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Wednesday, November 20th is The Great American Smokeout, sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to stop smoking.

Dr. DaNette Arthur is an expert on addiction who wants to make sure people know the health risks they take by continuing to smoke and yes, even vape.

 WHY ARE E-CIGARETTES/VAPING DANGEROUS?

-Non-smokers who are vaping actually begin to start smoking

– Vaping exposes  the lungs to heated chemicals

-It introduces nicotine to the brain much more rapidly than cigarettes

-More teens are beginning to vape and becoming addicted to nicotine and other drugs such as marijuana

– We are seeing a rise in lung injuries due to vaping.

HOOKAH LOUNGES ARE VERY POPULAR. IS HOOKAH SMOKE SAFER THAN USING E-CIGS?

Hookahs are dangerous because they use charcoal to heat up tobacco so you are exposed to carbon monoxide as well as other toxins. An hour-long use of a  hookah delivers 200 puffs of smoke while a cigarette delivers 20 puffs. So it can actually be worse.

WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO STOP SMOKING?

Cold turkey

Nicotine replacement: Patch, gum, lozenges

Medications: Wellbutrin, Zyban

WHAT ARE THE NORMAL REACTIONS AFTER YOU QUIT SMOKING?

It’s different for everyone.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Having cravings for cigarettes
  • Feeling down or sad
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling irritable‚ on edge‚ or grouchy
  • Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
  • Feeling restless and jumpy
  • Having a slower heart rate
  • Feeling more hungry or gaining weight

I had a patient who stopped with absolutely NO reactions

WHAT CAN YOU DO ON YOUR QUIT DATE?

Stick to your plan. Go to a movie or a mall where you can’t smoke. Lean on your support network, whether it’s friends or family who are rooting for you. Download an app or call your state quit line.

WHAT FREE RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE TRYING TO STOP SMOKING?

State Quit Line 1-800 Quit Now = 1-800 784-8669. They offer a quit coach and free medication.

National Cancer Institute (877-44U-QUIT)

CDC

American Cancer Society

ARE VAPING AND SMOKING AN E-CIGARETTE THE SAME THING?

Vaping is a verb,  it means to draw in and exhale vapor.

E-cigarette, Vape Pen and Hookah are instruments used to vape.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR YOUR LUNGS TO GET BETTER AFTER YOU QUIT SMOKING?

Lungs start to heal in 2-3 days and are completely healed in a couple of months, (if you don’t develop emphysema).

WHY DO SMOKERS HAVE “SMOKER’S COUGH”?

There are different types of coughs..

Active Smoker’s Cough: The body is reacting and trying to get rid of chemicals that are irritating the lungs.

After You Quit Cough: Tobacco smoke slows the normal movement of the tiny hairs (cilia) that move mucus out of your lungs. When you stop smoking, the cilia become active again. As the cilia recover and the mucus is cleared from your lungs, you might cough more than usual, and notice more mucus.

Persistent Cough: If you continue to cough for more than a month you need to seek medical attention.

WHY DO PEOPLE OFTEN GAIN WEIGHT AFTER THEY QUIT SMOKING?

Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant and may slightly increase your metabolism as well. When you quit smoking, your appetite and metabolism return to normal, which may lead you to eat more and burn fewer calories. Also your taste buds are awakening and food taste better, so there is a tendency to eat more.

HOW CAN FAMILY/ FRIENDS HELP OTHER FAMILY/FRIENDS TO STOP SMOKING?

Family and friends can call or text you on your quit day. Invite you to social events to keep you busy, especially during the first week of quitting.

Remind the new quitter of why they are quitting: They might include feeling in control, saving money, smelling better, tasting food better, and feeling more energetic.

Find a former smoker ask them how their life has changed since quitting.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?

State Quit Line 1800 Quit Now = 1800 784-8669 they offer a quit coach and free medication.

National Cancer Institute (877-44U-QUIT)

CDC

American Cancer Society

NIH/NIDA

Drugabuse.gov

Your doctor

Former smokers

Local library

DrArthur.org

Dr. Danette Arthur is a board-certified doctor in addiction medicine and internal medicine. She was one of the first group of physicians to become board certified in addiction medicine when it became a medical sub-specialty in 2007.  She is also a certified medical review officer. She received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and completed her residency at LSU Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

 Dr. Arthur offers the following healthy lifestyle changes: detoxification from all drugs of abuse, (including prescription medications), treatment for alcoholism, smoking cessation, suboxone therapy, treatment for other addictive behaviors, and physician-managed weight loss. She was the assistant medical director at the Broward County Addiction and Recovery Center. She is an expert witness for the Florida Department of Health legal department. She is a consultant for the NFL and the Miami Dolphins.

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