Archive for Thursday, November 16, 2006

Smokers urged to kick habit today

November 16, 2006


Melissa Wick doesn't know how many times she tried to quit smoking before she finally broke the habit she began at the age of 18.

The Lawrence woman tried hypnosis, acupuncture and other methods often advertised as cures for nicotine addiction.

"What finally worked for me started with the desire to not smoke," Wick said. "I kept telling myself anytime I was tempted, 'Why would I want a cigarette? I am a nonsmoker.'"

Finally, at the age of 36 - 20 years ago - Wick smoked her last cigarette.

The American Cancer Society is hoping more people will follow Wick's example and stop smoking. That's why the society is touting today's 30th anniversary of the Great American Smokeout, a day when the American Cancer Society urges millions of smokers across the country to give up their cigarettes for a day and perhaps for a lifetime.

In Kansas, about 18 percent of adults are smokers and more than half are seriously considering quitting smoking within the next six months, according to the society. Moreover, 29 percent of high school students report using one form of tobacco and 21 percent of high school students report smoking cigarettes.

It is not easy to quit smoking, said Dr. Charles Yockey, a physician at Lawrence Memorial Hospital who teaches classes about how to quit.

Each time a group of 100 people tries to quit, 95 percent of them fail, he said. Those who want to be among the successful 5 percent have to figure out how serious they are about quitting.

Gram for gram, nicotine is more addictive than heroin, he said.

"It's a pretty serious addiction," Yockey said. "Life is one big habit, and smoking is one of those habits."

When Wick was kicking her habit she even dreamed about smoking.

"That was really weird," she said. "Some people don't remember their dreams but I remembered mine. This went on for 10 years."

In September, LMH banned smoking on hospital grounds.

The ban has worked well, said Belinda Rehmer, LMH spokeswoman. If visitors are seen smoking outside, they are informed of the policy and given a card for a free cup of coffee in the hospital's cafeteria.

"They are almost always very gracious, and we have not had any problems," Rehmer said.

Louise Thrift, 59, is one of the hospital employees who stopped smoking just before the ban took effect. About once every three weeks, however, she still might take "a couple of puffs" off of a relative's cigarette, she said.

"It hasn't been too bad," Thrift said. "I just stay really busy at work. At home I read more and I spend more time with my family."

Smoking cessation is the single most important thing a person can do to improve overall health, Yockey said.

"We see more smoking-related illness than any other thing," he said. "If we could just fix the smoking problem, we would reduce the cost of health care by 50 percent."

When quitting smokers are tempted to light up a cigarette, health experts say they should take deep breaths, call a friend or go for a walk. They also should drink a lot of water and change their routines to avoid situations that have led them to smoke in the past.

"It takes 30 days of constant work to break any habit," Yockey said. "If you think like a smoker you will continue to smoke."

Tips to help you give up cigarettes

The American Cancer Society offers the following tips to help smokers get through the day, or any day, without cigarettes: ¢ Prepare for life as a nonsmoker by removing all ashtrays, cigarettes, cigarette butts and matches used to light up from your home and office; it will help avoid temptation. ¢ Smoking urges are worst during the first two weeks. After that, they are most likely to recur in situations associated with smoking. For example, after dinner or in the car. ¢ Urges last a few minutes at most, so practice the four Ds: Take deep breaths, do something else to get your mind off the craving, drink a lot of water and delay reaching for a cigarette because the urge will pass. ¢ Try to avoid situations that encourage smoking. If you can't, practice telling people you've just quit or that you're a nonsmoker. ¢ Change your routines. If you always light up when you have coffee, drink tea or juice instead. If you have always smoked while watching the evening news, read the paper. ¢ Use the tools available. Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are available over the counter; nicotine nasal sprays, inhalers and smoking-cessation medications are available by prescription. Access resources such as the Kansas Tobacco Quitline at (866) KAN-STOP or the Web site ¢ Most smokers have to try several methods before they succeed in quitting, so keep trying until you find what works.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey smokers how about considering this cocktail twice a day as a preventive measure. Cancer treatments are painful,very inconvenient, expensive depending on your coverage and may not work. Cancer cells flow about our bodies smoker or not but hey why complicate matters. The juice receipe below is what my mother in law chose while doing those awful painful cancer treatments. Her doctor in the end is convinced this is what has kept her alive because two patients diagnosed on the same day have since passed. She was also encouraged by her pharmacist that juicing was a great partner to conventional cancer treatment.

Smokers are not alone as I believe that cancer has become such a prominent situation humans must assume cancer will be part of our lives. Why not begin attacking it before diagnosis. Consider adding more of the cabbage family into diets as well.

Twice a day = one third of this receipe

Juice, taken every 2 hours ( mixed it by the batch and each batch is about a quart and a cup) (all produce organic and well-scrubbed) 6 kale leaves 8 carrots 2 large handfuls of spinach 2 brocoli stalks and florets 3-4 apples 1 cube of wheat grass juice(comes frozen, found at the Merc or Whole Foods, if you can't find it fresh) 6 heaping scoops Advanced Ambrotose 1 Ambrotose AO 3 Plus (another Mannatech product that is mostly aloe vera) 1 colustrum (either Nature's Plus at the Merc or called Immunostart with Mannatech)

You can actually take twice as much Ambrotose ,which I would recommend.

You can find all these at

The Champion Juicer found at the Merc is the easiest juicer to use and clean. This is a big help as juicers are notorious for being hard to clean.

Another avenue may be a product known as Green Vibrance or Berry Green POWDER (360g) An Awakening of Certified Organic Greens and Fruits(at the Merc locally).

My father smoked his entire life and died with no trace of cancer. How lucky is that? My inlaws are now believers, in at least, the value of juicing. The doctor told my mother in law to keep up whatever she's doing as it appears to be working. Will it work for everyone...who knows?

grubesteak 11 years, 4 months ago

I went cold turkey the day after Thanksgiving last year (no pun intended) and haven't looked back.

If you're thinking about quitting, don't give up! It only took me about 25 tries before one finally stuck!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 4 months ago

Marion most of those products are available elsewhere though not in Lawrence. FYI - my mother in law continues to juice with her doctors approval. Actually a doctor at Johns Hopkins claims the Ambrotose worked for him. I know of your strong dislike of the Merc however that is no reason why information should not be shared. My in laws doctor is also impressed with the outcome thus far and continues to monitor their situation. No one has ever stated this is an absolute cure for it may be the result of conventional treatment plus keeping the immune system super pumped up.

You're a smoker so keep this mind for I would not want you to endure such a painful experience.

TheEleventhStephanie 11 years, 4 months ago

Taking "a couple puffs" isn't quitting. Today looks like it's 10 months and 10 days since I last smoked, and I haven't had a single puff! Yay me! (I'm pretty dang proud of myself, so I brag about this a lot.)

Good luck to everyone who is trying to quit.

Warren6032 11 years, 4 months ago

Smoking is about the dumbest, expensive, unhealthy thing a person can do

TheEleventhStephanie 11 years, 4 months ago

The best thing is a few months after I quit, I ran into someone who asked me if I had gotten Botox since they last saw me. I can only assume it was because I looked healthier, not because I looked like I had a paralyzed face. ;)

KS 11 years, 4 months ago

One of the best decisions of my life was to quit smoking. It was not that hard, to my surprise. I would encourage anyone that currently smokes to quit. Having said that, it is still a legal product and if that is your choice in life, go for it, but just don't ask me to pay for your healthcare when you are really sick and dying. Pretty cold of me, isn't it?

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

Man, this stinks! It's the Great American Smokeout and I CAN'T SMOKE! It's way too soon in my quitting to allow myself to smoke a cigarette, even if it is the perfect day for it. I guess I'll have to wait until next year.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 4 months ago

"Marion (Marion Lynn) on November 16, 2006 at 8:29 a.m. (Suggest removal) I do not dislike the Merc.

I dislike FRAUDS who take advantage of folks who have real problems and issues.

I wonder, Merrill, are you a "distributor" for these products?

Thanks. Marion."

Just keep wondering and get real,

What's fraudulent about the data Marion?

I did review extensively all of the Mannatech crap that's out there as did my father in law. Nonetheless my mother in law is more radiant than ever.

I am a user of some of these products all of which are retail items. Ambrotose can be purchased online of which we have zero connection although my in law sisters buy from one of their friends in Florida. Marion perhaps you should consider becoming an might be good for your health.

b_asinbeer 11 years, 4 months ago

You guys are ridiculous...focus on the article at hand, boys....(notice boys, not gentlemen)

Sandra Willis 11 years, 4 months ago

I started smoking at 20, but stopped at 30 ...

partdim 11 years, 4 months ago

Who started this great american smoke out? As a former smoker, no one is going to quit until THEY are ready, not some agency telling them to.

toxicvapor 11 years, 4 months ago

I've gone without tobacco for 459 weeks, 19 hours, 56 minutes, 12 seconds. That's 128,553 cigarettes that I haven't smoked, and $19,282.95 that I've spent elsewhere. I really wish I could tell you where.

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