There are three distinct and primary degenerative-disease producing effects associated with the use of cigarettes and these risks are:
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The issue of secondary smoke or second hand smoke has turned into a human rights issue within the last decade-with non smokers alleging it is a violation of their right to clean air. If it is continuously breathed in, people exposed to second hand smoke have reason for worry, as it is non filtered smoke - it is thus possibly more dangerous than directly smoking itself.
The majority of the sixteen or so known poisons given off by burning cigarettes are known to be carcinogens or have the possibility of acting as carcinogenic compounds.
The smoke that is released into the room contains a higher concentration of the toxic compounds such as the ammonia, the formaldehyde and acetaldehydes, the formic acid, the phenols, the hydrogen sulfides and the acetonitrile, and the methyl chloride - much of these gases are filtered by the filter on the smoker and they tend to be present in greater amounts in the second hand smoke.
Passive and involuntary smokers inhale this smoke-if this is carried on for a long period of time, than they may be affected by the same dangers the smoker is exposed to. Indeed, the smoke inhaled by passive smokers contains carbon monoxide levels which are fifty percent higher than even the smoker himself and the amounts inhaled may often exceed the amount breathed in by smokers who inhale lightly.
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The removal of toxins from the air can be done through a good air filter. The use of such as filter is an important preventative measure - easily able to remove toxins from the immediate environment. People exposed to smoke can be protected internally by using a basic multiple vitamin-mineral and antioxidant supplemental formula.
Complete cessation is the only real effective measure in any support program for smokers - this must be accompanied by working to regain health and body functions. Some of the effects of smoking can be put off by consuming a wholesome diet along with nutritional supplements used on a regular basis.
Immunity from the effects of smoking is not guaranteed by even the best and thorough programs - no matter how long it is carried out. The habit of smoking is rendered doubly destructive by the tendency of smokers to practice a very poor dietary habit on a day to day basis. Compared to people who do not smoke, the majority of smokers have a greater tendency to consume more meats, fat and fried foods, and products such as refined or processed meals.
The support program for smokers must be accompanied by the consumption of a new diet which has an abundance of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains-these foods are good sources for many of the protective antioxidant nutrients like the beta-carotene, the vitamins A, C, and E, and the mineral selenium.
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The diet must also include a lot of raw seeds and nuts, all kinds of legumes and sprouts, and some types of proteins in sufficient amounts. Smoking causes dryness and the consumption of large amounts of water is essential in order to balance out the drying effects that long term smoking has on the body.
The dehydrating effect of the compound caffeine also increases the body's requirement for water - so, smokers must quit coffee as well during this time period. The best option is to drink at least two to three quarts of liquid every day - the amount of fluids consumed must also be in line with the consumption of high-water-content fruits and vegetables, the green salads, and soups consumed at mealtimes.
Bowel function is maintained by consuming a diet high in fiber - this helps in the detoxification of the body. For smokers an optimal nutritional strategy is to increase the amounts of wholesome foods - all fruits and vegetables, and whole grains in the daily diet, accompanied by a progressive decrease in the consumed fats, and cured or pickled products, all food additives, and lastly alcoholic beverages.
There is a reduction in the cravings for nicotine and the interest in smoking will gradually dissipate with the increase in blood and tissue alkalinity that result from the long term use of this dietary regimen.
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While generally preferable to an acidic diet, the long term or life long consumption of an alkaline diet is not necessarily the best option. An alkaline diet is suggested for individuals only during the worst aspects of the withdrawal symptoms, when a vegetarian or raw food diet may help in sufficiently reducing the craving for nicotine.
Such diets can be followed for the three to six weeks in order to aid in the detoxification process that the person is undergoing when he or she quits smoking. The elimination of the habit of smoking has also been carried out by certain smokers through processes like long term fasting. Though somewhat intense in its effects, this dietary fast is a means of rapid transition from a habit of nicotine dependence.
When carried out under medical supervision, a juice fast might be ideal for very determined individuals and in those smokers who are overweight or are very tense at most times.
Energy levels are high and the intestines are cleansed through the diet used during detoxification-this diet is low in fat and high in fiber, helping the body to adjust rapidly to the reduced nicotine levels. Both of these results are easily achieved through the consumption of large amounts of raw fruits and vegetables.
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A daily intake of several salads made from leafy greens is used during the diet; this is followed by the consumption of some fruits and vegetable, along with nuts or seed snacks and condiments. The diet is also bolstered by the inclusion of some of the high-protein algae such as the spirulina, the blue-green algae, or chlorella-these help with the withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process.
Another important and vital part of a smokers support program is the consumption of a general or "multiple" vitamin formula along with additional antioxidant nutrient compounds. Free radical production during the detoxification program is reduced by these antioxidants, these compounds also aids in reducing the toxicity of the smoke for primary and secondary smokers - smokers will report much lesser irritation from the smoke when using these compounds.
Cellular membranes are stabilized by the vitamin E, this vitamin protects them and rids the tissue membranes from the attacks of free radical and other chemical irritations arising from the compounds present in the smoke. The carcinogenic potential of the smoke is reduced by the mineral selenium, when it is taken in as sodium selenite or in the form known as selenomethionine; this compound also supports vitamin E within the body.
The sensitivity of the body to the metal cadmium is also lessened by the compound selenium. The risk of cancer is also reduced by supplements of the vitamin A and this supplement also supports tissue health in the internal organs. In addition, supplements of the beta-carotene may possibly protect the person against lung cancer when used in conjunction with the other antioxidant supplemental compounds.
To neutralize the toxins in the smoke, all smokers need regular supplements of the vitamin C; the intake of this vitamin must also be increased to compensate for the reduced absorption of the vitamin from the diet.
There is a reduction in cadmium toxicity and absorption rates if some extra zinc is taken, this metal similar to the actions of the vitamin A, will help in protecting the tissues and mucous membranes from chemical damage. High levels of the metal zinc taken as a supplement must be accompanied by copper - since high levels of zinc will often deplete the store of copper within the body.
The supplements of the compound L-cysteine used in conjunction with the compound thiamine and the vitamin C will help in protecting the lungs from acetaldehyde which is produced in the body from exposure to smoke. The supplements of this compound also help in reducing smoker's cough in the person. The compound known as glutathione, which is formed from L-cysteine, is present naturally in the body as an intrinsic part of the protective antioxidant enzyme system.
The importance of eating habits cannot be overemphasized to prevent obesity during the period of the program and following the cessation of the smoking habit. It is quite normal to eat more when not smoking; this is because smoking has an ability to reduce appetites and leads to an increase in the metabolic processes within the body.
The trick is to substitute the habit of smoking with a lot of physical exercises and new activities. Smokers have also been shown by research to crave and eat much less of sweets compared to non-smokers. As the smoker quits smoking, this dietary preference undergoes a change, with the cessation of smoking - all the taste buds become sharp and the person may start consuming a lot of sweets.
This is the reason, that as soon as they quit the habit, over half of all smokers gain weight, this gain in weight is even more common in the heavy smokers-those who consume several packs a day. As soon as one stops smoking, he or she must be on a diet to maintain weight, especially if any weight gain is undesirable - the majority of smokers are underweight and may need to gain weight, and the sudden increase in weight is not necessarily negative.
Weight can be maintained well by consuming a diet which is alkaline, is high in fiber content, and low in fat. When taken before mealtimes, the use of another amino acid, known as L-phenylalanine, can also lead to a reduction in the appetite of the person. Something to be considered while using this compound is its small propensity in raising the blood pressure of the individual.
What will really determine the ease of cessation is the level of nicotine addiction-this is based on the daily intake of cigarettes and the total number of years spent smoking, people who have smoked for a long period of time may find it harder to quit the habit. Thus, as a rule of thumb - quitting smoking can be much harder for smokers who light up, first thing in the morning or those who have smoked more than two packs a day for a long time.