shows that some genes have causal links. For example, the A1 allele of the dopamine receptor gene DRD2 is more common in people with cocaine and alcohol addictions. Similarly, there are protective genes. The CYP2A6 gene, for example, can cause people to feel nausea and dizziness from smoking.

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Cultural background

Your cultural background also has a big impact on the chances of you starting to smoke in your teen years. White adolescent males are more likely to start smoking than their black or Hispanic contemporaries. Conversely, black teens are more likely to start using other tobacco products such as cigars. But, it’s multi-ethnic people with a mixed heritage that are the largest demographic of teen smokers.

Weight issues

Weight issues are a serious problem for adolescents. They often result in concerns about body image, and can lead to conditions such as bulimia and anorexia. However, there is a widely held notion that smoking can suppress appetite. So, it’s no surprise that many teens use this as a method of combating weight problems. Again, it’s a clear sign that other psychological factors are in play when it comes to teens smoking and developing an addiction.

Mixing e-cigs and real cigs

As any e-cig or vaping guide will tell you, e-cigarettes are a fantastic way to give up smoking. However, the benefits of moving from tobacco to e-liquid are lost when real cigarettes are still in use. While many teens are using e-cigarettes as a substitute for smoking, others are using it in combination. And, there is increasing evidence that some teens are starting to vape, despite not being a smoker. The result is an enormous spike in nicotine addiction amongst teens. And, there is a concern that it could lead to the rate of teen smokers rising for the first time in several decades.

Peer pressure

As we mentioned in our introduction, peer pressure is an enormous factor when addressing why teenagers smoke. The simple fact is that as teens explore who they are, they are drawn to others with similar interests. They want to fit in, too, so will often make choices based on peer pressure in an attempt to be part of the group. While most will not continue smoking beyond a certain point, there is still a high percentage of teen smokers that will carry on into adulthood.

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Lack of physical impact

Teenagers see the same health warnings we all see. The pictures of black lungs, the terrible teeth, and all the other disturbing imagery that we associate with smoking. The problem is, teens are all too aware that these examples are all from much older people. And, given that the teenage body can handle the effects of smoking a lot better than older folks, they have a sense of invincibility. Adolescents don’t believe they will suffer from addiction and think they can quit at any time. It is likely they still feel the same twenty years down the line.

Lack of further education

Young people who don’t go to college are more likely to smoke than those that do. It is unclear why this is, although an interest in self-development is likely to be among the primary causes. There is also an issue with young people’s parents’ educations. Unqualified adults are more apt to raise teen smokers than those who go to college and university.

Exposure to stressful events

Young people who have been exposed to high levels of stress as a child are more likely to start smoking when they reach the teenage years. In fact, there is a good chance this pivotal event could occur by as soon as they hit the age of fourteen. Witnessing violence at close hand, or being the victim of abuse of any form can often be the driver for your teens. However, factors such as parental separation or mental health problems can also contribute.

Risk taking

Of course, the teenage years are all about becoming adults, while still retaining a sense of youthful immortality. It’s no secret that having access to all kinds of substances – and the freedom to explore them – is a big draw for teenagers. This, combined with the likelihood of taking more risks, is a potent cocktail that can often lead to early nicotine addiction.

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The nature of nicotine

While smoking causes many people to feel ill, the effects can start to subside quickly. As the body gets used to inhaling, teenagers will start to feel the ‘buzz’ of smoking. The trouble is, these effects do not last for a long time, and the reward feeling disappears after a few minutes. It is the nature of nicotine that causes people to reach for the cigarettes again and again. Plus, there are symptoms of withdrawal to contend with, which can manifest a lot stronger in a young person’s brain. By their nature, teens can be irritable, lack the ability to concentrate, and have disturbed sleep patterns. Nicotine withdrawal can make all of these typical teen problems even worse. It makes sense, then, for teens to smoke when it appears to be a cure for their ails.

The element of cool

Despite the clampdown in cigarette adverts, many teens still feel that smoking is a match for their rebellious natures. They don’t have to look far for inspiration. Plenty of iconic photos from years and decades gone by still have a cultural impact – and many of them feature smoking. There is still an allure that cigarettes are cool and alternative for many teens. Think James Dean and the constant stream of rock stars puffing away like chimneys. Picture the sultry look of a celebrity with a cigarette hanging loosely from their lips. It is often a better advert for tobacco companies than they could ever hope for.

Conclusion

As you can see, many different factors encourage teens to start smoking. While most will give up before they become adults, many do not. And, the volume of people that will die from related illnesses is still far too high. While the rise of e-cigarettes is helping older people quit tobacco products, it is unclear if the same is happening with teenagers. In fact, it could well be exacerbating nicotine addiction – and the health impacts are yet to be known. In an ideal world, we would all be able to ward off our children from starting to smoke. The best we can do is furnish them with as much knowledge as we can. Good luck!

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Amal Alamuddin reportedly quit smoking after she started dating George Clooney.

Amal Alamuddin’s decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle comes as no surprise, as George previously admitted he is “a big non-smoker”.

Amal Alamuddin reportedly quit smoking after she started dating George Clooney

Amal Alamuddin reportedly quit smoking after she started dating George Clooney (photo AFP)

While promoting Good Night, and Good Luck in 2005, George Clooney told Interview magazine: “My grandparents back in Kentucky owned a tobacco farm. So to make money in the summer we could cut and chop and top and house and strip the tobacco. It sure made you not want to smoke.”

The actor added: “You know I had 10 great aunts and uncles on my father’s side, and six of them died of lung cancer. Rosemary [George Clooney’s aunt] died of lung cancer, too, and she had emphysema. Both of my grandparents died of lung cancer. So I got quite a lesson in the payback later in life of smoking, and if you keep it up how bad it can be. “

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The definition of addiction is not always agreed upon among professionals. In general it would be any type of behavior that becomes compulsive and interferes with an individual’s daily life. Building a tolerance and needing more of whatever activities or substances are being used is often a substantial element of addictions. Finally, losing control over the behavior is the hallmark of an addiction. The following are 10 prevalent addictions affecting men in the United States and all 10 addictions have available treatment support in rehabs for men.

Alcohol
Men are twice as likely as women to be addicted to alcohol. It also takes men approximately five years longer than women to seek help for an alcohol addiction.

Top-10-Male-Addictions

Smoking
According to the CDC approximately 20 percent of men in the United States smoke cigarettes. The number of men who smoke by age group is fairly evenly divided.

Drugs
While drug addiction covers a wide range of prescription and street drugs, the most commonly abused drug is marijuana. Painkillers appear to be the prescription drug of choice for men and women.

Gambling
Between 15 and 20 million adults have a gambling problem. The majority are men. Research indicates that men tend to be “action” gamblers, preferring games like poker that take a certain amount of skill. Women, however, are more likely to be “escape” gamblers and participate in games based on luck.

Pornography
Studies have revealed that the same brain changes that occur in drug addicts occur in those addicted to pornography. Men between the ages of 18 and 24 make up the largest percentage of men using pornography on a regular basis.

Cell Phone
Nomophobia is the official term for anxiety if there isn’t access to mobile technology. Nearly 47 percent of men have two phones. If a guy constantly checks his phone before getting out of bed each morning or can’t get through the first course in a restaurant without texting, there may be a problem.

Work
This is a tough addiction to pinpoint since a hardworking man is often viewed as successful. About 25 percent of American men work more than 50 hours each week. While working long hours is not necessarily a problem, when it interferes with health or personal relationships it may qualify as an addiction.

Sex
Sex addictions are not the same as addictions to pornography. One is primarily living in a fantasy world while the other is actually having sex with another person. About 8 percent of men in the United States suffer from this affliction.

Internet/Social Media
While online addictions are often connected to other addictions such as porn and gambling, constantly visiting places like Facebook and Twitter can also become a problem. Men may be especially susceptible to social media addiction because it’s an easy way for them to connect to others while still remaining disconnected on a certain level.

Food
Yes, men can struggle with food addictions, though usually not as much as women. Like so many other addictions, the release of dopamine in the brain is the driving influence behind this behavior.

While women’s addictions seem to be more severe, men are more likely to become addicts. Men are also less likely to seek help for their addictive behavior.

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According to researchers at King’s College London, smoking “rots” the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning.

A study of 8,800 people over 50 showed high blood pressure and being overweight also seemed to affect the brain, but to a lesser extent.

Scientists involved said people needed to be aware that lifestyles could damage the mind as well as the body.

Their study was published in the journal Age and Ageing.

Researchers at King’s College London were investigating links between the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke and the state of the brain.

Data about the health and lifestyle of a group of over-50s was collected and brain tests, such as making participants learn new words or name as many animals as they could in a minute, were also performed.

They were all tested again after four and then eight years.

Researchers at the King's College London found that smoking rots the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning

Researchers at the King’s College London found that smoking rots the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning

The results showed that the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke was “significantly associated with cognitive decline” with those at the highest risk showing the greatest decline.

It also said there was a “consistent association” between smoking and lower scores in the tests.

One of the researchers, Dr. Alex Dregan, said: “Cognitive decline becomes more common with ageing and for an increasing number of people interferes with daily functioning and well-being.

“We have identified a number of risk factors which could be associated with accelerated cognitive decline, all of which, could be modifiable.”

He added: “We need to make people aware of the need to do some lifestyle changes because of the risk of cognitive decline.”

The researchers do not know how such a decline could affect people going about their daily life. They are also unsure whether the early drop in brain function could lead to conditions such as dementia.

Before you put your house on the market, it is advisable to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Today is a buyers market and they can pick and select which is the best property and demand lower prices.

Change the way you think, see selling a home is rather like entering a competition where the best presented home wins.

The smell of tobacco and a home owner smoking during a viewing will without a shadow of doubt put people off buying a home. Even hardened smokers don’t like a house to smell of smoke. Do not underestimate the negative affect it may have on a potential buyer, houses with smokers are harder to sell and that’s the bottom line. Smoking yellows the paintwork and embeds into the carpets and walls. Discarded cigarettes in a garden makes a home feel used and tired. Families will not want to bring their children up ion house that has suffered from smoking.

The fact is when a home becomes harder to sell for any reason the home owners has to face the fact that they may have to reduce the asking price. It may well be that a smokers home is harder to sell and therefore this will have to be reflected in the price. Once more when a non smokers buys a house from a smoker they may feel that carpets and redecorating are necessary and may use these facts to negotiate the selling price.

Smoking does not sell houses

Smoking does not sell houses

Selling a home does not require making major improvements such as adding a conservatory or refitting the kitchen, these features are unlikely to add as much value to your house as you might think. Even redecorating should only be done if absolutely necessary, as it will take time and money, and the new owners taste is unlikely to be the same as yours.

It is actually the small touches which make a difference and which will make your property stand out from the rest. Firstly the parking and garden area should be neat and tidy, as this is the first impression that the prospective buyer will get of the house.

 

Household Insurance for Smokers

When you apply for home owner’s insurance, one of the questions that you’ll be asked is whether or not you (or any family member) is a smoker. If you’re a non smoker, most home owner’s insurance policies will give a discount of 10%.

As with all insurance, policy premiums are determined through studies on the risk factors that certain groups of people exhibit. Those that are found to be part of a riskier group usually have to pay more money for the same amount of insurance. Studies show that homes owned by smokers are more likely to have home owner’s insurance claims against them than non smokers.

1. Smokers burn down houses. There are over 20,000 residential fires a year caused by cigarettes. Since smokers are the ones that have cigarettes, the act of smoking increases the risk that a house will burn down.

2. Smokers tend to have riskier overall habits than non smokers. These riskier habits can lead to more home owner’s insurance claims than non smokers.

3. Because smokers need matches or lighters for their habit, this means that children in the house are likely to have more access to these than children living in houses with non smokers. This increases of an accidental fire started by the children