The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 24: December 27, 2002: Page 5
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      Richard's Random Thoughts
        Stop Smoking

Is this one of your resolutions?"

According to multiple Austrian and German studies, cigarette smoking, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, induces increases of plasma cholesterol, triglycerides and fibrinogen, enhances thromboxane production and platelet aggregation, and decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (good cholesterol.) Nicotine and other substances in tobacco go hand-in-hand with insulin resistance. So there are plenty of reasons not to smoke.

A friend mentioned to me this past week, "this is the year I will make a resolution to finally stop smoking!" Lora was already working on an article about New Year's Resolutions, and a third person in our party was sharing with us the strategies they used to stop smoking. So for all of you who also want to make this the year you finally kick the habit, here are those strategies.

Ease yourself through the first few days, as these will be the most difficult period after quitting.

Surround yourself with a clean, fresh, nonsmoking environment, at home and at work. Buy yourself flowers — you will be surprised how much you can enjoy their scent now.

Spend as much time as you can in places where smoking is not permitted, such as theaters, museums, and department stores.

Drink large quantities of water. (You should be doing that anyway, but up the amount you usually have by at least 20%.) Avoid beverages that you associate with smoking, such as alcohol or coffee.

If you miss the sensation of having a cigarette in your hand, hold something else, such as a pencil. If you miss having something in your mouth, try a toothpick or a fake cigarette.

Avoid temptation! Instead of smoking after meals, get up from the table and brush your teeth or take a walk. If you always smoke when driving, listen to an interesting radio program instead, or, if possible, take public transportation for a while. Avoid situations that you associate with smoking. Temporarily limit your socializing to healthful outdoor activities or situations where smoking is not permitted. If you must be in a social situation where you will be tempted to smoke, such as a dinner party, try to associate with nonsmokers there.

When the craving for a cigarette is overwhelming, substitute! Keep oral substitutes handy at all times. These can include celery sticks, beef jerky sticks, or sugarless gum. Or try this trick. Take 10 deep breaths and hold the last one while lighting a match. Exhale slowly and blow out the match. Pretend it is a cigarette and crush it out in an ashtray. Another substitute for a cigarette is taking a shower or a bath. And it helps if you can teach yourself to relax quickly and deeply. Make yourself limp, and visualize a soothing, pleasing situation. Concentrate on that peaceful image and nothing else.

Find new habits and activities. It is difficult to smoke while you are swimming, jogging, or playing tennis. Try new activities that require using your hands, such as doing crossword puzzles, needlework, or gardening. Try to find time for the activities that are meaningful, satisfying, and important to you. And pamper yourself — stretch a lot, get plenty of rest, and pay attention to your appearance.

Most important — never allow yourself to think that "just one cigarette will not hurt" — it will!

                                                                                       Happy New Year!

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Low Carb Luxury Review :: December 3, 2002.

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