Know That You’ve Quit Smoking –How Do You Resist Temptation?

smoking -462264231Congratulations, you have quit smoking.  You have accomplished a major milestone in your journey to achieving good health.  A challenge you may face after your Quit Day is remaining tobacco free by resisting the temptation to smoke again. Coping with tobacco cravings can be difficult; however, by applying the following tips you can decrease the urge to smoke:

  • Remove yourself from situations that may trigger the urge to smoke
  • Spend free time in environments where smoking is not allowed
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Create or join a support group
  • Think about how harmful tobacco is to your health
  • Think about the health benefits you will gain by remaining smoke free
  • Try nicotine replacements such as gum, patches or prescription medications
  • Do not have just one cigarette to satisfy a craving- one cigarette will make you want more
  • If you miss the feeling of having a cigarette in your mouth try a toothpick, a stick of gum, celery -anything besides a cigarette
  • Exercise
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Give yourself credit for each day you are tobacco free
  • Envision being tobacco free long-term

Quitting smoking and remaining smoke free can be difficult and requires a life-long commitment but the benefits to your health are immeasurable.

Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a Freedom from Smoking Tobacco Cessation Program to help you overcome your addiction to tobacco and enjoy the benefits of better health in a fun and interactive environment. Receive personalized attention as well as the support from group members who are experiencing this journey with you. For more information, please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

An Overview on The Hazards of Smoking

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the United States today.  It kills more Americans each year than alcohol, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined. There are an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States annually that are attributed to tobacco use. It is the only legal consumer product that is lethal when used exactly as recommended by the manufacturer.

Smoking cigarettes affect many aspects of health. Tobacco smoke contains about 7000 chemicals, including low concentrations of such strong poisons as ammonia, cyanide, arsenic and formaldehyde.  It also contains 69 carcinogens – substances that are known to cause cancers in humans. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.
In the United States, illnesses caused by smoking cost more than 300 billion dollars per year in direct medical care and lost productivity. Smokers pay twice as much for life insurance and will die on average of 13-14 years earlier than non-smokers. It costs tobacco companies approximately five cents to produce a pack of cigarettes.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading eventually to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.

Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels making them stiff and narrow, obstructing blood flow which results in elevated blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or chronic skin changes.

Pregnant women exposed to tobacco smoke have an increased risk of complications such as miscarriage, premature birth, and brain and lung damage to developing fetus. Sudden infant death syndrome is three times more likely if the mother smoked during pregnancy.

Smono smoking signking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated but the majority of cases require three or more attempts. Quitting smoking offers a chance of feeling better and living longer.  Studies have shown that these five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches or Zyban with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before succeeding.

If you would like to learn more about quitting smoking, please call 718-670-5000

 

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Peer Pressure: Teen Smoking

Adolescents feel social pressure in various ways, from wearing the latest clothing trends and styles to current music choices. Your child’s friends are one of the strongest influences during this time in their lives, especially when it comes to risky behaviors like tobacco use.

During the pre-teen and teenage years, your child is asserting their independence and exploring their identity. Yet they still crave the approval of their peers and often worry about being rejected. Peer pressure makes them feel they are being pulled in two directions. When it comes to smoking cigarettes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted the rate among teens that have three or more friends who smoke is 10 times higher than those that reported none of their friends smoke.

However, based on behavior recent research, teenagers who don’t smoke say one of the main reasons is their parents. Your influence is real and as a parent, you can help your child as he struggles with peer pressure, examines their options, and becomes a mature independent thinker.

Some helpful tips for your teen to avoid caving into peer pressure are:
• Set boundaries: Place smoking on the list of things they shouldn’t do. Make sure they understand smoking’s health risks, know the consequences for breaking the rules and enforce them.
• Know your child’s friends: Pay attention to how your teen interacts and observe. Are the relationships equal and respectful? If not, make time to about them.
• Manage stress: Be on the look-out for signs of stress. Empathize with their feelings, and help them prioritize their activities.
• Encourage independent thinking: The more they trust themselves, the less vulnerable they will be to peer pressure.
• Show and teach empathy: By showing empathy for your child’s feelings, you teach them how you value their thoughts and in turn will teach them to trust themselves.
• Get them involved: Try having them become involved in groups or clubs that fit their interest and reduce the chances of boredom while gaining a new set of strengths.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Smoking Cessation and Weight Gain

Obesity Culturally InfluencedOne of the reasons that people don’t want to stop smoking is because they are worried about gaining weight. Smoking increases the rate of metabolism so when a person quits, their metabolism slows and they tend to eat a little bit more than they did when they were still smoking. As a result, people will typically gain four to 10 pounds when they quit. When you snack between meals, over the course of time, you can slowly be adding on the pounds. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so it reduces these cravings. Smoking also makes people feel good, so that is another reason that people will eat sweet  foods such as cookies and cake to replace cigarettes.

If you find yourself craving something sweet to eat, there are healthy alternatives:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fat free or low fat snacks
  • Sugar free candies

Drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth frequently throughout the day will keep your breath fresh and will take away the urge to smoke.

Try finding alternate activities that will keep you busy so that you won’t have the desire to reach for a cigarette. It might be helpful to go to a movie theater, take a long walk, use the stairs instead of an elevator when possible, read a book and spend time with people who are supportive and who don’t smoke.

Smoking is a leading factor in heart disease, cancer, stroke, and many other illnesses. Speak to your physician to learn about ways to quit and how to manage the changes your body will experience. If you would like to speak with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5486  to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Benefit of the Annual Physical

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The greatest benefit of an annual physical is knowledge for both you and your physician.  An annual visit establishes a baseline for your personal health.  Armed with this information, your doctor can detect unhealthy trends before they become risk factors.

Nearly one third of the population with a chronic disease is unaware that they have the disease.  According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, as many as 100,000 lives could be saved each year by increasing preventive care services.

Health screenings, such as blood glucose and blood pressure tests can easily detect the two most chronic conditions, diabetes and hypertension before they cause serious health issues.  The Centers for Disease Control cites that seven out of every 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease.  Proper management of these conditions can prevent unnecessary hospitalization.

In order to get the most out of your annual physical, take a moment to prepare:

  • Make a list of your health concerns
  • Make a list of all the medications you are taking
  • Get a copy of your medical records and your family medical history

Dozens of Patient Care Specialists, on staff at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, are ready to provide you with your annual check-up.

Flushing Hospital is a certified Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) in its Ambulatory Care Center. The Center offers more than 50 outpatient general and specialty services for children adolescents and adults.

Flushing Hospital’s ambulatory care services accepts most major insurances, is centrally located and has convenient patient hours.  Call 718-670-5486 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Smoking Negatively Affects Dental Health

453877721With smoking, we tend to focus on the effects it may have on the lungs or the heart. However, we don’t focus on the health effects it may have on other parts of the body including your oral health.

The American Cancer Society states that smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. In addition, smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures. It can interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells; this can make smokers more susceptible to infections, gum disease, or even periodontal disease. The problem can be further exacerbated when proper dental health care is not followed. The excess of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke makes smokers twice more likely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.

Keep your winning smile and kick the smoking habit. For help to quit smoking, please contact Flushing Hospital’s smoking cessation support group at 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Smokeless Tobacco and Cancer

We all know the dangers and health risks involved with cigarette smoking, but what about smokeless tobacco?

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Smokeless tobacco, or chewing tobacco, also known as dip, chew, snuff or snus, is tobacco that is not burned, but instead chewed or sucked in the mouth then the tobacco juices are spit out.  Nicotine in the tobacco is absorbed through the lining of the mouth.

People on many continents, including North America, northern Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa, have a long history of using smokeless tobacco products.

According to the National Cancer Institute, at least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer, especially nitrosamines, which are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco, polonium–210 (a radioactive element found in tobacco fertilizer) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons.

Users of smokeless tobacco absorb the addictive ingredient nicotine through the mouth tissues directly into the blood and brain. Nicotine continues to be absorbed into the bloodstream for much longer than for smokers

Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and puts the user at risk for heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions. There is no safe form of tobacco. Flushing Hospital Medical Center encourages you to quit today. For help with smoking cessation visit www.cdc.gov/tobacco for a list of resources near you.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Peer Pressure: Teen Smoking

Adolescents feel social pressure in various ways, from wearing the latest clothing trends and styles to current music choices. Your child’s friends are one of the strongest influences during this time in their lives, especially when it comes to risky behaviors like tobacco use.


During the pre-teen and teenage years, your child is asserting their independence and exploring their identity. Yet they still crave the approval of their peers and often worry about being rejected. Peer pressure makes them feel they are being pulled in two directions. When it comes to smoking cigarettes, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted the rate among teens that have three or more friends who smoke is 10 times higher than those that reported none of their friends smoke.

However, based on behavior recent research, teenagers who don’t smoke say one of the main reasons is their parents. Your influence is real and as a parent, you can help your child as he struggles with peer pressure, examines their options, and becomes a mature independent thinker.

Some helpful tips for your teen to avoid caving into peer pressure are:
• Set boundaries: Place smoking on the list of things they shouldn’t do. Make sure they understand smoking’s health risks, know the consequences for breaking the rules and enforce them.
• Know your child’s friends: Pay attention to how your teen interacts and observe. Are the relationships equal and respectful? If not, make time to about them.
• Manage stress: Be on the look-out for signs of stress. Empathize with their feelings, and help them prioritize their activities.
• Encourage independent thinking: The more they trust themselves, the less vulnerable they will be to peer pressure.
• Show and teach empathy: By showing empathy for your child’s feelings, you teach them how you value their thoughts and in turn will teach them to trust themselves.
• Get them involved: Try having them become involved in groups or clubs that fit their interest and reduce the chances of boredom while gaining a new set of strengths.

Your influence can bring a world of difference. If you are a smoker and are interested in quitting, look into a local smoking cessation group or contact Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 to make an appointment with a pulmonologist.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

True of False: Smoking Cigars is Safer Than Cigarettes?

Cigarette sales are beginning to see a decline while cigar use has been rising steadily.  This is partly attributed to the growing belief that cigars are a safer alternative to cigarettes.  Many smokers perceive cigars as having fewer health risks because the smoke is not inhaled into the lungs, but is instead sucked and kept in the mouth for the taste. However, the most concerning misconception among smokers is the belief that cigars are safer because they do not have a Surgeon General’s health warning as cigarettes do.

Research has proven all of these beliefs to be untrue. Cigars do not require health labels because they are not as regulated as cigarettes. Furthermore, they contain some of the same hazardous chemicals such as arsenic and can have the same negative health effects.

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Cigars contain high levels of the addictive substance nicotine. Nicotine can enter the body by being inhaled into the lungs and can also be absorbed through the lining in the mouth. Cigars are also known to contain more tar than cigarettes. Tar contains the carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) benzo(a)pyrene. Cigar smokers are at a high risk for developing cancers of the mouth, larynx and esophagus.

Cigar smoke has been linked to other health conditions such as oral, lung and cardiovascular disease. Chronic cigar smokers may be twice as likely to be at risk for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). They may also face a higher risk of premature death caused by aortic aneurysms and damage to the heart.  Cigars can also wreak havoc on dental health by causing tooth loss, bad breath and stained teeth.

The National Cancer Institute has determined that cigars are no safer than cigarettes and there are no safe tobacco products. There is also no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure. For this reason and others previously discussed, the best option for smokers to improve their health and prevent the risk of developing chronic diseases is to stop smoking.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Smoking and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Smoking is a bad habit for anyone, but for those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), it is a habit that is especially dangerous.

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the joints. It occurs when your immune system, the system that protects your body from outside harm, mistakenly starts attacking healthy tissue. If not managed properly, over time, RA can cause joint damage—and can even result in permanent joint destruction.

Unlike the more common osteoarthritis, RA is not associated with factors such as aging, obesity, or injury, but lifestyle choices, such as smoking, not only increase your odds of developing the disease but also make the condition worse for those who already have it. In addition, smoking combined with RA can lead to even greater problems, such as heart disease.

Recent studies indicate that tobacco is highly associated with and the probable cause of RA in many instances and is a leading factor when the condition worsens. According to one study, Smokers with a specific gene makeup are 50% more likely to develop RA than those who do not smoke, and those who get it, usually develop a more serious form of the disease.

Smoking also affects how well those who develop RA respond to treatments. In general, smokers are less likely to achieve remission and have worse outcomes because tobacco reduces the effectiveness of medications used to treat swelling and reduce pain for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Having rheumatoid arthritis, in and of itself, it’s a risk factor for developing heart disease. In fact, over the last ten years, the leading cause of death for people with RA is cardiovascular disease. Smoking, combined with RA raises your risk of developing heart disease to a much higher level.

Quitting smoking can go a long way toward rheumatoid arthritis prevention. If you’re at risk for developing RA or if you already have it, you don’t want to light up, and if you’re already smoking, you want to quit.

If you or a loved one either has or is at risk of developing arthritis, please speak to your doctor immediately about treatment options. To make an appointment at Flushing Hospitals’ Ambulatory Care Center, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.