Harmful Habits & Infectious Disease Prevention

Topics: Nicotine, Smoking, Smoking cessation Pages: 6 (1862 words) Published: February 6, 2007
Harmful Habits and Infectious Disease Prevention

Second Hand Smoke
Second hand smoke can be a serious concern for smokers and non smokers alike. When one thinks of smoking, they think of individuals who smoke and the effects of lung cancer that are attributed to smoking. One usually never thinks that second hand smoke can be harmful. After all they are not the ones smoking tobacco. Each day in America 1,200 people die from smoking and exposure to second hand smoke; according to Kick Butts Day information (Norma Gauld. Nanaimo Daily News). Smoking is prohibited in malls, eating and drinking areas, doorways of government buildings and many other places due to danger of secondhand smoke being a Class A carcinogen. A person confined in a home of smokers for one day, is inhaling the equivalent of three cigarettes. It is a shame that people do not acknowledge the abuse they are inflicting on others by smoking in front of them. It is their choice if they want to smoke and destroy their health, but they should not harm others in the process.

Methods to Quit Smoking
There are a number of methods for quitting smoking that address the addiction to nicotine. Going cold turkey, which means stopping smoking abruptly, is one method. Two other methods are non-nicotine medication and various forms of nicotine replacement therapy. The person's level of nicotine dependence and any prior quit attempts should be taken into consideration. The individual can work with a healthcare provider to choose the best method.

Regardless of the method chosen, the person must also pay attention to breaking the smoking habit. Research shows that smokers who use behavior modification strategies in addition to addressing the physical addiction have a better chance of succeeding.

The first step to stop smoking is to set up a quit plan that includes a quitting date and written commitment to stop smoking. Having a support team is also very helpful in smoking cessation. Nicotine replacements products help reduce the physical withdrawal symptoms that occur with smoking cessation. These medicines reverse the process in which the person's body learned to crave more and more nicotine. Over time, they help the person's body stop craving nicotine. Nicotine replacement therapy doesn't completely eliminate withdrawal symptoms. It doesn't give the individual any more willpower. It does let the person focus on breaking the habit of smoking as the body adjusts to lower levels of nicotine.

Some of the types of nicotine replacement therapy are: nicotine gum, which is available over-the-counter or by prescription; nicotine inhalers, which are available by prescription; nicotine nasal spray, which is given by prescription; and nicotine patches, which are available over-the-counter in various strengths. Since these products replace the nicotine the person would have gotten from a cigarette, nothing new is being introduced into the body. The direct effect from nicotine is the same. It is very important for a person using nicotine replacement products should not continue to smoke. Nicotine can cause serious medical problems, including death, if it is abused. Nicotine replacement products are not recommended for people that have had a heart attack within the past two weeks, irregular heartbeats, angina, chest pain, heart disease, and woman who are pregnant. As for medication, to help stop smoking are Zyban, or bupropion, has been approved by the FDA for smoking cessation. How Zyban works is largely unknown. It is thought to act on certain pathways in the brain that are involved in nicotine addiction and withdrawal. The person feels less of an urge to smoke. Zyban also helps reduce some of the more bothersome nicotine withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation. For example, it can reduce anxiety, irritability, frustration, difficulty concentrating, and restlessness.

Side Effects
Although these treatments help stop smoking and are very helpful there...

References: "Quit to Live: How and Why to Quit Smoking Today", February 15, 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/news/QuitSmoking.htm, Extracted April 17, 2006.
Why People Still Smoke-the Ifs, Ands and "Butts" of a Killer Habit. (2001). Retrieved on April 17, 2006 from the World Wide Web::
http://www.firsthealth.org/news/sum article19.htm
Secondhand smoke and the family. Norma Gould. Retrieved on April 18, 2006 from the University of Phoenix library.
Harmful Effects of Smoking. Extracted April 17, 2006.
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