Quitting smoking in the new year

(WTNH)- We all know that smoking is bad for you, but what if you have been smoking already, the damage is done isn’t it too late? Dr. Imran Ali with Bridgeport Hospital explains how smoking, no matter when you started, is bad for you in every way and it can have a direct and immediate effect on your blood pressure by affecting the blood vessels themselves.

Those who have very advanced peripheral vascular disease can see rapid reduction in progression of disease in just 2 weeks so it is not just the long term damage but the active damage that can be stopped. With regard to lung cancer, yes a long time smoking history can add up and the damage to your lungs has been done, but continuing to smoke is going to just make the already diseased lung more prone to failing. But if you can quit before age 35-40 that is when you will avoid almost all the negative consequences of smoking according to a New England Journal of Medicine Study (N Engl J Med 2013; 368:341-350 January 24, 2013). The bottom line is it is never to late to quit because the cardiovascular damage can be halted immediately and while lung disease will not reverse , it will at least not get worse and carbon monoxide levels will decrease in as fast as 8 hours and that can improve your health overall.

So we tried all the patches and gums, what else is there to help us?
The patches work for some people , yet there is much better success with the gum. It is basically something that you do in lace of smoking and it also helps keep that oral habit that is often the thing to break when you have been smoking for a long time. The issue is that many people use the gum the wrong way, it is not like the chewing gum you buy at the store, you have to chew it and keep it in your mouth like hard candy so that the Nicotine actually gets absorbed otherwise you are not getting any of the gum’s benefit to help reduce cravings. If the gum or the patch is not helpful. There are medications that can work at the level of the brain to help reduce cravings, but these have side effect that you need to talk
to your doctor about.

Are E Cigarettes helpful to quit smoking?
E Cigarettes have been controversial, The United States Preventative Services Task Force says that it is unclear if these really help people quit smoking and that perhaps we are just exchanging one addition for another. The nicotine in these devices are high and itself can be addictive so the American Lung Association recommends against them

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