Archives for : March2014

Eating properly to fight nicotine cravings

foodchoicesEvery year approximate two million Americans attempt to stop smoking. During the first month, many people on this journey experience intense nicotine cravings. Nicotine withdrawal can undermine the willpower of anyone  trying to quit, with side effects like irritability, mood changes, fatigue and  hunger. A proper nutrition game plan is important for keeping those cravings at bay and ultimately accomplishing the goal of living smoke free. Simply adding a variety of healthy foods into your diet can make your smoke-free transition easier- on your mind, body and even your wallet!

Did you know, there are some specific foods that will help reduce and satisfy your intense cravings for a cigarette? Or that after 48 hours of quitting smoking your sense of smell and taste buds are enhanced?  According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, hunger can trigger nicotine cravings. Eating small and well-balanced meals throughout the day will help  by distracting you from picking up a cigarette. Foods high in soluble fiber (i.e. oats, nuts, beans, apples, etc) help you stay fuller longer by slowing down your digestion. Salmon, which high in Omega 3 fatty acids, normally associated with achieving great skin and hair, is also known to “decrease some of the negative effects of smoking”. And remember- the more color on your plate, the better it is.

For those who feel the need to have something in their mouths, chewing sugar free gum, snacking on fruits and vegetables or eating trail mix can help keep your belly full while the crunching will keep your mouth occupied in a healthy way. Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth craving? Opt for a low calories option like yogurt topped with fresh fruit or some of these homemade dessert options.

Unfortunately, not all foods are created equal. A 2007 study “revealed that eating fruits and veggies also makes cigarettes taste worse, while red meat and alcohol make them taste great”. Additional studies have found that consumption of fast food, sugary snacks aid in increasing nicotine cravings. Lastly, be sure to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages to keep those cravings at bay.

In summary, here are three tips to help you fuel up to fight your nicotine cravings:

1) Eat a colorful and well balanced meal rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, to stay healthy and feel more satisfied after a meal.

2) Eat crunchy foods (i.e. fruits & nuts) to keep your mouth active and healthy.

3) Avoid food such as fast food, processed meals, alcohol and caffeinated beverages as they magnify your cravings.

 

**The information contained in this blog is educational in nature and intent. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is correct. However this information is not intended as professional medical advice nor as recommendations, neither should it be interpreted as the practice of medicine.. Please feel free to use the information from this blog for educational and personal purposes, as long as it is properly cited.

 

Smoking and pregnant women just don’t mix

Much has been said about the “potential” negative effects of tobacco on babies, but could it really be that bad?  Unfortunately, yes! Tobacco use while pregnant has serious effects on the mother and even worse effects on the child. The mother  is more likely to have vaginal bleeding, a  stillborn son or daughter  or a miscarriage. If the baby survives to the delivery date, it  has  higher chances of being born with birth defects, low birth weight, impaired lungs and other serious health problems.

smoking babyWhile the good news is that many women stop smoking while pregnant, many others don’t. And according to research published in the British Medical Journal, nicotine patches alone are not helping pregnant women quit their addiction. However a combination of tobacco cessation techniques, such as group support, patches and other tools,  is helpful.

Whether you are pregnant, not pregnant, male or female, the use of tobacco is harmful to  everyone. CEASE understands that nicotine patches and gum alone are often not enough to help people become tobacco-free. Rather, those tools and strong support will ensure success on the journey to becoming an ex-tobacco user.

 

We Can Do It!

we-can-do-itMarch is Women’s History month. A time to reflect on the value of women from all over the world. In the United States specifically, women have made great contributions to the very foundation of our country. During World War II, the majority of the male workforce had gone to war. The great women of this country stepped up and filled in the gaps by working the jobs their fathers, husbands, brothers and cousins left behind. This was a huge deal because, traditionally, women were not in a large part of the workplace or in positions of authority. After the war, everything changed.

Fast forward to the present and we see that women continue to make great contributions. Unfortunately, there is a silent enemy that threatens the well-being of women as a whole.  TOBACCO. Since the WW II, more women have picked up the habit of smoking as the years have gone by. Each year, more than 170,000 women die from smoking caused illnesses! It turns out that men and women are affected differently from tobacco. Women get cervical cancer; have low birth weight infants and bone thinning from smoking. Some research shows that women have lower success rates in tobacco cessation.

WE CAN DO IT. ONE STEP AT A TIME. As women, we can overcome this addiction despite the research.

 

To read more, click on this link:

http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0004.pdf

The information contained in this blog is educational in nature and intent. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is correct. However this information is not intended as professional medical advice nor as recommendations, neither should it be interpreted as end all information. Please feel free to use the information from this blog for educational and personal purposes, as long as it is properly cited.

 

CVS tobacco-free?

no smokingSurprising as this may sound, this is no joke. CVS, the number 2 pharmacy and retail chain in the U.S., has made a decision that will be written down in the history books. By October 1st, CVS drugstores nationwide will NO longer sell tobacco products. This is a huge deal! A spokesperson for CVS says they are willing to lose the 2 billion dollars in annual tobacco sales because it’s simply “the right thing to do”.  Statistics on the health effect of tobacco use are now posted on their website, such as: 9 in 10 lung cancers being caused by smoking. And CVS hasn’t stopped there- they are also offering smoking cessation programs to help people quit. This initiative also serves as a call to action for other chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Walgreen is starting to “evaluate” the sale of cigarettes in their store.

Although this is great news, we know that banning the sale of tobacco from CVS alone will not help someone quit smoking. Everyone needs support when kicking a bad habit. That’s why CEASE is currently holding a tobacco cessation support group every Saturday. These support sessions are for those who want to quit smoking, graduates, and current participants of the CEASE program. All that are interested in becoming tobacco-free are welcome.

When: Saturdays at 12:00-1:00 PM.

Where: Recovery In Community (RIC): 31 N. Fulton Ave. Baltimore, MD

To read more, click on this link:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-02-05/business/chi-walgreen-cigarettes-20140205_1_tobacco-sales-cvs-caremark-walgreen-co

 

**The information contained in this blog is educational in nature and intent. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is correct. However this information is not intended as professional medical advice nor as recommendations, neither should it be interpreted as the practice of medicine.. Please feel free to use the information from this blog for educational and personal purposes, as long as it is properly cited.