Breathe Easy
Quit Smoking Support

Greetings from

Many people find that this is a stressful time of year. Many holidays, children's school obligations, perhaps school obligations of your own, and end of year work related projects all add up to significant stress. Don't let stress ruin your quit attempt or your "ex" status! There are many tips on stress management and relaxation techniques to help get you through this difficult time of year. Remember, doing a little bit of ground work in developing a stress management plan will help you in staying an ex-smoker!

Healthy Regards!

The Great American Smokeout

Are you still in the "contemplation" stage of quitting smoking? Or are you getting ready to set your quit date? The Great American Smokeout, on November 20, 2008, is the perfect day to either "try out" quitting or set your quit date.

Millions of people across the United States put down their cigarettes for the day, many quit for good. It's a great feeling knowing that so many people are going through the same issues as you on this day.

This is a great time to encourage friends to quit too! Send them to the Quit Smoking Support Program to get resources on helping the day become a success.

In the News

October's quit smoking news articles have had some interesting topics. First, it's exciting to see a study that shows that using nicotine replacement products like the patch and gum, are safe to use during pregnancy. Quitting smoking during pregnancy (and hopefully for good) is the best thing you can do for your baby. Finally, there is some evidence that it is safe to use a quit smoking product to help pregnant smokers quit!

There continues to be mounting evidence to require a stronger warning on the prescription drug Chantix. If considering this quit smoking aid, do talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Finally, if you currently smoke, there is a new recommendation to get the pneumococcal vaccine. Because of the greater risk (4x of nonsmokers) of developing the disease (bacteria infections leading to pneumonia), it is now recommended for all people who smoke, regardless of age.

Avoiding Weight Gain Tip

Is stress affecting your eating habits? While under stress, some people have no appetite, while others turn to food to cope with stress. Stress will often cause us to crave carbohydrate rich foods. Back in the "cave-man" days, we needed this response to survive. We needed the energy from carbohydrates to perhaps flee from a hungry tiger! Unfortunately now we don't burn those extra calories. We may be stressed from work, crave carbohydrates, head for the chips or cookies, and then sit at a desk the rest of the day. This can all add up to weight gain!

So, how can we battle the stress bulge? First, remember that exercise is one of the best stress busters! So, not only will you burn extra calories which helps with weight loss/maintenance but it also helps to get rid of stress hormones.

As far as food goes, try these tips:
  • Choose crunchy veggies and fruits - not only are they low fat, but the crunchiness helps relieve stress in your jaw.
  • Eat regular snacks and meals - if you plan things out, you won't leave yourself over-hungy which often leads to poor food choices.
  • Add a little protein to each meal and snack. Try a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. For example, have an apple and piece of string cheese for an afternoon snack, or egg whites and a bowl of cereal for breakfast. This helps to regulate our blood sugar which will keep our energy levels up and hold off major junk food cravings.