Here are some newspaper and magazine articles I have had a lot of positive feedback from. I hope you find them useful.
Turning back the clock
Weight Gain in Menopause
Lotions Potions Drugs
Fasting Works Wonders
Investing in Fitness
Saving Your Skin
Perfect Gift for a Child
SMOKING - KEEPING UP THE STRUGGLE
It's Lent and you may be struggling with your resolve to stop smoking. Well persist, because when it comes to the hazards of cigarettes you may think you have heard it all. But ..
Did you know that the person who smokes one pack of cigarettes a day for 40 years is at a greater risk of lung cancer than the person who smokes four packets a day for 10 years? Were you aware that more smokers die from cardiovascular disease annually than from cancer?
According to Charles Jenkins, Professor of Preventative medicine, and Julie Burling, Associate Professor of Preventative Medicine of Harvard Medical School, the increased risk of lung cancer is the most widely recognised hazard of smoking. Smokers have a 10 to 20 times greater chance of developing lung cancer than non-smokers. Research demonstrates that duration of smoking is the greatest risk factor for lung cancer, more so than amount smoked or degree of inhalation.
But do not ignore the amount smoked, either. Studies have shown that heavy smokers have much higher risk of lung cancer than moderate smokers and the degree to which smokers inhale also influences the risk of lung cancer.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
What is the relationship between smoking and heart disease? Investigations consistently shown increased risks of death from coronary heart disease, which includes heart attacks and angina among those who are currently smoking cigarettes. Approximately 20% of all coronary deaths (and 40% of coronary deaths before the age of 65) are due to smoking. The chief risk factor for coronary disease appears to be the amount you now smoke, rather than how many years you have smoked, as is the case for lung cancer.
The other major type of cardiovascular disease is stroke. Overall, there are three primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease: smoking, high blood pressure, and elevated blood cholesterol levels. While any of these factors increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, the combined effects of two or all three put you at a substantially increased risk.
The Benefits of Quitting
Many people think that once they have started smoking, it is futile to stop. Yet studies have reported almost immediate decreases in heart disease deaths following the cessation of cigarette smoking, and show that 15 years after quitting, former smokers' risk of dying of heart disease are practically the same as the risk of lifelong non-smokers.
For stroke, the benefits of smoking cessation may be even more rapid than for coronary heart disease. One large study of women showed a substantial decrease in risk of stroke amount smoking after two years.
Quitting smoking does not completely undo damage to the lungs, however. Lung cancer develops when cigarette smoke acts on the basic structure of the DNA of the cell, turning a normal cell into a malignant cancerous cell over a long period of time. To avoid lung cancer, the best advice is not to start smoking in the first place.
Studies do not show, however, that lung cancer rates begin to decline about two years after stopping smoking. This contrasts with the immediate benefits for the heart. There is, nonetheless, a steady decrease in the risk of lung cancer for the longer one has refrained from smoking.
Recent public attention has focused on the effect of so called "safer" low tar nicotine cigarettes. Several studies have suggested that the risk of lung cancer is somewhat reduced in smokers of these cigarettes. However, such smokers still face lung cancer risks several times greater than that of non-smokers. Furthermore, there is no apparent decrease in cardiovascular risks associated with low tar and nicotine cigarettes. Clearly, there is no such thing as a safe cigarette.
Persistence and Motivation
While many smokers would like to give up their habit, this can be
extraordinarily difficult to do. Cigarette smoking is a powerful,
physically addictive habit, and nicotine is the substance in cigarettes that causes addiction.
Research on smoking cessation indicates that persistence may be the key to success. Sometimes smokers think that if they try one approach and it fails, there is no point in trying another. In fact, each time you try to quit, no matter what the approach, you increase your chances of quitting. Thus the long term success of quitting smoking is increased with each successive attempt.
Techniques developed during the 1950's are still the mainstay of many programmes; a buddy system in which smokers are paired up to give one another support; a public pledge to quit; increased physical activity; and a changed diet. Some programmes use individual counselling, while others are hypnosis and acupuncture. The use of nicotine gum to wean smokers off their dependency has also become a popular aid. Research also suggests that motivation to quit is probably the single greatest predictor of success. Your determination to quit, no matter what you try appears to be the crucial factor. Consider that approximately 90% of former smokers report having given up the habit on their own without involvement of any formal cessation programme.
The combination of very serious health risks from continued smoking and the significant benefits of quitting - even for those who have smoked for many years - should provide a powerful incentive for smokers to give up their habit. The benefits of their health are well worth the effort.