Mayo Health Care
Combining Cigarette Smoking and Nutrition
Cigarette smoking is considered by many medical professionals as a dreaded habit because of the health conditions that may be developed by engaging this activity. It is has been strongly linked to health conditions like heart disease, emphysema, lung cancer, and other cardiovascular ailments. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly 440,000 of more than 2.4 million premature deaths in the United States and is one of the leading causes of death around the world. The effects of smoking on cardiovascular and circulatory health have taken the “limelight” for many years. What is forgotten is that nicotine and other toxic substances in cigarettes actually drain the body of several essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin C absorption is adversely affected by smoking. Vitamin C is one of the human body's most important antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that protect the body's cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals may damage cells and play a role in the development of heart, disease, cancer, and other diseases. Antioxidants are linked to the prevention of a number of diseases and certain cancers.
The more an individual smokes, the more Vitamin C one may lose from the tissues and the blood. However, smokers need more Vitamin C to prevent further cell damage that are caused by smoking. To achieve this, smokers need to increase their intake of this vitamin by about 2000 milligrams per day. The only real solution to lessen the damage of cigarette smoking is to quit the habit. Individuals who want to quit smoking may use over-the-counter or prescription quit smoking products. However, patients should seek the approval of doctors to know the side effects and drug interactions that may be developed while under medication. Doctors may prescribe the medication that is suitable for one's overall health. Rather than search for the perfect quit smoking drug, individuals who want to quit smoking may try to improve their lifestyles and incorporate activities like exercise, meditation, and other activities. By doing this, they may reduce stress and provide the same rewards that nicotine may bring. Many smokers claim that they light up a cigarette to achieve a state of “highness” and reduce stress.
Maintaining a stress free lifestyle is essential in quiting habits like smoking and improve one's quality of life. If these adjustments do not work, doctors are always there to help smokers achieve their health goals. Effective communication between smokers and doctors is essential in cutting the habit. With the right tools and attitude, quitting cigarette smoking is an achievable goal.
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