Archive for April 2009
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Each year more than 1 million people die from tobacco related illnesses.
Because of advertisements and other forms of media that promote smoking, many teens think it is okay and cool to smoke. And now many teens are getting addicted to nicotine and cigarettes.
What Influences Teens To Smoke?
Often the biggest influences for teen smoking are the kid’s parents. When a child sees a parent smoking they begin to think it is okay for them to do the same thing.
Though parents are a big influence some other huge influences for teens to smoke are: movies, television, advertising and friends.
Advertisements for smoking that target kids are so effective that the government has issued a policy to discourage tobacco advertisement to children on penalty of fine.
Your teen’s friends are also a big influence. Friends of your teen can often be the source that provides the cigarettes. Friends use peer pressure to encourage smoking.
When your teen gets a hold of cigarettes and starts experimenting, nicotine’s addicting traits help to quickly ingrain the smoking habit.
Nicotine – The Addicting Drug in Cigarettes
Nicotine is a key ingredient in cigarettes. It is key because it is so highly addictive to the smoker. Nicotine not only is the main cause of the smoking addiction, it is also extremely toxic and causes irritation of lung tissue. It constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure and heart rate and stimulates the central nervous system. In recent years, cigarette makers have been boosting the levels of nicotine in their cigarettes – no doubt to increase smoking addiction and sell more cigarettes.
Smoking?s Long Term Health Problems
Of the many long-term health problems you can get from smoking, emphysema, heart disease and cancer are the worst. Many people think the only cancer you can get from smoking is lung cancer. This is not true. You can also get mouth, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, urinary gland and kidney cancer.
Smoking is Hard To Quit
The physical craving for nicotine makes it hard for smokers to quit. It may seem hopeless once a smoking habit has begun; however there are many treatments for quitting smoking.
5 Tips To Help Smokers Quit
1- Get rid of all your cigarettes, tobacco, lighters and other smoking paraphernalia.
2- Get support from friends, family or a smoking cessation group.
3- Learn new skills and behaviors you can do when you get the urge to smoke.
4- If needed, get medication for smoking cessation and use it correctly to cut the craving for cigarettes.
5- Be prepared for difficult situations and temptations to relapse.
For some people getting prepared to quit by following the tips above is not enough to successfully follow through. Many people who want to quit smoking have to give themselves additional motivation to stop smoking.
Some additional motivators include:
– Parents focus on how stopping smoking will help their children have less chance of becoming smokers themselves.
– Many people remind themselves of the money they will save each day by not smoking. If cigarettes are averaging $4/pack, and a person smokes a pack a day that is $120/month or $1,440 each year.
– Other smokers who want to quit focus on the ill health effects they are exposing themselves to like heart attack, stroke or cancer.
Bottom line is that smoking is a detrimental habit that causes disease and wastes money. Smoking cigarettes is foolish – the only way to be cool is to quit.
Echinacea is a native herb of North America and was one of the most important herbs in the traditional medicine of the North American Indians. In the 19th century its use spread to the Western World, and is now one of the most popular herbal remedies used in Europe.
There are two main types of Echinacea, Echinacea angustifolia (coneflower) and Echinacea purpurea (purple coneflower), they are members of the aster/daisy family. It is a very popular garden plant due to its beautiful flower, but it is mainly the roots that are used in herbal medicine although the whole plant is used in some preparations.
The most important active principle is echinacoside, in addition the plant contains phenolics, volatile oil and a range of other principles. It’s the combination of all of these active principles that make Echinacea such a wonderful herb to use. This herb is thought to promote healing through its antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying effects.
The traditional use of Echinacea was as a blood purifier and therefore it was classed as a cleansing herb. It was commonly used for skin complaints such as boils, eczema, acne, psoriasis and any eruptions of the skin, thereby utilizing it’s cleansing properties.
Recent research indicates that the herb has much greater effects than just as a cleanser, and that through maintaining the body’s natural barriers it helps prevent the spread of infection. When taking Echinacea the white cells (leukocytes)in the body are stimulated into action, these white cells are a vital part of the body’s defence mechanism, and when stimulated help to destroy any infections. When taken internally it has proved to be a useful herb for improving the body’s own resistance to infectious conditions, especially the common cold and influenza. Unfortunately this use has been misunderstood by the vast majority of people and it has been found that some will take this herb for months, sometimes years, to try to stop catching colds or flu. What should be remembered is that Echinacea stimulates the white blood cells and prolonged use can lead to over stimulation, and then when infection does strike the white cells can be ineffective. If Echinacea is to be used in the fight against colds and flu then it should be taken only after exposure to the the virus, and then taken for two to three weeks until the danger of contamination has gone. If a cold or flu develops unexpectedly then a small amount of Echinacea taken every couple of hours until it has gone, can be quite effective.
It must be noted that the use of Echinacea is far greater than just a ‘cure’ for the common cold, scientists working with a variety of viral diseases found a protein in the body that had marked anti-viral properties (interferon). Interferon is non-specific in it’s action and is produced to overcome viral, bacterial or protozoa infections of the body. Plants like Echinacea can be used to stimulate the body into producing more interferon, which in turn, will help the body fight these infections. Most low-grade, minor infections are caused by viruses and this means that antibiotics are of no value in such cases, it should also be remembered that antibiotics should always be used sparingly, and for severe bacterial infections only.
This very useful remedy can be used in conjunction with other herbs for infections anywhere in the body.
If combined with Bearberyy (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) it can be effective in stopping cystitis.
For upper respiratory tract infections it works well if combined with the Chinese herb Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) which also increases the production of white blood cells.
Even though Echinacea is one of the most widely studied plants in herbal medicine a lot more research is required to get the complete picture of the healing properties of this wonderful herb.
Please note this report is for information only and should not be used in place of seeing a healthcare practitioner.