Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The allure of a cigarette

I quit smoking over 30 years ago when I first found out I was pregnant. It wasn't too much of a challenge for me because I had a life growing inside of me who needed protection. While I was willing to pollute my lungs, I simply wasn't willing to pollute hers. Maybe that is why I really struggle with moms and dads out there who continue to smoke. Are they not aware of the damage they are causing to their children's health? Are they not aware of the example they are setting for these precious little ones?

As soon as children start going to school, they start hearing about how bad smoking really is. Then they come home and see their parents engaging in this "bad" activity. How confusing is that?

New research shows that it is not only secondhand smoke that poses a danger, but third hand smoke as well. The nicotine that remains on your hands and clothing after you have been smoking transfers to your baby as you hold her. Yuck. Is that really what you want to do to your child?

And it is not just about parents who smoke. If you have children, you need to know the dangers of exposing them to smokers in general, whether it is a grandparent, caregiver, or family friend. If they will not refrain from smoking around your children, then you should refrain from visiting with them when your kids are with you. It may sound harsh, but it is necessary. And make sure any smokers wash their hands thoroughly before holding your little ones.

This is not just Green Grandma spouting off about a pet peeve! According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke." No-Smoke.org cites a report by American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation,© 2009 indicating that children of parents who smoke are more likely to suffer from the following:
  • low birth weight
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • cognitive impairment
  • behavioral problems
  • respiratory problems
  • asthma
  • repercussions in adult health, including metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and type II diabetes
Seriously, folks, is that cigarette really worth it? Look at the risks to your child's well being. Look into your child's face and tell me he or she isn't reason enough to quit.

Several years ago, I came across a list of supplements that, when taken, can help a smoker quit. I do not remember the source, but here is the list:
  • Vitamin A 25,000 IU
  • Zinc 50 mg for 6 weeks
  • tyrosine 1 gram in the morning and afternoon
  • choline (a high-potency B-complex supplement)
  • vitamin C
The last three items on the list all help fight off cravings. The following help lessen the discomfort of the withdrawal process:
  • gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA)
  • glutamine
Perhaps you or someone you know will find help by taking the above supplements. I am not saying it will be easy. But I am saying it will be worth it!

Wishing you well,


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