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The opioid drug crisis is a tragic epidemic that’s costing lives every day.
According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, at least 15,549 people were killed by guns in the United States in 2017.
More than 40,000 people died in car accidents in this country last year.
But what if I told you there’s a preventable cause of death whose numbers top these three things combined, and more?
Wouldn’t it make sense to do everything we could to do away with the problem?
It’s not that simple …
Smoking causes nearly half a million deaths a year. That means that about one in every five deaths can be attributed to the results of smoking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking is “the leading cause of preventable death” in the United States. It is responsible for more deaths each year than HIV, drug and alcohol abuse, car accidents and gun-related deaths combined.
But if you’re a smoker, you know firsthand that, although you know you should quit, it just isn’t that simple.
The physical addiction to nicotine is real. And, cigarette smoking becomes part of a person’s way of coping with stress, dealing with social situations and getting through the day.
…but it can be done naturally
Your doctor can prescribe nicotine patches and other products to help you stop smoking. Antidepressants are also prescribed to help.
But before going that route, you should know about a whole list of things you can try first that can help you cut back and quit … naturally.
#1 Satisfy your sweet tooth.
Sometimes, a cigarette craving is really a craving for carbs. No need to go overboard. A small piece of candy is sometimes enough to calm the craving for the time being
#2 Don’t worry about weight gain right now.
Research shows that trying to quit smoking and diet at the same time will make it very, very difficult to accomplish either.
Most people gain about five to 10 pounds at most while quitting, and this can be lost afterward through proper diet and exercise.
#3 Try a natural antidepressant.
Instead of Paxil or Chantix, try St. John’s Wort. This herb is well-known as a natural antidepressant, acting similarly to medications by acting on chemicals in the nervous system that regulate mood.
#4 Try lime juice.
A study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand found that, compared to nicotine gum, fresh lime juice reduced the frequency of cravings (but not the intensity).
Still, as a natural food that has other health benefits as well (preventing kidney stones and helping iron absorption, for example), using lime juice to reduce the number of cravings you experience is a great alternative to nicotine.
#5 Black pepper oil.
A clinical study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that black pepper oil can suppress cravings, as well as the anxiety smokers feel when they cannot smoke.
Smokers who were deprived of cigarettes overnight and puffed on a vapor of black pepper essential oil found significantly more relief than those who used menthol or no scent at all.
#6 Massage yourself.
A study at the University of Miami found that a two-minute hand or ear massage when cravings hit could be an effective way to keep from giving in and reaching for a cigarette.
#7 Get moving.
Yes, that’s right. Here’s yet another reason to get off the couch and find the exercise program that’s right for you.
A British study found that five minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can bring about a short-term reduction in both the desire to smoke and the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.
Exercise will also help control your appetite and limit any weight gain while you quit. It will help you cope with stress and bad moods, two things that will make you reach for a cigarette.
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- 14 Natural Ways To Stop Smoking — Tipsbulletin.com
- Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage — Preventive Medicine
- Acute effects of a short bout of moderate versus light intensity exercise versus inactivity on tobacco withdrawal symptoms in sedentary smokers — Psychopharmacology (Berl)
- Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention