Effects of Smoking
The effects of smoking on health and well being are
tremendous. But not only does it affect the person who smokes, it also affects
the people around them who are exposed to the cigarette fumes as second-hand
smoke. Both exposures have been shown to have a correlation with lung cancer
and other detrimental diseases.
First hand smoke has also been associated with (as a
correlation or as a risk factor in):
emphysema, atherosclerosis, cervical dysplasia, male
infertility, depression, hyperthyroidism (Grave’s disease), macular
degeneration, early menopause, osteoporosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID),
peptic ulcers, leukoplakia/oral cancer, and even early aging and premature
death. The list goes on…
The nicotine in the cigarettes stimulates adrenal secretion
of cortisol. In stress situations, our bodies also secrete cortisol as a
natural response in order to increase heart rate, inrease respiration and kick
start the nervous system’s fight or flight response. This creates a constant
‘up’ feeling in the body and thus the body becomes subject to a continual
stress. Any stress long term will build up and lead to a negative affect on us.
Brain, heart, immune functions become exhausted and various diseases can arise.
A Will to Quit
Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on Earth
and the body starts to (seemingly) ‘need’ this nicotine to survive, whether
physically or mental-emotionally. Quitting seems easier said than done. But the
first steps to quitting smoking come from a will and motivation to quit. This
is the strongest factor in determining the outcome. To support this process,
there are a number of natural medicines that can help you with both the
physical symptoms and mental-emotional aspects of smoking withdrawal.
A natural approach to smoking cessation starts with
nutritional and lifestyle counseling as well as natural health supplements that
assist in reducing the physiological effects such as withdrawal symptoms that
come with quitting. Supplements range from various vitamins, minerals and
antioxidants to Homeopathics, Traditional Chinese Medicine and herbal formulas.
Acupuncture is often incorporated into the program for both psychological and
physiological support. In general, it would take a minimum of 8 visits with the
Naturopathic Doctor over a span of 5-6 weeks plus maintenance visits
thereafter. Sometimes it takes less time, and sometimes it takes more time - it
really depends on the individual and their readiness to quit smoking.
The determination and motivation to quit must come from the
individual and the Naturopathic Doctor is there to support this process; to
maximize the health benefits and minimize the negative physiological effects of
nicotine withdrawal, e.g. headaches, shakiness, mood swings etc.
The Smoking Cessation Program and Costs
At Mississauga Wellness, we offer a comprehensive 8-visit
Smoking Cessation Program. The 8 visits consist of an initial 1.5-hour full
visit and seven 45-min follow up visits (includes acupuncture, nutrition &
The cost of this 8-visit program is $500 if paid in full up
front. This gives a savings of $70 and allows the maximum benefit of a complete
treatment program. Most extended health insurance plans cover the cost of
Naturopathic visits. The cost of supplements is not included in the above
prices, but ranges between $100-$150 in total. Generally, supplements are not
covered under insurance plans.
In the end, you will be saving a lot of money by not
smoking. More importantly, you’ll also be saving your health and your lungs.
You will thank yourself for it!