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Back in the 1950s, cigarette ads were different. One claimed that “more doctors recommend Lucky Strike” because they were easier on the lungs. Camel bragged that its cigarettes were smoked by more doctors than any other brand. Since then, people have changed. Advertisements have changed. Times have changed. But cigarettes haven’t changed.
Smoking is addictive. The nicotine in cigarettes acts on the body in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for smokers to quit!
Smokers get depressed. Studies show that smokers are more likely to have foul moods, stress, loneliness, boredom, and restlessness. Depression is a double curse, because it seems to drive many people to start smoking, and also makes it harder to quit. However, when a smoker does kick the habit, things do get better. In fact, he can expect his stress level to drop by 50% within six months. Smoking kills people. Smoking kills about three million people in the world each year. That is about six people every minute! Just look at what a smoker can expect:
• Dramatically increased blood pressure! • Much higher risk of lung cancer! • Twice as much risk of heart disease! • Higher risk of stroke, cataracts, psoriasis, and even lumbar disc disease.
Smokers’ children suffer, too. • The babies of smoking mothers often have seriously low birth weights. • The babies of fathers who have smoked at least five years have a 70% greater risk of lymphoma (a type of cancer), and three times greater chance of brain tumors. • When the mother smokes, the child is more likely to have attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, and aggressive, antisocial behavior. • Babies that breathe cigarette smoke have a higher risk for sudden infant death, middle ear infections, and respiratory illnesses.
You can decide not to smoke—not ever—not even once. And if someone you care about has the habit, you can encourage them to quit. They may say they’ve tried—and failed. They may have tried 100 times—and failed. If so, remind them that “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible” (Mark 10:27). “He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself”—including a strong desire to smoke (Philippians 3:21). Scientists at John Hopkins University recently discovered that when a person asks God for help, he or she is three times more likely to quit smoking!
Tips for quitting. Here are some practical suggestions you can share with those who want to kick the habit:
• Throw away every cigarette in the house, the car, the office, the garage. Don’t leave a single one to be a temptation. • Avoid old smoking places. • Instead of focusing on what you are giving up, treat yourself with benefits from nature’s storehouse. Avoid caffeine and sugar, and replace these unhealthy stimulants with plenty of pure water, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables—especially greens—every day. • Get at least 30 minutes of exercise in the fresh air and sunshine every day. • Go to bed early so your body can repair and be well rested. • When craving a cigarette, take a cool shower if possible, and sip a calming herb tea like chamomile. Dart a prayer to Heaven, and repeat the promise in Romans 8:37: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”
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