Cigarette smoking has been part of our social scene for close on 100 years. Long before that tobacco was used in pipes, snuff, for chewing and in cigarillos.

For decades people have been told that smoking is not good for you, but it is probably only the last fifty years that actual research statistics began to emerge. Even after that, the huge amounts of money involved in the sales of cigarettes and tobacco meant that the tobacco bosses held power in the argument. Advertisements depicting virile men and sexy women enjoying relaxing smokes after daredevil action, bombarded the impressionable public.

Finally, however, the message got across to the public and this eventually brought about legislation in most countries. Today it is regulation to display cancer warnings on packages of tobacco products, especially cigarette boxes.

You would think that with all the negative publicity and cancer statistics, no-one would smoke any longer. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work that way.

As it always happens, it is the young and vulnerable people who slip through the cracks. Among young people fear of damaging their health is not nearly as threatening to them as being rejected or left out. In most cases, if the group smokes, so do they. If it isn’t peer pressure that gets them, then it might be a form of rebellion against what they perceive to be authoritarian demands and misunderstanding by the older generation.

Most people today who smoke, either began in their teens or during a time of crisis in their lives when they clutched desperately at anything to try and relieve the pain or the stress. Cigarettes were there and before they knew it, they were hooked.

Something that has lately come under scrutiny is a brain chemical called Dopamine. This should maintain a delicate balance. If you have too much you could get Schizophrenia and if you have too little you could develop Parkinson’s Disease.

You don’t want to try and mess around with those! However another brain chemical called Seratonin helps to balance this. This is the so-called ‘feel good’ chemical. When you have enough you do feel good. When you have too little, you not only feel anxious, but your impulse control suffers. Is it any wonder that 75% to 90% of Schizophrenics smoke?

Although impulse control protects you from forming bad habits, you have to remember that smoking is not a habit for very long before it becomes an addiction. This is not something you can depend on will power to get out of. You need help.

Once you have made the decision to quit you will find many things that can help you over the worst:

* If you don’t have a significant other, a family member or a friend to support you, join a support group. Going through a difficult time with uncritical support is your biggest asset.

* Get into a program of healthy eating and exercise. Everything that makes you feel better is going to help you to beat the nicotine.

* Detoxify your body. Water is the main thing, but there are many fibre foods and cleansers you can get at your health food store that will help get rid of the nicotine in your body that screams for more.

* Ask about supplements that can really help you relax such as 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan). This is a precursor of Seratonin to help you with impulse control.

* Then you come to an amazing resource. There are many herbs that soothe the cravings, relieve stress and tensions, boost your immune system, help your mood, and give you energy.

For dietary supplements all


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