Archives for 26 Nov,2018

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The number of people who smoke cigarettes in the United States has plummeted to an all-time low. This is according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017, 14 percent of America’s population were active consumers of cigarettes and tobacco products. This number fell from 15.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2016. The rate in 1965, which is the year when the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) started tracking tobacco-use, was at an alarming 81 percent level. The reason for this significant decline is a decades-long combination of tobacco price increases, new anti-smoking laws, public awareness campaigns and increased medical interventions for addiction.

There’s Still Work to Do:
     While the CDC’s research indicates commendable progress towards eradication of tobacco-use, 14 percent of America’s population still equates to 34.3 million people. Not only are millions of people still susceptible to complications from smoking such as lung cancer, addiction is still a side effect that impacts a variety of age-groups, including youth. According to the CDC, smoking still kills more than 480,000 people every year. Considering the fact that people have the choice not to smoke, all of these deaths are completely preventable.

It Might be Hard, but Quitting is Worth It:
     Honestly speaking, if you’re still a smoker, no one can blame you for feeling fatigued with the stigm! a. Between the ominous statistics, and scary commercials, it can feel like the entire world is judging you for something that’s hard to control. Deep down inside though, you have to admit that times are changing. The more people in general quit smoking, the less peace of mind you’ll have about clinging onto tobacco. Even if you disregard the negative health effects, smoking as a habit is getting more expensive every day, and less popular to boot. All of this means that now is the perfect time to let go of the stress and get the monkey off your back. There’s a world of benefits waiting for you if you dare to put yourself out there and take the first step. Here are just a few:

1. Food will Taste Better:
As new smokers build up tolerance to cigarettes, they also inadvertently dull their sense of taste and smell by constantly inhaling smoke. Letting go of cigarettes reverses this side-effect and allows your s! enses to reset.

2. More Stamina:
Quitting cigarettes allows your lungs to breathe in more oxygen and less carbon monoxide. With purer oxygen being supplied to your bloodstream, your metabolism will immediately revive and allow you to be more active.

3. Happier Retirement:
It might not seem like it when you’re young, but the decisions you make today determine the quality of life you’ll enjoy when you’re older. The sooner you quit smoking, the less risk you have of dealing with events like heart attacks, strokes, or cancer.

4. Big Savings:
Heavy smokers can end up spending! up to $9,000 a year on cigarettes. When you think about it, that’s basically the same thing as burning all that money into ashes. Quitting cigarettes allows you to save a ton of cash.

5. Smell Fresh:
You might not even realize it but if you’re a heavy smoker, chances are you reek of tar. If you’re tired of smelling like a firefighter all the time, try kicking the habit. Everything from your clothes, to your skin, to your hair will smell better than it usually does.

Nobody’s saying that quitting is going to be easy. But if you give it an honest try, it will definitely be worth it. You owe it to yourself, and to everyone you love, to treat your body like a temple and live as healthy a life as possible. Just remember that quitting tobacco is a journey. It took a long process of behavior to build up y! our current tolerance to cigarettes, and it will take an equally long process to cope without tobacco. So be kind to yourself along the way. If you stumble and fall, get back up and keep trying. There is simply no excuse for anyone to risk their lives over a habit that adds no value to success or survival.

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The holiday season can feel like such a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, everybody’s looking forward to kicking back and celebrating in all the good cheer. After all, what’s not to like about hopping from one party to the next as you enjoy good food and even better company. It’s the perfect time to unplug, unwind and laugh. But that’s just the problem… as much as you may expect to make merry memories, the holidays are never completely perfect. Mishaps and mistakes happen. People argue at the dinner table. Something always happens out of nowhere to throw a wet blanket on festivities. To be honest, it’s impossible to have a totally stress-free holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless to avoid some of the traps that usually ruin every! body’s fun. Here are eight common mistakes to avoid if you want to make the most out of the holidays:

     1. Last-Minute Shopping:
Whether or not you intend to host guests for the holidays, the closer you shop to the actual date of a holiday, the more crowds and shortages you’ll have to deal with. Make life easier and shop early.

     2. Dodging Chores:
There are two types of people during the holidays: the planners who prepare and clean everything up afterwards, and the slackers who only show up when dinner is served. Don’t be a slacker. Doing your part to pitch in is a great way to show your family and friends that you love them.

     3. Wingin’ It:
The only thing worse than shopping at the last minute is hosting parties or events without a plan. No matter how you intend to spend your time, if you’re going to share it with others, make a calculated effort to ensure their comfort and safety.

     4. Pigging Out:
Junk food reigns supreme during the holidays. However, just because you’re surrounded by delicacies doesn’t mean that’s the only food you should consume. Drink plenty of water, serve fresh fruits and vegetables as well. Keep the option to eat healthy open.

     5. Showing Off:
Sometimes it’s with decorations, and sometimes it’s with gifts, but the temptation to splurge money and impress people gets really intense over the holidays. Don’t spend! a fortune to prove a point that everyone will probably forget by New Year’s.

     6. Being Selfish:
You have all-year to be egocentric. When the holiday season arrives, try at least once to do something selfless for other people. Donate your time and resources to philanthropy. Volunteer. Do something to make this world a better place besides shopping for loved ones.

     7. Falling on Your Sword:
If you happen to be a control freak, don’t turn yourself into a martyr by taking over the holidays and molding them in your own image. Invite everyone around you to participate, and let your planning be a team effort. The party’s always more fun when every person is given a chance to contribute to a shared experience. 
     8. Talking Politics
Politics is poison, especially during the holidays. Even if you’re surrounded by like-minded people, be considerate and put away all political discourse. The last thing anyone wants to think about during a party is government.

Yes, bad things can happen unexpectedly during the holidays, but if you have it within your power to prevent chaos, then by all means do so. As you gather with friends and family this holiday season, always remember that the reason why we go through all the fuss of cooking turkeys and congregating together is because of one word – love. So as much as possible, do everything you can to ensure that the time you spend with others throughout what’s left of the year is filled with love, and packed with positivity. Be safe, and Happy Thanksgiving.

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