Quitting Smoking for a Good Reason
Smoking is estimated to cause one-third of all cancer deaths and one-fourth of the fatal heart attacks in the United States. The American Lung Association estimates 350,000 Americans die every year from diseases related to smoking. (My own estimate is closer to 500,000.) Forty percent of smokers die before they reach retirement age.
All the talk about premature death goes over the heads of teen-agers who start smoking and the young adults who won’t quit. The hazards of smoking just seem too far off to them.
That’s why I like to remind young smokers I know that the habit strikes men in the penis and women in the face. That’s right.
- Smoking damages the blood vessels that supply the penis, so men who smoke have an increased risk of impotence.
- Smoking damages the capillaries in women’s faces, which is why women smokers develop wrinkles years before nonsmokers. (Male smokers develop wrinkles prematurely, too, but somehow this particular anti-smoking argument seems to score more points with women than with men.)
Quit Smoking Using Natural Remedies and Green Pharmacy Herbs
Years ago, when I kicked the cigarette habit, I didn’t know much about herbal medicine. If I were quitting today, I’d use some herbs to help.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). I don’t have much science here, just a gut belief to back licorice as an anti-smoking aid. I’ve also heard a lot of positive stories about people kicking the habit with the help of licorice.
How does this work? Licorice root happens to look just like an old cheroot cigarette. You can keep a stick of licorice root handy and suck on it in place of a cigarette. I believe it works by helping to satisfy the oral cravings people who are addicted to cigarettes seem to have. If I were still a smoker, I’d give this a try.
It’s interesting that most licorice coming to the United States goes into tobacco products — chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco — presumably for flavor.
You should be aware that while licorice and its extracts are safe for normal use in moderate amounts — the equivalent of up to about three cups of tea a day — long-term use (more than six weeks) or ingestion of excessive amounts can produce headache, lethargy, sodium and water retention, excessive loss of potassium and high blood pressure.
Red clover (Trifolium pratense). A few years back I got a call from an entrepreneur looking for a source of red clover. He wanted literally tons to use as a major ingredient in a tobacco-free chewing tobacco product he planned to market, all tinned up just like the real thing.