This is the eleventh Health Tip in our continuing series on "How we Contribute to our own Physical Problems." In this Health Tip we are going to turn our attention to Nicotine, a non-food substance that causes incredible damage short term, but especially long term, when taken into the body. Let me preface this week's article by saying that everything we place into our body through our mouth affects the health of our physical body – either for good or for bad. Thus, if we desire good health, we must carefully consider what we place into our mouth and place a guard there to prevent toxic substances entering the body. What most people do not realize is that almost every physical problem they experience throughout life, other than accidents of course, is caused by something they placed into their mouth. NICOTINE – A HIGHLY TOXIC DRUG Let's begin by turning to Webster's Dictionary for a few definitions:
"Nicotine: a colorless, oily, water-soluble, HIGHLY TOXIC liquid alkaloid, C10H14N2, found in tobacco and valued as an insecticide." "Toxic: acting as or having the effect of a POISON; poisonous, a TOXIC DRUG." "Drug: any non-food substance intended to affect any function of the body; a habit forming substance” "Tobacco: any plant... whose leaves are used and prepared for smoking or chewing or as snuff... used in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes..."SOME OF THE THINGS THIS TOXIC DRUG CAN DO TO YOU
- Nearly one-half million people die prematurely each year from tobacco-related diseases. This accounts for a greater number of deaths than those caused by alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, AIDS, homicides, suicides, car crashes and fires combined!
- Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable deaths in our country, while one in every five deaths can be attributed to smoking. That is 20% of all deaths in our country could be prevented, if only people would stop smoking.
- Tobacco use shortens the user's life by an average of 21 years.
- Tobacco is a highly toxic and addicting drug! The U. S. Government has issued a statement that tobacco is every bit as addicting as heroin. (And smokeless tobacco is every bit as addictive and dangerous to the body as is tobacco that is smoked.)
- The American Lung Association states that tobacco contains over 500 known toxins, the worst being Nicotine, tars, and carbon monoxide. These cytoplasmic poisons are drawn into the lungs and absorbed into the blood stream with every puff on the cigarette by the smoker.
- It is not unusual for a cigarette smoker to look a good 10 to 15 years older than others in the same age bracket
"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify god in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of god, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17WHY DO PEOPLE USE TOBACCO? Most cigarette smokers begin their addiction with the very first cigarette! That first cigarette usually takes place as an adolescent, often because of peer pressure, a desire to act grown up, or not wanting to be different from the crowd. However, while the smoke from that first cigarette often causes violent coughing, if the person continues to smoke, it isn't long before the coughing subsides and the drug Nicotine, contained within the smoke of that cigarette, starts bringing a feeling of pleasure. Not realizing that Nicotine is among the most powerful of all known stimulant drugs, smoking quickly becomes an addiction. No one has ever become a Nicotine addict who refused that first cigarette (or chew)! But a non-smoker who lights up more than 2 cigarettes in a row has only a 15% chance of remaining a non-smoker. In other words, a person who lights up just 2 cigarettes in a row has an 85% chance of becoming addicted. That's a pretty good indication of how powerfully addictive Nicotine is. Eighty percent of men and sixty percent of women smokers average at least a pack of 20 cigarettes a day – that's over one cigarette per waking hour. While heavy smokers need a fix every 20 to 30 minutes – and often smoke 2-3 packs a day. The primary reason people continue to smoke, even after they have learned how harmful smoking is to their body, is because of a biochemical ADDICTION. THE CURSE OF NICOTINE The curse of this addicting drug is that it makes the smoker feel good as long as they are taking the drug into their body and rotten when they stop. When a person tries to stop the Nicotine (drug) intake, and as the body attempts to free itself of the drug, the body, because of the addiction, demands more. If a cigarette is not smoked within a given amount of time, that person can begin to experience any of the following drug withdrawal symptoms: nervousness, drowsiness, anxiety, headaches, energy loss, sweating, hostility, heart palpitations, cramps, tremors, and/or irrationality. Not wanting to suffer through these withdrawal symptoms, 85% of smokers who attempt to quit, fail! Besides the addiction, other reasons people continue to smoke include: stimulation, relaxation, tension coping, habit, biochemical addiction, and possibly even an unconscious need for self-destruction or possibly even punishment due to a poor self-image. Whatever reason, cigarette smoking is one of the most destructive and addictive habits a person can ever enslave themselves to! Of the 50,000,000 (fifty million) Americans who smoke, between 33% and 50% of them will die, simply because they smoke. One-pack-a-day smokers are twice as likely to die from lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease than nonsmokers! Ninety-one percent of lung cancer patients die within 5 years! The average, potentially fatal "cancer stick” dose is 125,000 cigarettes. Smoking just one pack a day for 17 years adds up to approximately 125,000 cigarettes (6,250 packs), costing approximately $30,000. If a person starts smoking at age 13 and lives long enough to reach age 63, they will have put a match to 365,000 cigarettes, at a cost of over $100,000 dollars, producing nothing more than expensive toxic smoke! Women on birth control pills who smoke run an even higher risk of developing hardening of the arteries, blood clotting, and heart disease than those women who do not smoke. Pregnant women who smoke endanger the health of the unborn fetus through passive smoking. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT If you want to quit bad enough, YOU CAN QUIT! Multitudes have successfully done it before you, and you can too… if you want to quit bad enough! Following are a few suggestions that can help make you a non-smoker. And by the way, I do not recommend Nicotine gums or patches, as I have received letters from people who in their attempt to stop smoking, became addicted to these crutches. Consider and memorize this verse from Romans 12:1-2.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
- If you are a Christian, realize that smoking is not of God, but rather of the world, and that smoking is in direct contradiction to God's command to "be not conformed to this world." Surely you want to please the Lord, don't you?
- If we want to overcome this worldly addiction, the next step is: "the renewing of your mind." For whatever number of years you have smoked, your mind and body has been programmed to smoke. You do not even have to think about lighting up that next cigarette, because it is a programmed reflex. In order to stop smoking, this act of lighting up a cigarette needs to become more than an unconscious reflex, but rather a conscious act, something you force yourself to become aware of every time you go to light up.
- Next, I would suggest that you print out the six bullet points at the beginning of this article that tell of the harm smoking does to the body. Then tape them on your bathroom mirror, in full sight of your computer, possibly on the dash of your car, or wherever you would be forced to see them many times each day. Then read them often! Memorize them! Keep ever before you the horrible potential health risks you are contributing to with every cigarette you light up, and with every puff you take.
- Every pack of cigarettes carries a warning label, yet people ignore the warning because they often think that these bad things only happen to others, and will never happen to them. But the bible says: "be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)
- If you are a smoking mom or dad, force yourself to think about your spouse and/or children, and about how they will cope after the cigarettes you have been smoking have killed you! Do you really want to leave your spouse without a husband or wife, or your children without a mom or dad? Burn these thoughts into your mind!
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Deuteronomy 30:19Nicotine is either the cause or a contributing cause of many of the physical and psychological problems being experienced today. Please don't forget that Nicotine is an addictive drug, that along with animal source foods, refined sugar, refined grains, inorganic sodium chloride (table salt), and caffeine are destroyers of health. You can expect withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to eliminate Nicotine from your life. But you can successfully make it through that withdrawal experience if you really want to. Many others have been successful. With a strong determination to quit and with God's help, you can stop the use of this addictive, poisonous, drug that is shortening your life. But without your participation, God will not do it for you in answer to your prayers! You must pray and then put feet to your prayers.
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13Please forward this on to those loved ones or friends who use tobacco. It could save them years of suffering and an early death.