Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I switched to e-cigarettes and I cough less, have a better sense of smell and taste, and I feel healthier, what's the problem?

Just because you feel better doesn't mean that you are "healthier". We don't know the long term effects from vaping yet. It certainly will NOT be the same as with traditional cigarettes but e-cigarettes will have their own disease profile. 

Part of the problem is with the flavors--while they may be GRAS for ingestion, most have not been tested for inhalation. 
e.g.  Lawsuit Filed Against Butter Flavoring Companies and Popcorn


What may be harmless when eaten, may be toxic when inhaled. Just as the tobacco leaf has about 600 chemicals in it but when lit turns into about 7000 chemicals, the few chemicals in an e-cig may turn into other chemicals when heated. We do know that the temperature influences how many chemicals are created int he vapor, which can be different for every user because everyone uses their devises differently. 

Not coughing can also be a problem since coughing is the body's way of clearing out the lungs. Smoking paralyzes the cilia of the lungs interfering with the lungs ability to clear out the components of smoke. Not clearing out the lungs can lead to more respiratory infections.

Just as other vices have their own risks and benefits, users need to weight those risks and benefits and make their own decision but until we have long term health information, the actual risks are unknown.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Help! I quit smoking but I'm going out to dinner with a couple who both smoke. I'll be surrounded.

You will be surrounded by smokers only if you allow it. I have no problem telling smokers that I choose to not be around second hand smoke due to MY health issues. I don't tell them they can't smoke, only that I won't be around it. I hope that you ask to sit inside in a non-smoking section and allowed them to go outside when they want to smoke. If they insisted that this is unreasonable then I would consider it abuse.
Besides the best thing we can do for friends who smoke--is to help them quit. The first step is that they have to come to the realization that their smoking is a problem--if they can smoke around you without consequences, then their smoking is not a problem. But if you insist to your right to breath smoke-free air, then their smoking becomes a problem--they have to go outside--but is that really so much of an inconvenience compared to your right to not endanger your health and/or sobriety from smoking?
The more inconvenience it is for smokers to indulge in their addiction, the more problem it becomes and the more they will gravitate towards thinking about quitting. I have a client right now who is quitting (she is now 7 weeks quit). Her major reason to stop is because of the social stigma and inconvenience of trying to find a place to smoke. She has been smoking for over 50 years and it wasn't for her health, cost or anything else.
Often we don't want to "offend" our smoking friends because we remember how it was when we smoked. But would you get in a car with an alcoholic and let them drive knowing they have been drinking because you didn't want to "offend" them?
My motto is your right to smoke ends where my nose begins. Set your boundaries about sitting a non-smoking section, then don't mention their smoking or about quitting unless they broach the subject. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Now Available in Print: "How To Win At Quitting Smoking"

My book is finally available in print through Amazon.

Unlike other books on the subject, "How to Win at Quitting Smoking" focuses on the process of change instead of a single method. Proven evidence based strategies are given in a motivating manner, often in a smoker's own words. Easy to understand analogies are used to explain some of the complicated psychological processes of change. As a former smoker, the author writes from personal experience, as well as over 20 years of clinical practice helping thousands become smoke-free.