A new study by the University of California in San Francisco found that e-cigarettes are not as effective in helping smokers quit as you might think. The review of 82 studies looked at the impact e-cigarettes had on users and discovered that people who smoked the electronic cigs were actually less likely to quit smoking than people who never used them. Crazy, right? Read the truth about e-cigarettes here.
Trust us, those cigarettes aren't keeping you thin; in fact, one study found that smoking may actually make you gain weight.
That's just one more reason to kick the habit for good. So why does
this myth continue to persist? Well, it's true that if you compensate
for smoking by snacking on unhealthy foods, your pants may be fitting a
little tighter, but that doesn't have to be the case. Read more about a new medication that helps prevent weight gain while quitting, plus more stay-healthy tips here.
Don't want to invest in pricey
patches and medicatio
ns to help you quit? Well, if you do the math,
you'll see that they will eventually pay for themselves when you're not
constantly buying cigarettes, says Marc L. Steinberg, Ph.D., an
assistant professor of addiction psychiatry. Plus, he says, if you have
life insurance you will pay much less on your premiums as a non-smoker.
If you only smoke recreationally—like when you're out on the town, for example—you might think that hitting up a hookah bar is a healthier alternative to getting a little buzz via cigarettes. But you would be wrong. A report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that smoking hookah is at least as toxic as smoking cigarettes and a more recent study by the University of California at San Francisco found that one night of smoking hookah significantly increases your exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens. Yikes.
It's never too late to get the
health benefits of being smoke free, says Steinberg. In fact, after
just one year without cigarettes, a person can reduce their risk of
heart disease by half, he says. And the benefits don't even take that long to kick in.
Twenty minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
And just 12 hours after your last cigarette, the levels of carbon
monoxide in your blood stream normalize. Two to three months after
quitting, you can look forward to your lung function and circulation
Although a lot of people smoke
when they're stressed out, studies have shown that non-smokers are less
anxious than smokers, and smokers who quit are less anxious than
current ones, says Steinberg. So how did this myth get started?
Steinberg says that when people are used to coping with stress by
smoking, they might feel more anxious when they quit because they're not
sure how to deal with their stress levels. But get this: Since nicotine
is a stimulant, there's really no stress-reducing benefits that come with smoking.
What might actually be de-stressing a smoker during a smoke break is
simply getting away from their desk or a stressful situation and taking
time to clear their head, which you can totally do sans cigs.
If you smoke to get a buzz
before you get to work in the morning, you might not be doing yourself
any favors. Even though you might feel that smoking gives you an edge or
a jump on your work, smoking can actually keep you from working to the
best of your abilities. Here's the thing, says Steinberg, smokers are
more likely to take sick days and get sick more often in general, and if
you're not at work or you're fighting a bug, you're not going to be as
productive as you could be. Another bummer: Your boss and coworkers
might resent the amount of smoke breaks you take because they could be
keeping you from getting more work done, he says.
Obviously you won't be able to pop outside the bar on a night out for a cigarette, but Stenberg says that he's never had a patient say that they've lost friends after kicking the habit. Though trying to quit when you're friends are puffing away can be difficult, try to avoid situations with friends where they'll be smoking and schedule a group shindig that does not leave room for cigarettes. And don't settle for cutting back to just a "social smoker." Here, four major problems with social smoking.