Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cigarettes can make you stupid

Did you know that a smoker's risk of dying from a stroke nearly double?  So often we put the attention on the lungs and heart, but what are cigarettes doing to your brain?  In a recent post in the Independent, Charlie Cooper talks about a TV commercial which will "bring to life the toxic cycle of dirty blood" that is caused be breathing cigarette smoke.  Not only can smoking double your chance of a stroke, it is also related to cognitive decline and dementia.

People tend to turn a blind eye to the consequences of smoking in favor of the short term pleasure and stress relief smoking brings.  Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death and one in two smokers will die early from a disease directly related to smoking.

While damage to the brain from smoking tends to get over looked, it makes since.  Look at the obvious.  Deprive the brain from oxygen, what happens?  It dies.  Period.  Add in the fact that cigarettes contain chemicals like arsenic and cyanide which can cause massive damage to the cells in the brain.  Not only will that increasing the risk of stroke, but it will also contribute to cognitive decline and dementia.  

In fact, one study, done at the University College London shows that cognitive decline in men can be up to 38 per cent faster for a regular smoker.  

Basically, at that rate you may very well intend to quit, but you forget to do it!  The good news is, if you tie a string to your finger so you remember to not smoke, your body can show near full recovery within five years back in the non-smoking section.

Bottom line is smoking will harm you in one way or another.  But it becomes clear that the intensity of the addiction is too strong for many people to respond logically to the information that this will to your untimely death and simply stop.  Somehow smoking has become more important than living a healthy life.  Nicotine effectively rewires the brain to believe it is a necessity.  The process of getting back to the non-smoking section requires that you rewire your brain back to it's original programming and this will meet with some real resistance from the body and the brain.  The beauty of the mind and body is that it can and will overcome nicotine addiction.  There are 7 steps to do this effectively and permanently and I cover them in my book, How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone, but if I can sum them up for here, it looks like this:

1.  Decide to stop 
2.  Understand your history so you can not repeat it
3.  Commit to a higher purpose
4.  Stay in the now - right now you're not smoking - stay in that place
5.  Eat right and get regular exercise
6.  Become a better human
7.  Repeat daily - hourly or by the minute if you have to

Simple yet not easy but very doable and doable without NRT or drugs like Chantix.  You had the power to start which means you have the power to stop!