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Kicking the habit this year

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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Rock Doc

Thirty years ago I was a light smoker. After several failed attempts to quit, I was able, for some reason, to go cold turkey and finally be done with tobacco.

Maybe I got off easy. One thing is for sure: I don't judge anyone who still smokes because I know some strong willed people who have yet to quit. But while the new year is still in its infancy perhaps it's worth taking a look at the medical facts to see how much good you can do yourself by quitting now. And there's some research about a new product that might help you quit once and for all.

The website says that when you stop smoking, you can look forward to all of the following:

Your blood pressure and heart rate will drop in 20 minutes.

The carbon monoxide levels in your blood will become normal within 12 hours.

Your lung function and your circulation will improve at 3 months.

Your risk of coronary heart disease will drop by 50 percent after 1 year.

Your risk of cancer of the throat and mouth will drop by 50 percent after 5 years.

Your risk of dying from lung cancer will drop by 50 percent after 10 years.

You'll have the same risk of coronary heart disease as if you'd never smoked after 15 years.

There are more and more approaches that might help you along your journey to freedom from cigarettes. There are pills, patches and gum ~ all of which can help you get through the roughest times without lighting up. And there's a new device on the scene, too, namely the electronic "e-cigarette." The device creates a vapor laced with nicotine. While some fear the e-cigarette may hook a new generation, the good news is that others have found it useful in the battle to quit nicotine altogether.

According to a BBC news report, a study published in the journal Lancet reported t/iat after six months of use, 57 percent of e-cigarette users had cut the number of cigarettes smoked each day in half, compared with only 41 percent of those in the study using patches.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Copyright 2014 The Aberdeen Times, Aberdeen, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 15, 2014

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