The $13,000 Habit You Should Kick Now
So Why Are We Still Puffing?
- Reason #1: Meal replacement. "Research has shown that many young women start smoking and continue to smoke as a means of weight management," says Foster. Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, scientifically proven to decrease the consumption of sweets and carbs. As far back as the 1920s, Foster notes, the tobacco industry has capitalized on that fact, using ads to sell the message that smoking will keep you trim.
- Reason #2: Biological trip wire -- girls and women are more likely to become addicted and remain dependent longer. "Girls of middle-school age take an average of three weeks to develop symptoms of dependence on nicotine, compared with about 26 weeks for boys," Foster explains. Psychological factors, such as feeling a sense of comfort or relaxation, may reinforce the smoking behavior as well, she says.
But you can quit -- no matter how hooked you are. Several prescription and over-the-counter drugs are available for the gutsy champs ready to defect. Experts say it may take as many as eight attempts to stave off cigs permanently, so don't get discouraged if your first few tries go up in smoke. About 80 percent of women relapse, Foster explains, especially after a stressful event. But that's no reason to put off your quit date till the New Year. November is lung-cancer awareness month. The 31st annual Great American Smoke Out -- a nationally recognized quit-smoking campaign sponsored by the American Cancer Society -- takes place on November 15. You could start saving beaucoup cash today, and stay alive longer to spend it. Now that you've decided to kick smoking, we'll help you choose a battle plan.
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