Resolution No. 12
Stop Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
In continuation of our Twelve resolutions today we will share Resolution No. 12. “I will stop smoking, alcohol, and also control the intake of Tea as well as coffee”.
It has been discovered that both chronic smoking and drinking together cause linked and unlinked injuries to the brain. These are both functional and neurobiological injuries. This is bad news for alcoholics, as they usually not only drink in excess; they often smoke in excess as well.
It has been proven beyond a doubt that drinking and smoking respectively damage the body’s organs, systems, and the brain. It has also been demonstrated that quitting one or the other will help the body to heal itself, although the extent of the healing has not been fully discovered yet. When one drinks in excess and smokes cigarettes as well, the effects on the brain and the body are exponentially increased.
Heavy drinkers and smokers are much more aware of the effects as mentioned earlier than ever before. They, also, have been known to request help with both of these problems, and many in recovery express dismay at still having addictions even though they have quit drinking.
In fact, many people who have successfully quit smoking find themselves picking up the habit again the minute they pick up a drink. Luckily, you don’t have to fight a losing battle. There is a myriad of ways to tackle the issue of drinking while you are trying to quit smoking.
For some people who are trying to quit smoking, alcohol (like coffee or stress) can be a trigger to smoke. Drinking can also lower one’s inhibitions, making it harder to stick to your quit plan. This is why many experts advise limiting the use of alcohol during your quit journey.
Because smoking and drinking are so often done at the same time, researchers have tried to understand how alcohol can impact quit attempts. In a 2013 study of young adult smokers, 80 percent of those that tried to quit reported that drinking alcohol made it harder. In another survey of ex-smokers, 47 percent said that drinking alcohol led them to a slip- up.
With some education about what to expect when we quit and a few tools to help us along, all can find the freedom dreamt so much of, a life that no longer includes thoughts of drinking/smoking or the smallest twinge of desire.
Misconceptions about the nature of addiction and the process of quitting can set you who are trying to quit up for failure. Build a strong quit program by educating yourself about what to expect when you stop drinking / smoking.
Learning about common pitfalls puts you in the best position to avoid them and finally become smoke-free.
Click here for The Truth about what Alcohol does to your body –
When someone starts out drinking, he or she feels relaxed, confident, happy, sociable… The pleasurable effects of alcohol are undeniable. It makes it easy to forget about the negative effects: slowed reflexes, reduced coordination, warped thinking, poor judgment, impaired memory, impaired motor functions, and plenty more impairments.
Over time, the body becomes damaged from drinking… more damaged than you probably know. In fact, alcohol can cause several types of cancer. Aside from bodily harm, alcohol use has been linked to depression, anxiety, societal withdrawal, violent behavior, an increase in unprotected sex, and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, suicide, injury, domestic violence, and even drowning.
Let’s discover the truth about what alcohol does to the human body.
- From the first Sip – When alcohol is consumed, around 33% of it gets absorbed immediately into the blood, through the stomach lining. The remaining alcohol is absorbed more slowly into the blood, through the small intestine. Once in the bloodstream, alcohol diffuses into almost every biological tissue in the body, because cell membranes are highly permeable. Right from the first sip, alcohol affects the body. Starting with the brain, what follows is an explanation of the effects alcohol has on various parts of the body.
- Brain – The amount of damage alcohol causes to the brain is incomprehensible. Those little moments you don’t remember from the crazy night before – that’s temporary amnesia. Keep it up and you can develop Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS), a memory-impairing, vision-and-speech-affecting, seizure-causing disorder. You won’t be able to form new memories. You’ll mumble involuntarily. Your eyes will twitch constantly.
- Liver – Your liver is where alcohol gets metabolized if and when you drink more than one drink per hour, on average. The liver turns alcohol into something called acetaldehyde, which is toxic and can cause cancer. Excessive drinking, especially with alcoholic hepatitis, can also lead to cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver happens when liver cells become so damaged that they cannot regenerate. Once cirrhosis has occurred, if a person does not stop drinking, they will experience liver failure which is extremely fatal. Liver cancer is a common outcome of drinking with cirrhosis.
- Stomach – Alcohol does two bad things to your stomach. One is that it makes the stomach produce more acid than usual, which can cause gastritis, and two is that alcohol creates irritation and inflammation in the stomach lining, which can lead to ulcers and bleeding of the stomach. If and when the stomach lining becomes torn, it can lead to anemia.
- Breast – Alcohol consumption raises the risk of breast cancer. Research suggests that even so much as one drink a day may increase of person’s risk for breast cancer. Estrogen levels are raised when alcohol is consumed, and an increased estrogen level is a risk factor for developing breast cancer.
- Pancreas – Excessive alcohol use is a common cause of pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas, and it is a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Heavy drinking also impairs the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, which can lead to diabetes.
- Heart – When alcohol is consumed, it raises blood pressure and blood lipids. This increases the risk of heart attack, hypertension, raised cholesterol, and stroke. Heavy drinking can be very hard on the heart. It causes cardiomyopathy, which is the stretching and drooping of the heart muscle. It causes myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and it also causes arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat.
- Bones – Excessive drinking can accelerate the rate of bone deterioration and increase the risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Calcium is necessary from strong, dense bones and when alcohol is consumed it acts as a diuretic and flushes calcium from the bones making them weaker and more susceptible to fracture.
- Central Nervous System – Alcohol affects the central nervous system, causing many short-term effects like slurred speech, blurred vision, weakened muscles, decreased reaction time, and impaired memory. When alcohol is consumed excessively, it can cause cell damage in the central nervous system, creating a condition known as neuropathy. Neuropathy causes alternating feelings of weakness, burning, pain, and numbness in the feet and hands.
- Colon – Alcohol is not friendly to the body. While your mind may find its effects fun, your body does not. Hangovers are still not completely understood by science, which cannot be good. Blackouts are extremely common and are actually bouts of amnesia. Alcohol poisoning is rampant, and more than ten types of cancer can be caused by excessive drinking.
“ALCOHOL Temporary Fun with Permanent consequences”
It is a natural tendency to quit smoking and expect to be over it within a month. That would be nice (very nice!), but it doesn’t work that way.
Smoking cessation is a process, not an event.
When we quit smoking, we’re letting go of a habit that most have carried for many years, if not all of the adult lives. It’s only fair to expect that breaking down the old associations that tied to smoking and replacing them with new, healthier habits will take some time.
Sit back, relax, and think of time as one of your best quit buddies. The more time you put between you and that last cigarette you smoked, the stronger you’ll become. Have patience with yourself, and with the process.
Click here for Alcohol as a Trigger for Smoking
Celebrations and social situations that involve alcohol are well known to trigger nicotine cravings, making these potentially risky times for people trying to quit.
Tips and Tricks for Alcohol Smoking Triggers
While alcohol-related situations can be difficult to manage, put together some tricks to help you minimize the risks to your quit smoking attempt.
- Stop or decrease your alcohol intake. If possible, this is the best approach – even for a little while. At an event, you could switch to non-alcoholic drinks, or try alternating alcoholic with non-alcoholic ones.
Imagine if you were trying to stay away from something else, like chocolate – you’d probably avoid having it in the house in the beginning, rather than keeping it in full view where you’re likely to be tempted by it. It’s the same principle with alcohol – so avoidance is best to start with.
- Get your smoker friends to help. If you know one or more of your smoking friends will be at an upcoming social event, ask them to agree not to give you a cigarette – even if a craving results in you asking for one! The trick is to arrange this before the event.
- Get your non-smoker friends to help. Prior to an event, If one of your non-smoking friends is attending too, ask them to keep an eye out for you to ensure you don’t give in to any cravings – you could even ask them to take a cigarette away from you if you succumb to temptation.
- Create a smoke-free zone at home. If you live with a smoker, make sure cigarettes aren’t easily accessible to you in the home (you might need to make an agreement with them).
- Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT products can help reduce your cravings. But remember that drinking while using an oral NRT product will reduce the absorption rate and therefore the effectiveness – a good excuse to skip drinks!
- During the first few weeks of your quit journey, you may want to stay away from bars and social events that involve alcohol and smoking. Turn to your circle of supporters to help plan fun activities that don’t necessarily involve alcohol and smoking, such as a movie, a board game night, or a game of frisbee in the park.
- Try out some non-alcoholic beverages, such as juice or cold drinks. If you’re watching your calories, unsweetened iced tea and seltzer with a slice of lemon are good alternatives.
- If you’re at a party and others nearby are smoking, be prepared to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, take a walk outside or find a private corner and reach out to a supporter on the Quitter’s Circle app.
- Have sugarless gum, toothpicks, hard candy or a lollipop available to cope with cravings.
- If you know you have an alcohol-related social event coming up, invite one of your supporters to join you and help you stick to your quit plan.
It’s important to be aware that these methods aren’t foolproof or realistic for everyone. However, they might give you some ideas for what might work for you when you’re trying to avoid smoking triggers.
Click here for How to stop Smoking and Drinking
Part I – Committing to Quit
- Write down how alcohol and tobacco affect you. Having a written record of the negative effects of alcohol and tobacco will serve as a constant reminder of why you have chosen to quit. Keep it in a place you can reference it easily.
- Reflect on any decreased physical or mental health as a result of tobacco and alcohol. Have you gained weight or decreased fitness as a result of using? Do you become angry without alcohol, or anxious without tobacco?
- Many people choose to quit addictions because they feel sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, and engaging the addiction is more draining than the positive effects of the substance.
- Consider how tobacco and alcohol interfere with your relationships and social life.
- Think of financial costs alcohol and tobacco cost you.
- Find your triggers. Use a notebook to record the times throughout the day you smoke or drink alcohol. Record what feelings or situations preceded using alcohol and tobacco. Avoid situations that may trigger you in the future.
- A trigger could be getting into an argument with your family or something not going well at work.
- Because alcohol and nicotine are highly correlated substances, one can trigger the other. For example, if you begin drinking, you may want to have a cigarette.
3. Set goals. Be clear on whether you want to stop altogether or slowly taper your use. While some may want to quit for social or health reasons, others may want to quit due to medical reasons or because they have an addiction. Reflect on your reasons and then choose your goals. If you are an alcoholic, it is best to cut alcohol out altogether and not taper it down.
- People who smoke have a much harder time quitting alcohol and also tend to relapse more than people who do not smoke.
- Set goals that include concurrently quitting both nicotine and alcohol together.
- Write down a date for each goal to solidify the commitment.
Part II – Preparing for change –
- Get rid of all addictive substances in the house. Throw away all the cigarettes and pour alcoholic drinks down the sink. Ask the other members of your household to support you in keeping your home free of alcohol and tobacco products, so that you can avoid temptation on a daily basis.
- Trash anything that reminds you of smoking or drinking. Don’t hold onto your favorite lighter, your flask, or your shot glasses. A big lifestyle change like this is best maintained if you avoid seeing constant reminders of your old habits.
- Avoid places where people smoke or drink. Being near places where smoking and drinking are encouraged can be dangerous when you are trying to quit. Avoid bars and other places where alcohol and tobacco are likely to be used. Sit in the nonsmoking sections of restaurants and choose non-smoking hotel rooms
- Take a break from people who regularly drink/smoke. Surrounding yourself with people that engage in behaviors you are trying to avoid can be tempting. Explain to them that you are removing the substances from your life and will no longer engage in activities that revolve around drinking or smoking. Create distance from people who will not support you in your desire to be free from alcohol and tobacco.
- Avoid high-risk situations. High-risk situations can include feeling lonely, tired, angry, and hungry. These situations can leave you feeling vulnerable and more prone to use alcohol or tobacco. Be aware of when you feel you may be approaching any of these situations and learn to prevent them from starting.
- Make sure you get enough sleep, eat throughout the day, and don’t isolate yourself socially to avoid these high-risk situations. If you feel anger coming on, remind yourself to relax and let it pass without depending on alcohol and cigarettes.
Part III – Coping with Cravings :
- Replace using alcohol and tobacco with more positive options. Remember that using alcohol and tobacco provides positive reinforcement because they help you cope with stress and tension. Try to pinpoint what positive aspects you experience as a result of using alcohol and tobacco, and brainstorm different outlets to obtain the same release. Coping can include relaxation and deep breathing, talking to a friend, or taking a walk.
- Join an exercise program. Exercise often helps reduce withdrawal symptoms, and it gives you something to do when you get a craving. Exercise also helps reduce daily stress. Consider going for a bike ride, doing yoga, walking the dog, or jumping rope.
- Enjoy a new hobby. Adding a new hobby can help you focus your energy positively and add a sense of meaning to your life. Try something new that looks fun and interesting. New hobbies can include surfing, knitting, writing, or learning to play the guitar.
- Distract yourself. If you get a craving or experience minor withdrawal, use distraction until the urge passes. Distract your mind and your body. If you get a craving, chew on gum, talk a walk, open a window, or begin a new activity.
- Find ways to relax. Relaxation is key to recovery. Mounting tension can lead to relapse. If you don’t feel like you have time to relax, think about the time you spend engaging with alcohol and tobacco, and replace it with relaxation. Activities such as taking a walk, reading, and meditation can be effective ways to relax.
- Allow yourself some other treats. Everyone needs some vices in life – just make them healthier ones overall. Indulge in a little ice-cream every now and then, or buy some fizzy drinks with lots of carbonation. While staying healthy is important, give yourself a little leeway so that you don’t feel denied all the indulgences that you used to enjoy.
- Stay focused. The better you cope with cravings the lesser your chance of relapsing. People who quit smoking and drinking at the same time tend to experience less severe withdrawal and face lower relapse risk.
Part IV – Coping with Withdrawal :
- Observe withdrawal symptoms. When ceasing alcohol or tobacco, the body may experience withdrawal without continued use. Withdrawal symptoms from tobacco and alcohol can include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headache, nausea, shaking, stomach cramps, and elevated heart rate.
- Monitor withdrawal. While tobacco withdrawal can be unpleasant on both body and emotions, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous. The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms varies by how much you drink, for how long, and your condition of health. Some symptoms can start within hours after drinking, peak within days, and improve within the week.
- Alcohol withdrawal can lead to symptoms that cause severe mental and neurological problems. This may include body tremors, agitation, restlessness, fear, hallucinations, and seizures. Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
- If you are a long-term and heavy drinker, consider a medically supervised detox.
- Seek medication intervention. While no prescription medication exists to concurrently treat alcohol and nicotine together, interventions exist to treat alcohol dependence and nicotine addiction.
- Prescription medication can be used to treat alcohol dependence, including the use of naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. These medications can help with withdrawal symptoms and relapse.
- Choose a method for nicotine withdrawal. While some people quit “cold turkey”, others choose to taper off nicotine exposure in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Many options are available for nicotine replacement such as gum, a patch, nasal sprays and prescription medications (such as bupropion) while your body adjusts to lower levels of nicotine.
Part V – Engaging in treatment :
- Find a therapist. It’s hard to beat addiction on your own, and a therapist can be a consistent source of accountability and support. Working with a therapist can include discussing emotional triggers, finding coping strategies, preventing relapse, and digging deeper to understand the emotional causes of addiction
- Staying consistent with therapy is important, especially for addressing relapse prevention.
- Addiction can coexist or contribute to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. Together with therapy, prescription medications may treat concurrent psychiatric disorders that contribute to addiction.
- Obtain a medical evaluation.A medical evaluation can help pinpoint how cigarettes and alcohol have affected your body. Work with a medical professional to help improve your bodily health. They can also offer prescription medication to lower nicotine dependence.
- Both alcohol and nicotine can seriously harm your body. Be honest with your medical doctor and request tests to assess the health of your liver, heart, kidneys, and lungs.
- Seek inpatient treatment.If you fear you cannot quit on your own, consider a recovery facility. An intensive treatment facility can help you address the physical and emotional challenges of addiction and quitting in a supervised and supportive setting. A program can help you decide how to detox and will monitor your physical and emotional state as you come down from alcohol and nicotine. Treatment programs include intense medical and psychological supervision.
- Treatment often includes intense individual and group therapy that targets mental health conditions. Medication may be prescribed to treat and monitor psychiatric disorders while in treatment.
Part VI – Seeking Support :
- Enlist the help of supportive friends and relatives.You’re more likely to stop drinking and smoking if you seek support from those around you. Ask them to support you by not drinking and smoking around you.
- Find accountability.If you have other friends who are looking to quit drinking and smoking too, make a pact for healthier choices. Check-in with each other daily and hold each other accountable for your choices.
- Find local support groups.Reach out to smoke-free groups, such as smoke-free Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups, like Nicotine Anonymous. Talking about your efforts in a supportive environment with people who share similar experiences can make all the difference in your attempts to quit.
- Live in a sober living community. If you are concerned about living with people who may trigger your alcohol or nicotine use, consider finding a sober house that bans alcohol and nicotine. All individuals living in a sober house agree to live sober and create an accountable community for each other.
ON Quitting What Happens
This brings us to the matter of quitting drinking and smoking. Although results are still unclear at this point, it has been shown that the brain and body can improve at least a little when someone quits. The younger the person, the greater the chances are for healing. A major problem in the area of stopping drinking is that most former drinkers still smoke. It is one of the few things that they can still enjoy, many of them believe, and a cigarette can briefly calm anxiety and quiet cravings for alcohol.
Alcohol has long been deemed the bigger demon of the two habits, and for a long time, most were encouraged to put down the drink and not immediately to worry about putting down the cigarette. For many years, the dangers of cigarettes were kept secret. Then, as research became available that points to the many ills that they cause, patients were encouraged to quit. However, if the patient was a heavy drinker or an alcoholic, the stress of quitting cigarettes was believed not to be worth the stress that it would cause the patient who was quitting drinking. This is no longer the case. Heart damage is one of the chief causes of danger to the body from smoking, and other dangers are numerous cancers, arterial structure weakening, and higher blood pressure.
Many smokers now have no choice but to quit when they enter treatment for alcoholism, as most treatment and rehab centers have become non-smoking. It has been found that it may prove beneficial, including in the long run, for a drinker to cut off the sauce and stub out the cigarette at the same time. Heavy drinking has already damaged the drinker’s body, and continuing to smoke will only increase the damages done, in addition to creating new ones.
Click here for Advantages of quitting Smoking and Alcohol
- You will feel the benefits straight away –
- Psychologically, removing those crutches may be hard to start with, but you won’t have to wait long to start feeling the health benefits of zero-tobacco and no (or much less) alcohol.
- After just eight hours of having your last cigarette, your nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in your blood will reduce by more than half. You’ll breathe more easily, and have more oxygen circulating in your system, which will leave you feeling more healthy and energetic too.
- And alcohol is a depressant, even if it gives you an artificial ‘high’ while you’re having a drink. So when you do cut down or go tee-total, you’ll get a sense of being on a more even keel. It’s also quite common to see that you’re sleeping better, or that you have lost a bit of weight too.
- You can start enjoying your food more –
- After two days of giving up smoke and alcohol, your body will be completely free of nicotine – and you’re unlikely to have that ‘hangover’ feeling, too.
- What’s more, while you may not notice it while you’re a smoker, the chemicals and toxins in nicotine products have a habit of dulling your sense of taste and smell. Stop smoking and you can start enjoying your food again!
3. Your Lung capacity will improve –
- If you manage to go without a cigarette for a couple of months, you’re bound to notice some more significant differences to your body. For a start, your lung capacity will improve – allowing you to take deeper breaths and making it easier to participate in exercise and strenuous activity.
- And after you get past any withdrawal symptoms, you’ll usually find it’s easier to deal with symptoms of stress. Subtle cravings can put you on edge for a couple of days, but when you focus on something positive – your improved health – those anxiety levels should disappear.
4. You will cut your chances of life-threatening conditions –
- You’ll already know that smoking and drinking increases your chances of developing serious illnesses and conditions. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, and impotence – to name but six.
- But what you may not know is how quickly you can reduce your chances of developing these conditions – simply by giving up.
- If you completely give up smoking then your risk of heart disease is 50% lower just one year after quitting.
- And if you give up drinking, the risk of developing cancer reduces quickly.
5. You will look better too! –
- Smokers tend to look much older than they are because of the effects toxins have on their complexion. So if you quit, your skin will thank you – as it will be able to absorb nutrients and oxygen much more effectively. Nicotine stains your fingers and teeth too, so your physical appearance should also benefit quite a lot when you pack in.
- As for alcohol, you probably already know that drinking can give you a ‘beer belly’. But you might not have realized quite how fattening it can be.
- If you’re a woman, two large glasses of wine equate to nearly a quarter of your recommended daily calorie intake (not to mention half of your recommended weekly limit for regular alcohol consumption).
- And if you’re a man, having just a couple of pints amounts to the same as swallowing a full tub of single cream. If you drink five pints of lager a week, that adds up to 44,200 calories over a year – the same as eating 221 doughnuts.
6. Stopping Smoking improves fertility – Non-smokers women find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men’s sperm more potent. Becoming a non-smoker increases the possibility of conceiving through IVF and reduces the likelihood of having a miscarriage. Most importantly, it improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.
- A smoke-free home protects your loved ones – By stopping smoking, you’ll be protecting the health of your non-smoking friends and family, too. Breathing in secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In children, it doubles the risk of getting chest illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, wheezing, and asthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.
- Stop smoking lets you breathe more easily –
- People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months.
- In your 20s and 30s, the effect of smoking on your lung capacity may not be noticeable until you go for a run, but lung capacity naturally diminishes with age.
- In later years, having maximum lung capacity can mean the difference between having an active, healthy old age and wheezing when you go for a walk or climb the stairs.
- Stop smoking give you more energy –
- Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, your blood circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier.
- You will also give a boost to your immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body can also reduce tiredness and the likelihood of headaches.
Click here for Myths about Alcohol and Smoking -
Myth #1 – Drinking is a good way to relax and have fun at parties: Alcohol can make you say things you shouldn’t say and do things you wouldn’t normally do. Examples: get into fights, have unprotected sex, or risk your own or other lives with reckless, dangerous behavior.
Myth #2 – Drinking makes me “cool”: Movies, TV, and music do not show the “uncool” part of drinking—puking, passing out, gaining weight, stumbling around, possible addiction, and damage to your own and others’ lives.
Myth #3 – Alcohol is less harmful than other drugs: Alcohol makes you more likely to get many deadly diseases and use other drugs. Many serious injuries, suicides, drowning, and murders involve alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol too quickly can cause alcohol poisoning, which can kill you.
Myth #4 – A can of Beer will not have as much effect as a mixed drink or a shot of liquor: A can of beer, a glass of wine, a mixed drink, and a shot of liquor all have about the same amount of alcohol and will have about the same effect.Myth # A can of Beer will not have as much effect as a mixed drink or a shot of liquor : A can of beer, a glass of wine, a mixed drink, and a shot of liquor all have about the same amount of alcohol and will have about the same effect.
Myth #5 – Alcohol is not as dangerous as other drugs: Alcohol can be deadly. Drinking a quart of vodka in one sitting can kill you. Even one drink can affect your judgment and cause you to lose control. Auto crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers.
Myth #6 – Drinking makes your problem disappear: You may feel you have escaped your problems by drinking, but when you get sober, the problems are still there.
Myth #7 – Drinking makes uncomfortable feeling go away ( anger, shyness, frustration and loneliness ) : Alcohol may cover up uncomfortable feelings for a while, but they come back when you are sober again. Drinking isn’t always a reprieve from uncomfortable feelings. The fact is that alcohol just as often has the opposite effect and intensifies feelings with sometimes catastrophic results: sadness (poor choices, crying jags, suicide) or anger (domestic violence, rage).
Myth #8 – Ignore the fact that alcohol is a harmful and addictive chemical substance : The alcohol industry wants alcohol to be present wherever and whenever possible. So its essentially about making sure people (consumers) focus on the portrayed and constructed gains from using alcohol (the + Side) instead of thinking about the losses that come from alcohol consumption (the – side). Chemically alcohol is a hard drug for the human body causing physical and mental dependence.
Myth #9 – Smoking is a choice: The first time, yes. After a few cigarettes, not so much. Nicotine addiction happens quickly. Breaking that addiction can be very hard.
Myth #10 – Trying smoking once is no big deal: Just one breath of tobacco smoke can damage your body.
Myth # 11 – Filters make cigarettes safer: Filters do not protect you. They make smoke particles smaller. That makes nicotine easier to absorb, which increases addiction.
Myth #12 – After so much time it’s too late to quit, the damage is done: Your health improves as soon as you quit—no matter your age. The longer you smoke, the more harm happens to your body.
Myth # 13 – Second-hand smoke may bother people, but it isn’t dangerous : People who breathe second-hand smoke inhale the same harmful chemicals that smokers do. Second-hand smoke causes cancer and other diseases—even in people who never smoked.
Myth # 14 – Smoking calms you down : Many people believe this, but they really feel better only because they are addicted to nicotine. As with other addictive drugs, you begin to feel jittery if the level of nicotine in your body drops. If you are not addicted, cigarettes actually make you feel nervous.
Myth #15 – Smoking helps you think clearly : It may seem like you are thinking more clearly, but smoking has no effect on the reasoning process. Nicotine is the substance in tobacco that is highly addictive. It is both a stimulant and a sedative to the central nervous system. The initial nicotine “kick,” which stimulates the central nervous system and causes a sudden release of glucose, is followed by depression and fatigue, leading the smoker to seek more nicotine.
Myth #16 – Smoking is cool and sexy : Smoking stains your teeth, causes facial wrinkles, depletes energy, burns holes in clothes, causes bad breath, and a general bad aroma. Men who smoke and have high blood pressure are more likely to become impotent than non-smokers.
Myth #17 – I ‘ve smoked for years, won’t help to stop now: Smoking can cut about 14 years off of the life span of both men and women. If you quit smoking at age 35 you will live about five to ten years longer and decrease the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
Myth #18 – Smoking only a few cigarettes a day is okay : Smoking is never a safe thing to do. Every cigarette contains 1 to 2 milligrams of nicotine and it reaches your brain in 8 to 10 seconds. There are many other damaging chemicals taken in with each inhale of a cigarette. Cigarette smoke contains 4,000 chemicals and poisons, 50 of which cause cancer. Each time you inhale you take in nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene, just to name a few.
Control intake of Tea and Coffee
Stop for a moment and think about how much caffeine you consume. Your morning cup of coffee is obvious, but also consider how many caffeinated sodas you drink. Then think about how many cups of tea you have, caffeinated snacks you eat, and whether your preferred painkiller has caffeine in it. It can add up pretty quickly, and if you’re not careful, caffeine can become a crutch instead of a tool.
Here are a lot of people addicted to non-alcoholic and what they see as non-drug based substances such as Coffee, tea and juice. However, caffeine which is in coffee, tea, and many fizzy juices is a drug and can be addictive, more of a psychological addiction than a physical one.
Click here for Side Effects of Tea and Coffee –
- Coffee containing caffeine – can cause insomnia, nervousness, and restlessness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, increased heart and breathing rate, and other side effects. Consuming large amounts of coffee might also cause headaches, anxiety, agitation, ringing in the ears, and irregular heartbeats.
- Increased Heart Rate – Both tea and coffee can increase heart rate and blood pressure. As heart rate increases, the flow of blood to the heart increases and the flow of blood to the brain decreases. This means that you might feel foggy and tired as you come down from a caffeine “high,” which can happen minutes to hours after drinking
- Anxiety – Caffeine increases the production of adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones. This can result in heightened senses but will also put you on edge, elevate your stress levels and might cause anxiety.
- Elevated Blood Sugar – Caffeine can affect blood glucose. When you drink caffeine, your blood sugar spikes. As you come down from the “caffeine high,” your blood sugar plummets. These sudden changes in blood sugar can be dangerous for people with diabetes.
- Increased Risk of Osteoporosis – Caffeine can increase the loss of calcium. When you consume lots of caffeine, your body has trouble absorbing the calcium you get from your diet. Instead, much of it is immediately lost in the urine. This can lead to weak bones and osteoporosis later on in life.
- Frequent Urination and Urgency – Increased urination is a common side effect of high caffeine intake due to the compound’s stimulatory effects on the bladder. You may have noticed that you need to urinate frequently when you drink more coffee or tea than usual.
To sum up, the side effects of caffeine in tea and coffee are alarming for human health. Particularly, it is very hard to get rid of the addiction to this substance, as the abrupt discontinuation of its intake causes several inconveniences in the body. However, if you have resolved to bear the hardships with patience, just after a few days, your health will be normalized.
Tea – In India, even slogans like Roz chai piyo, Bahut din jiyo were invented by the vested interests to mislead common people to believe that tea gives strength and vitality. There are many people who are habituated to drink tea as 4-5 cups a day. Those guys are very badly hunted and their metabolism gets slower day by day.
- Anti-thiamine action and thiamine inactivation. This means that tea blocks the action of Vitamin B1.
- It contains fluorine at substantial levels and also fluor-aluminum complexes.
- Inhibits absorption of iron, especially from cereals. High levels of Vitamin C minimize this action.
- It has a diuretic action, which, as a consequence, upsets Na/K balance in favor of sodium.
- There is some evidence of carcinogenic effects from tea tannins.
- Tea tannins affect the heart and can cause heart-muscle lesions in rats.
- Some statistical evidence links tea-drinking in expectant mothers with congenital abnormalities in their babies
- Disruption of Sleep and Insomnia
- Slows down the digestion process
- Responsible for various kidney disorders
- Unhealthy and dark skin texture
- Malnutrition body
- Tea also causes Premenstrual syndrome as people who usually drink 1- 4 cups of tea every day as likely to have Premenstrual syndrome than the non-tea drinkers.
- Caffeine present in it can make a person addicted to tea.
- Milk tea has more cholesterol and sugar than other varieties of tea like green tea or black tea.
- Studies shows than it can lead to the prostate cab
Coffee – Coffee is injurious to health. It is a more stimulating beverage than tea, as it contains a greater amount of the active alkaloid principle, caffeine. Research studies have shown that coffee drinking has potential health hazards. Some people even experience a post-stimulation letdown that can make them as tired and lethargic as they were alert and energetic immediately after drinking.
- Affects stomach secretions, including HCI – stomach acid.
- Affects acid/base equilibrium in the body.
- Upsets electrolyte balance, especially Na and K and upsets water balance – a definite diuretic.
- Like tea, it has anti-thiamine action.
- Increases atherosclerosis.
- Affects behavior.
- Gives rise to methyl nitrosourea that may be a cause of bladder tumors.
- Adversely affects blood fatty acids and blood sugar control.
- Some work suggests a link with teratomas, ie tumors of the unborn fetus.
- Has been linked with duodenal ulcers.
- It has a mutagenic action. ie causes abnormal germ cells – viz sperm and ova.
- Inhibits iron absorption.
- Produces nitrosamines, which are known, cancer-causing agents.
- Statistically, high coffee consumption is correlated to the incidence of carcinoma of the pancreas.
- De-mineralises the tissues.
- Anxiety symptoms
- Depleted calcium and iron levels among women
- It increases blood sugar levels, making it harder for those with type 2 diabetes to manage their insulin.
- Coffee is highly acidic and is irritating to the gastrointestinal tract.
- Coffee can bring dyspepsia.
- Coffee can stimulate the gall bladder to bring about gall bladder attacks.
- Coffee can be Toxic.
- Don’t drink more than one cup a day if you are pregnant.
Click here for Steps to breaking your Coffee Addiction
- Admit you’re addicted – This is obviously the most important step with any addiction. If you don’t admit it and don’t recognize that you have an addiction then in your head you are not addicted. It’s only when other people start to say things like ‘You drink a lot of coffee don’t you?’ or when your work colleagues start calling you ‘Mr coffee'( I wonder if that’s how ‘Mr. T’ got his name.) that you start thinking that you might be addicted. When you recognize the addiction it’s time to start taking action.
- Recognize the pattern of your addiction – Most coffee addicts have a routine. For example the first thing they do is have a cup of coffee when they get up in the morning, then again after they have had a shower and put their clothes on and then again before they leave for work. That’s three cups of coffee within the space of an hour or so and the pattern continues at work and when they get back home from work and before they go to bed.
- Breaking the pattern – As I said before your aim is to control the habit rather than have the habit control you, so we are not going for giving up coffee we are looking to cut down and be in control. You can break the pattern by swapping coffee with water. For example if you have 3 cups of coffee before leaving for work, replace your second cup of coffee with a glass of water. This has two benefits; you are breaking the pattern of your coffee habit and you are re-hydrating your body (too much coffee can dehydrate you, this is why a lot of heavy coffee drinkers get headaches).
- Resisting the craving – When we have a habit of any kind we get cravings to indulge in our habit. When you have a craving to have a cup of coffee during the day, resist it and do something else for 20 minutes. Cravings usually disappear when we have our minds focused on something else, so if you can manage to resist a craving for coffee and busy yourself with something else for 20 minutes your craving will go away. It might return again and you may have to busy yourself a few times throughout the day but your cravings will weaken as you mentally get stronger and are able to control the cravings.
- Tell those around you your intentions As with all habits that you are trying to break it’s good to let other people know about your intention to cut down. This way other people can encourage you when you are feeling particularly weak.As I said at the beginning my aim was to help you with controlling your coffee addiction not to eradicate it.
- Try coffee-like alternatives. Caffeine-free herbal tea is a smart bet. Switch things up with tasty flavors, like cinnamon, black cherry berry, pomegranate, or peach blossom. Another option: Dandelion root coffee, which contains no caffeine and is made of dried, chopped, and roasted dandelion roots. These beverages all have the richness of coffee, without the caffeine.
- Go for an espresso shot. These contain only about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of regular coffee. It will help you satisfy your craving, without overdoing it. And rather than grabbing a mocha Frappuccino at the coffee shop, indulge with a sugar-free hot chocolate, which has less caffeine.
- Make healthy swaps. Heading for the soda machine every afternoon for a caffeine boost? Grab a berry-flavored seltzer or caffeine-free option like Sprite instead.
- Drink lots of water. When you wake up in the morning, drink 8 ounces of water instead of coffee or a soda. It’s thought to counteract your desire for other, less healthy beverages.
- Know your ingredients. Study the ingredients on foods and drinks and watch out for caffeine. Caffeine is added to many sodas and energy drinks.
- Decrease caffeine consumption gradually. Plan your caffeine withdrawal in stages. “Caffeine is addictive. If you throw out one-third of your morning coffee today, wait three days and then throw out another bit so you are drinking half, you are off to a great start,” says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Tufts University. This reduction will help lessen caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, irritability, jitteriness, and nausea.
- Water down drinks that contain caffeine. They will still have the taste you enjoy, but contain a lower amount of caffeine and carry less risk of caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
- Try something new. Consider changing from coffee in the morning to tea. “Herbal teas are fine, but green tea is really healthy,” says Roberts.
- Try decaf. Switch to decaf coffee, decaffeinated soda, or even better, water or fruit juices.
- Don’t add to a caffeine habit. Ask yourself if you really need that extra cup in the late morning. If the answer is no, then skip it.
- Try a tea shortcut. Brew tea for a shorter amount of time to reduce the amount of caffeine in it.
- Instead of a large cup of coffee, next time order a small. “Starbucks medium and large both contain two shots of espresso, while a small has only one,” says Dr. Brodner. “Another caution: Even those sugary milkshake drinks [like frappucinos] contain caffeine.” Ask to have yours made with decaf.
- Mix it up. Alternate one cup of coffee with one cup of herbal tea, or one can of soda with one can of caffeine-free soda or water. Check your pain reliever. Many over-the-counter medications, especially headache remedies and menstrual pain relievers, contain caffeine. If yours does, change to a different kind.
Click here for Benefits of Coffee if consume moderately during the day -
- Coffee boosts your physical performance – Have a cup of black coffee about an hour before workout and your performance can improve by 11-12%. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood. Adrenaline is your body’s “fight or flight” hormone which helps you to prepare for physical exertion.
- Coffee may help you lose weight – Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels, and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks.
- Coffee helps you burn fat – Caffeine helps fat cells break down body fat and use it as fuel for training.
- Coffee helps you focus and stay alert – Moderate caffeine intake helps you focus, and improves your mental alertness.
- Coffee lowers the risk of death – Studies have shown that coffee drinker’s overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than those who don’t drink coffee.
- Coffee reduces the risk of cancers – One study has shown that coffee may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer in men by 20 %, and endometrial cancer in women by 25 %. People in the test group drank four cups of coffee a day. Caffeine may also prevent developing of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer
- Coffee reduces the risk of stroke – Reasonable consumption of coffee (2–4 cups a day) is associated with lower risk of stroke.
- Coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease – Studies have shown that regular coffee drinking decreases the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25 %. There’s evidence that coffee causes activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
- Coffee protects your body – Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants, that work as little warriors fighting and protecting against free radicals within your body.
- Coffee may lower the risk of Type II diabetes – Caffeine decreases your insulin sensitivity and impairs glucose tolerance, therefore reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Coffee brightens your mood, helps fight depression, and lowers the risk of suicide – Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood. Two cups of coffee a day prevents the risk of suicide by 50 %.
Bottom Line –
Light-to-moderate caffeine intake seems to provide impressive health benefits to many people. On the other hand, very high dosages may lead to side effects that interfere with day-to-day living and might even cause serious health issues.
Although responses vary from person to person, the effects of high intake demonstrate that more isn’t necessarily better. To get the benefits of caffeine without undesirable effects, conduct an honest assessment of your sleep, energy levels and other factors that might be affected, and reduce your intake if needed.
Click here for Symptoms of Withdrawal and Benefits -
How to ease the symptoms of withdrawal of coffee –
Here are some easy tips to help you quit your habit.
- Most experts advise quitting caffeine gradually. Cut down from 3 cups a day, to 2 and then one
- Substitute your coffee for green tea, which still contains caffeine, but much less than coffee
- Cut out sodas, which are a source of caffeine, but are also filled with sugar
- Beat the slump caused by ridding your diet of caffeine by eating healthy meals, which will provide you with a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Aim for a balance of good fats, complex carbs, and protein
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated and avoid the headaches and constipation that are symptoms of withdrawal
- Lemon water is a good replacement for a morning cup of coffee.
Health Benefits after the withdrawal of Coffee –
The pain of cutting down on coffee may be worth it once you start to experience the benefits.
- You ‘ll sleep better.
- You may become less anxious.
- You can say Goodbye to Headaches.
- Your Heartburn will stop.
- You ‘ll have pearly white teeth again.
How to ease the symptoms of withdrawal of Tea –
Step 1: Reduce intake, day-by-day.
Step 2: Substitute your tea with other healthy and sugar-free drinks like green or black tea.
Step 3: Cut down on your daily sugar intake too. And rely upon eating fresh-cut fruits instead of processed ones or juices.
Step 4: Drink plenty of water. You are not supposed to dehydrate yourself. So in place of tea, you can drink warm water or mineral water, in your own, sip-by-sip style.
Step 5: Daily, in the morning, you need to drink lemon water. This will make you energetic and detoxification.
Health Benefits after the withdrawal of Tea –
- Weight Loss.
- No Headaches.
- Hormonal balance.
- No more heartburn.
- Better sleep and lack of Anxiety.
- Shiny white teeth.
Myths about Tea and Coffee –
Myth #1 – A cup of coffee will sober you up: The amount of drinking myths rivals that of caffeine myths, but the short answer is: no. Caffeine can make an intoxicated person more alert, but a study concludes that coffee does not reverse the negative cognitive impact of alcohol. It’s actually even worse for you.
Myth #2 – Coffee helps you lose weight: Not exactly. The stimulating effects of caffeine can slightly—and I mean very slightly—increase your metabolism, but not enough to make a dent in your diet, especially in terms of long-term weight loss. Caffeine may reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but there’s not enough evidence to show that long-term consumption aids weight loss.
Myth #3 – Coffee stunts your growth: This myth has been around forever. However, the belief that coffee does stunt your growth is—forgive the aged expression—nothing more than an old wives’ tale and there’s no scientific evidence supporting it.
Myth #4 – You should not take vitamins and tea together: Tea, especially black tea, blocks iron absorption from foods and supplements. Avoid tea when taking vitamins and while eating foods that are rich in iron. “This is especially important for pregnant women who take prenatal vitamins,”.
Myth #5 – Drink tea if you have a cold : Black, green, and oolong, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate symptoms.
Myth #6 – Coffee is the only drinkable to increase productivity: Most often the combination of coffee and sugar helps to increase your activity and productivity. But when their action stops, you get a strong decline in your performance. It has long been noted that such people often experience headaches in the morning without a divine sweet drink.
Myth #7 – Coffee eliminates hangover: Coffee is not aimed to help with the hangover elimination, however, some people use it believing it really helps and gets some relief. Coffee can only raise the tone a little. All the effects of alcohol are not neutralized by caffeine.