* - lung ability increases by as much as 30%
* - circulation improves
* - walking is easier
After 1 to 9 months:
* - body's energy level increases
* - lungs increase their ability to handle mucus,
* infection and clean themselves
* - sinus congestion, coughing, fatigue, shortness of
* breath decrease
After 5 years:
* - death rate because of lung cancer decreases about
50% for the average, one-pack-a-day smoker
After 10 years:
* - death rate from lung cancer becomes about equal
* of non-smokers
* - risks for other cancers (mouth, larynx, pancreas,
* bladder, kidney and esophagus) decrease
* - pre-cancerous cells are replaced
* "Normal" refers to what was an average level for you before smoking
your last cigarette, depending on your fitness level and other factors.
. . .
American Cancer Society information
Now check your pack of cigarettes and tell me where it says tobacco
anywhere on it???
It doesn't does it! Order PhaseOut today & start quitting tomorrow!
Actually, aside from tobacco, we are not entirely sure.
Cigarettes are one of the few products of any sort on the market that
aren't regulated. Food has to have a list of ingredients, all clothes
tags describing the fabric, electric devices are UL approved -- but
cigarettes are entirely unregulated.
The tobacco companies have released lists of additives to tobacco, but
trusting someone who would say under oath, as the CEOs of all the major
have, that nicotine isn't addictive is probably not a good idea. So we
to go with what the Federal Trade Commission found in the smoke that
out of burning cigarettes. Of the more than 5,000 chemicals that the
found, over 40 are known human carcinogens; that is that they have been
to cause cancer not only in lab animals but also in people. In the end
usually not the nicotine that kills people -- it's these other
Carbon monoxide is the same odorless, colorless gas that comes out the
tailpipe of your car or a faulty gas heater. In high enough
concentrations it is deadly; in lower doses it causes shortness of
breath and increased heart rate.
Normally red blood cells carry oxygen through out the body by binding
it to a molecule called hemoglobin. Carbon monoxide attaches itself to
hemoglobin instead of oxygen and deactivates these red blood cells for
extended periods of time. Eventually the carbon monoxide falls off or
the red blood cells are replaced; in the mean time, however, this
carbon monoxide can be replaced by continued smoking. This is one of
the key reasons athletes almost never smoke as over 10% of the body's
hemoglobin can be inactivated at any one time.
The body is able to eliminate most of the carbon monoxide fairly
quickly. Most people who quit feel more energetic and less short of
breath within a few days of quitting.
Tar is the dark substance that actually carries the nicotine to the
lungs. Along with the nicotine it also carries the long list of other
chemicals we discussed above.
Benzene, Radon and Other Nasty Stuff
These are chemicals that the EPA has said you don't want in your home
since they cause cancer. Inhaling them through a small white tube all
long is probably just as bad. Enough said.
Although only one of many dangerous substances in cigarettes, nicotine
is the drug responsible for making cigarettes so addictive. Studies
have shown nicotine to be as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Within 7 seconds of inhaling on a cigarette, the nicotine has reached
your brain. The drug acts upon receptor cells providing the "hit" that
body expects. This triggers various responses in your body; your
and breathing rate go up and blood vessels constrict.
By the time you have extinguished the cigarette, the nicotine level in
your blood will have peaked; within a half-hour your body will have
cleaned it out of the blood
stream. This spiking is part of what makes cigarettes so addictive. The
method of delivery --direct to the lungs and then to the brain -- and
the intensity of its effects, help to make nicotine extremely
In the morning most smokers inhale deeply on their first cigarettes as
the nicotine content in the blood has dropped overnight and they are
quite practically in withdrawal. In reality smokers spend much of their
time in withdrawal; stress, anxiety and boredom are all heightened by
daily withdrawal in between cigarettes. In between cigarettes every
smoker goes through a small scale version of what the quitter does.
Over the day the smoker smokes enough cigarettes to maintain a
sufficient nicotine blood level to prevent these withdrawal symptoms.
Usually the minimum number to achieve this (regardless of nicotine
content of the cigarette) is 10-12 cigarettes spaced over the day.
Generally this explains why people who smoke less than half a pack a
day are uncommon.
Nicotine also acts as a vasoconstrictor, meaning it decreases the
diameter of your blood vessels making it more difficult for blood to
flow through the body. This can lead to higher blood pressure and
forces the heart towork harder. It may be one of the reasons for
increased heart disease in long time
smokers. More obvious indications are cold or clammy hands, as the
extremities do not receive as much blood.
Just how and why nicotine affects the brain the way it does is poorly
understood. While we know that it can act as both a stimulant (giving
a lift) or a depressant (relaxing smokers when they feel tense, or
Much of this seems dependent upon dosage and current levels of nicotine
in the blood. For the moment we will just accept that it acts the way
does without stressing about it.