There is a common misconception that after you quit smoking, you will have cravings and urges to smoke forever. In actuality, if you go Cold Turkey, nicotine will be out of your system within 72 hours. That’s only 3 days! Most nicotine cravings last 3 t0 5 minutes, but remember, as time passes the urges to smoke will become weaker and farther apart. It took a long time to become a smoker, so it will take some time to break free from the habit.
The next time you feel the urge, try these short-term strategies. They’re called The Four D’s:
- Delay. Just wait it out.
- Distract yourself. Do something else when you feel the urge.
- Deep breathe. Let that tension go.
- Drink water. Satisfy the craving with this healthy change.
Here’s what happens to your body when you quit smoking:
Within 20 minutes:
- Blood pressure drops to normal.
- Pulse slows downs to normal.
- Temperature of hands and feet increases to normal.
- Cardiovascular damage begins to subside.
Within 8 hours:
- Carbon monoxide level in blood decreases.
- Oxygen level in blood increases to normal.
Within 24 hours:
- Chance of heart attack decreases.
Within 48 hours:
- Damaged nerve endings start to re-grow.
- Senses of smell and taste begin to improve.
Within 72 hours:
- Nicotine is all out of the body.
- Bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier.
After 2 weeks to 3 months:
- Blood circulation improves throughout the body.
- Exercise becomes easier.
- Lung function increases by 30%.
After 1 to 9 months:
- Coughing, shortness of breath, and sinus congestion all decrease.
- Cilia re-grow in lungs-increasing the lungs’ ability to clean themselves and reduce frequency of infections.
- Your body’s overall energy level increases.
After 1 year:
- Risk of heart disease is reduced by half.
After 5 years:
- Risk of stroke decreases to the level of non-smokers.
Afte 10 years:
- Risk of lung cancer is reduced by half.
- Precancerous cells in the body are replaced by health cells.
- Incidences of other cancers (mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas) all decrease.
After 15 years:
- Overall risk of death nearly returns to the level of someone who never smoked.
- Risks of heart disease and lung cancer return to levels of a non-smoker.
It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the passing of an exceptional person, our Executive Director, Joe Navidad, who has tirelessly served the Asian and Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles for over 20 years.
Joe Navidad was born on February 2, 1948, the seventh of eight children, in the Philippines. Growing up, Joe befriended many from all walks of life and from different backgrounds.
During the turbulent 1960s where student protests were part of the political climate around the world, his passion for the people’s aspirations for national and social liberation and dedication to working on human rights issues began to grow during this time. Joe was a student activist upholding the belief that “to learn by reading is good, to learn by practice is better.” He eventually became involved in community organizing. He conducted community organizing work with youth, farmers and indigenous people. As the political climate heightened during the 1970s and martial law was declared by the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, he was captured and became a political prisoner. After two years of imprisonment, the heavy torture he experienced did not steer him away from his commitment to continuing to advocate for the people’s aspirations for just and lasting peace in the Philippines.
During the 1980s, Joe pursued furthering his education in Social Welfare at the University of the Philippines. He later moved to the United States. During the 1990s, Joe found more opportunities to organize communities in Los Angeles. He counseled at-risk, urban Filipino American youth. Working alongside various ethnic groups in the Asian and Pacific Islander community, he developed community organizers through the East West Community Partnership. By bridging multi-generational groups and various sectors through leadership skills development, he oversaw the formation of Alyansa ng Komunidad (AK/Community Alliance). As Executive Director of People’s Community Organization for Reform and Empowerment (People’s CORE), he was instrumental in facilitating the development of campaigns (e.g., Filipino WWII veterans and anti-interventionist campaigns) and people’s organizations including KmB/Pro-People Youth. Joe conducted international solidarity work that upheld human rights and Philippine sovereignty. During the 2000s, he pursued the development of culture and arts programs, martial arts, and self-defense programs. He was instrumental in helping to facilitate the development the programs of Moro People’s CORE, an NGO addressing the needs and issues of Moro and indigenous people in Mindanao.
His life’s work involves advocating for needs and issues of underserved communities in Los Angeles and the Philippines by developing the skills sets of countless organizers, martial arts instructors, and community leaders, working on a myriad of issues for social justice campaigns, and connecting people together from all regions, sectors, and backgrounds. His life reflects the strength of the Filipino fighting spirit. His legacy represents the best of the Filipino – witnessed by those who were fortunate enough to know him, his humor, his messages that captured the imagination and elevated collective sights to higher visions, his lessons that inspired action and built character, and his unrelenting giving and selfless nature.
He reminded us that we are just small specks in the larger scheme of things, but his influence is spotted throughout the mural that is the movement for just and lasting peace.
Joe was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, leader, friend, and mentor. He is deeply missed by those whose lives he touched.
A community memorial celebrating the life of Joe Navidad will be held later this month.
If you’re thinking about stopping smoking, congratulations on taking the first step! We’re here to help you stop smoking. There are a number of things you can do to help you stop.
1. Get Ready.
- Work on setting a date to stop smoking. It can be tomorrow, 3 months from now, or 6 months from now. Whatever the time may be, program your goal so that you can prepare your mind for it.
- Change the things around you. For example, get rid of cigarettes and ashtrays in your home and car.
- Do not let people smoke in your home. This helps you to cut down or stop smoking at home. It also will provide a benefit to the non-smokers in your home so that they’re not exposed to secondhand smoke.
- If you have tried to stop smoking before, think about what worked and what did not work.
2. Get Help.
- Tell your friends, family, and coworkers that you are going to stop smoking. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out. Building the support around you can help for a successful quit attempt.
- Talk to your health care doctor or provider.
- Get counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances of stopping. Call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
3. Learn New Ways of Living.
- Stay busy.
- Change the things that you do every day. Take a different road to work or eat in a different place.
- Let go of stress. Exercise is a good way to do this.
- Plan something fun to do every day.
- Drink of a lot of water.
4. Use Medications in the Right Way.
- Talk to your health care provider, or doctor, about how to use medications.
- Read and follow the directions. Call your doctor if you have any questions.
5. Be Ready for Hard Work.
- Most people try to stop smoking several times before they finally stop.
- If you smoke again, think about what caused you to smoke. Try to stay away from those situations in the future. Do not give up. Try again!
For more help to quit smoking, please contact The California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-NO-BUTTS or visit www.nobutts.org.
UCLA study shows majority of Angelenos support smoke-free apartment policies, yet 4 out of 5 apartments still not protected
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research recently released a study showing that the majority of Angelenos support smoke-free apartment policies, yet 4 out of 5 apartments still are not protected. More than 80 percent of Los angeles apartment dwellers are not protected from secondhand smoke and would support smoke-free policies in their buildings. The studies conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research outline findings from nearly 1,000 door-to-door tenant interviews held in some of the most densely populated areas of the city of Los Angeles, as well as reports submitted to UCLA by 93 apartment owners representing over 5,400 units in the city.
While the number of apartments covered by a smoke-free policy is low (20 percent), the studies indicate that support is high among both tenants and landlords. Eighty-two percent of tenants said they would prefer to live in a smoke-free apartment. Ironically, those who smoke were even more likely to support a smoke-free policy, with eighty-five percent preferring to live in a smoke-free apartment. The majority of landlords (55 percent) also expressed support for these policies, noting the value of creating a healthy environment, lowering and increasing marketability of the property. In addition, landlords with smoke-free policies already in place unanimously reported that these policies had no negative effect on vacancy rates, according to the study.
Secondhand smoke is dangerous at any level and can lead t many avoidable health conditions, including heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and asthma. Children and the chronically ill are particularly vulnerable. According to the study, 37 percent of residents report smoke drifting into their home from another apartment or a common area. Households with a child, chronically ill resident or person of color were even more likely to be exposed. Yet currently there is no ordinance in the city of Los Angeles that prohibits indoor smoking in apartments and condominiums, even in common areas where children frequently play.
For more information, please visit www.smokefreeaptsla.org.
Am I eligible to participate in the Healthy Lungs at Home Project?
Is there a smoker and a nonsmoker living in your home? Do you feel comfortable speaking and understanding English? Are you at least 18 years or older? Has no one else in your household enrolled in the project? Are there currently no smoking rules in your home? You may be eligible to participate in the Healthy Lungs at Home Project. Please call us at People’s CORE at (213) 241-0995 to see if you can participate today!
How to Help Someone Quit Smoking
Is there a smoker in your life who you are hoping will quit? It is important to remember that you cannot make someone quit. A smoker will only quit when he or she is ready. The best thing you can do is to be there to offer support.
Do’s and Don’ts
Do set smoke-free areas in the home. Remove all ashtrays and lighters from those areas. With rules, smoking will take more effort, so the smokers in your life may decide to quit.
Do spend time together doing things like taking a walk or watching a movie. This will keep their mind off smoking.
Do celebrate success. When the person has quit for 1 week, 1 month, etc., plan something special or fun.
Do stay positive, even if they slip up and smoke. Quitting smoking is a very difficult bit to break.
Don’t nag, judge, or say something like, “You better quit or else…” Has nagging ever made you want to do anything? Instead, tell them you’re there to help if they need you.
Don’t think their mood swings are about you. Withdrawal symptoms are common and will go away.
Don’t doubt that they can quit. This may make the smoker feel worse.
Don’t give advice. Ask how you can help or support them.
Don’t give up. It may take many times before they quit for good.
When offering support for a loved one to quit smoking, it is important to remember that relapse is common. For most people, it take a lot more than one try at quitting the habit. The first two weeks are usually the hardest. There are three common reasons why people go back to smoking. The first is stress. The second is being around other smokers. The third is drinking alcohol. It can be hard when a loved one keeps smoking. For more information about free services offered by the California Smokers’ Helpline, please visit nobutts.org or call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.
How do I know I am eligible to participate in the program?
There are a things to keep in mind to participate in The Healthy Lungs at Home Project, a Smoke-Free Homes program. Is there a smoker currently living in your home? Do you feel comfortable speaking and understanding English? Are there currently no smoke-free rules about smoking in your home? Are you at least 18 years of age? To get a better idea about program eligibility, please call us at People’s CORE at (213) 241-0995. We’re happy to help!
E-cigarette advertisements reach nearly 7 in 10 middle and high school students. The ads use many of the same themes – independence, rebellion, and sex – that are used to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products. E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use. In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes.
The CDC analyzed data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey to assess exposure to e-cigarette advertisements among middle and high school students in the US. Four sources were assessed including retail stores, internet, TV and movies, and newspapers and magazines. The findings indicate that among all students, 68.9% (18.3 million students) were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements. Youth exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing, in part, to increasing experimentation with and use of e-cigarettes among young people in recent years. Multiple approaches are warranted to reduce youth exposure to e-cigarette advertisements, including efforts to reduce youth access to the settings where tobacco products such as e-cigarettes are sold, and regulation of youth-oriented e-cigarette marketing. The approaches have the potential to reduce all forms of tobacco use among youth, including e-cigarettes.
While e-cigarettes have the potential to lead to sustained tobacco use, additionally, advertising for conventional tobacco products has been shown to prompt experimentation as well as increase tobacco product use among youth. More than 80% of adult tobacco users in the United States began using tobacco regularly before age 18. The prevalence of tobacco use is now higher among teenagers and young adults than among other adult populations. However, the prevalence of quitting also is lower among these younger age groups. Studies indicate that most teenaged and young adult smokers want to quit and try to do so, but few succeed. Resources like the California Smokers Helpline offer free help for smokers trying to quit in order for more people to have successful quit attempts. For more information about the California Smokers Helpline, please visit www.nobutts.org.
The California Smokers’ Helpline provides vital information about quit attempts and helping encourage and provide support to smokers who want to quit. About 50 percent of smokers had made a quit attempt in 1990. By 1999, it had increased to about 60 percent. Unfortunately, since then the percentage has stopped rising.
Quit attempts are vitally important important because most tobacco users must try repeatedly to quit before they succeed. Every percentage point increase means an additional 36,000 smokers trying to quit each year. Fortunately the percentage of smokers who say they want to quit is approximately 70 percent, displaying a base receptivity to quit.
The process by which tobacco users cycle through quitting and relapsing until they finally quit for good can be conceptualized as a Quit Machine. Daily smokers either quit altogether and become former smokers, or in some cases reduce their smoking to the point that they are low-rate or non-daily smokers. Low-rate smoking is often a jumping-off point for quitting altogether. Among recent former smokers, relapse is common. They may relapse to non-daily smoking or go all the way back to daily smoking. Their desire to quit usually remains, leading them to cycle through the process again and again, till they become former smokers long enough to be less vulnerable to relapse.
The best thing for smokers who have a desire to quit is this: Get on the Quit Machine! Cycle through it as expeditiously as possible until you successfully quit.