Stop Smoking Now; "I Have Stopped Smoking Now and Then, for a Few Months at a Time, but It Was Not on Principle, It Was Only to Show off; It Was to Pulverize Those Critics Who Said I Was a Slave to My Habits and Couldn't Break My Bonds." Mark Twain (1835-1910), American Satirist

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.

"Seventieth Birthday Speech"

NE thing's for sure, Mark Twain wasn't a nicotine addict.

He was able to stop smoking when he wanted to - nearly impossible for other people who would rather die than quit. But then again, at the start of the 20th century, science had not determined that smoking kills.

Smokers' Risks. Now we know that at least 60 known toxins associated with cancer have been isolated in tobacco smoke. The American Medical Association (AMA) Family Medical Guide reports that the average smoker is (compared to non-smokers) at 14x higher risk of dying from cancer of the lung, throat or mouth; 4x higher risk of dying from cancer of the esophagus (food pipe); 2x higher risk of dying from a heart attack and 2x higher risk of dying from cancer of the bladder. Unfortunately, we can go on and on with the numbers with a smoker still shrugging off every statistic. He will swear that nothing beats a nicotine high - nicotine being the stimulant in tobacco that also causes the physical addiction.

Reasons NOT to smoke. Smoking cessation experts agree that the best action is non-action --- not to start at all. But for the multitude that smoke and may want to stop, here are a few other facts blamed on smoking (aside from cancer and heart disease).

* Bad breath

* Stained teeth and hands

* Cough and sore throat

* Breathing problems

* Risk of gum disease

* Fatigue

* Terrible smell on clothes, hair, and skin

* Wrinkles

* Poor wound healing

* Risk of 2nd hand smoke to your loved ones

It's Never too Late to Quit. Is it true that the path to hell is strewn with cigarette butts? A smoker has to be convinced and persuaded that quitting may be hard but is nevertheless doable. He MUST want to kick the nicotine habit even as peer pressure (to keep smoking) is strong and parental pressure (to quit) may be weak.

Strategies to Stop Smoking.

* Make a decision to quit and set a date. …