FAQ
Warning!  I am not a Doctor but I am a trained cessation specialist and taught cessation classes for five years.  These are my best answers from the questions that come through the Ask form.  I have collected them here for your benefit.  If you wish more information, feel free to ask followup questions, call your doctor or your local lung association.  I will try to research your question.  Many of these pages are the result of your questions.  David Stamps

I'm doing a report on smoking and lung cancer could you help me out.
My boyfriend hasn't smoked in 4 days
I am a 24yrs guy who is going to get hired in a firm very soon.
Do you have this feeling that your chest  is beating a bit faster suddenly?
DO you have any gross pictures of smoking related cancer patients.
I am doing a paper on second hand smoke
What is the temperature of smoking tobacco?
I am interested to know what I can do to get involved in the fight against big tobacco?
Does your body start to heal itself, even after 30 yrs of smoking?
I'd like know if there is in USA some clinic that help people that want to stop smoking.
My girlfriend is smoking while using a nicotine patch
How long does nicotine stay in your system?
How long does nicotine take to completely work it's way out of the body?
How long, after you quit, does nicotine stay in the bloodstream?
Does quitting smoking really help emphysema?
My husband and I are in the process of quitting.  Do you have a really disgusting picture
I did try many times to stop smoking but I started again with increasing smoking.
What kind of chemicals in SMOKELESS TOBACCO(Snuff), cause cancer?
How bad can second hand smoke be compared to a smoker's intake?
I have quit in the past for months at a time (and was Dumb enough to start back)
Yes, all is VERY well.  2 more days will be one full month
My mother is suffering from emphysema.
I have quit for about a month and I can't stop vomiting
I am 15 and my father was recently diagnosed with the early stages of emphysema
I'm doing a report on teenagers and smoking for school
How long does nicotine remain in your body?
How can I get it across to young people that smoking can & will harm you
Should tobacco companies be held responsible for smoking related diseases?
How long does it take for nicotine to leave your body (urine and blood stream) after you stop smoking?
My boyfriend and I got in an argument about cigarette smoking.
My daughter claims to have quit smoking but I'm not sure!
Wow! Any way to help cleanse the system?
What is the most affective way to quit smoking?
I have been looking up chewing on the internet.
My question is "Is it normal to develop a hacking cough and a weird
When a person quits using smokeless tobacco, how long
After one stops smoking cigarettes, does the black tarry discoloration ever disappear?
What does cigarette smoke contain?  Is it toxic and what in cigarettes' is toxic?
What methods do tobacco companies use to encourage underage youth
I heard that over time, your lungs begin to heal from smoking cigarettes.
#2 What methods do tobacco companies use to encourage underage youth
I am the kind of person that needs to set goals, and I need to know how long
I have smoked for ten years, but I have been quit for almost 3 weeks.
What are the top 10 selling smokeless tobaccos.
I have not smoked for almost a month, in two days it will be a month.
Is male impotence due to smoking reversible?
What are some diseases that can occur in the lungs from using tobacco?
How long does Nicotine stay in the bloodstream after you quit dipping
I would like to know the contents {additives} in cigarettes?
Are muscle aches a common side effect when quitting cigarettes?
Is There a Blood Test That Can Detect If Someone Is a Smoker or Not?
I am looking for the entire list of the 4000 toxic chemicals in a cigarette.
Smoke free 7 days!
I have recently quite chewing.  I have to take a drug test for medical insurance
Hi, Im Trying Slowly Too Quit Smoking, I Used Too Smoke 3 Packs a Day
My girlfriend has quit smoking for two weeks but she is experiencing tightness in her chest.
I've had several  relatives die before their time due to tobacco related illness and I am frustrated daily.
I quit and I'm struggling, it has been 3 weeks now
If I were to have a blood test to determine if I smoke or not
I quit yesterday, however I am concerned because I start a new job
What are the signs of premature emphysema??
Are there any foods that will help decrease the cravings for cigarettes?
Can a smokers lung ever fully repair?
How Long Can Nicotine Be Found in a Blood or Urine Test.
I've been using patches for like 4 years, off and on
does that mean nothing will happen till after I stop using the patch
I am 16 and have been smoking for 4 years.
I have smoked since age 19 and i have quit at age 33
How do you know you have emphasyma?
Can you tell me how many mg of nicotine are in a pack of cigs?
Does smoking increase the chance of cervical cancer in women with Endemetriosis?
How long does nicotine remain in your body?
how long should I expect the cravings to last?
What is Emphysema, and how does it KILL YOU?
My dad died of lung cancer about a year ago
How long does it usually take to become addicted to tobacco?
I think that my grandfather has emphysema but isn't telling.
I'm a freshman in college and have smoked on and off since 9th grade.
Can mood swings and depression result after discontinuing the patches?
I find when I try to quit smoking that a lot of anger comes up for me.
My parents are smokers.
I am working on a debate for a class in college on why tobacco should be illegal.
My grandmother is dying from Emphysema.
 

I'm doing a report on smoking and lung cancer could you help me out.

I am not an expert but I can tell you that smoking causes both lung cancer and emphysema. My mother has emphysema and it is not much fun.  She has to drag an oxygen cart behind her everywhere she goes. The tars and smoke break down the tissue of the lung so that their ability to inhale air is greatly reduced.  As the disease progresses, it gets harder and harder to breathe.  Most while die gasping for a breathe or perhaps a heart attack from such painful work!
Several "Marlboro Men" have died from emphysema.
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My boyfriend hasn't smoked in 4 days.  He's having trouble with the cravings. How long will this last? He's smoked for 16 years.
 
Cravings related to nicotine withdrawal should diminish in another day or so.  Breaking the habit can be more difficult.  Your support is very important. Finding substitutions are important: crunchy foods, new activity, exercise, sleep, meditation are good coping mechanisms.
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I am a 24yrs guy who is going to get hired in a firm very soon. I smoke about a pack every three days. I WANT TO QUIT, but I had failed three times.

Qutting for many people is the hardest thing they have ever done. Not succeeding is not failure but practice.  All difficult things take practice. Smoking is one of the most complex of all addictions:  It is cheap.  It is with us from morning to night. It produces physical highs.  It makes us feel like rebels or part of the out crowd.  And so on. Keep trying because the older you get the more it will affect you and the harder it will get to quit.
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Do you have this feeling that your chest(not the heart) is beating a bit faster suddenly?.  How do I check my lung health?
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Any walk-in clinic or hospital can conduct an lung function and heart stress test.  Nicotene is a stimulant.  Your respiration is higher because it is harder for your body to get oxygen.  Your heart rate and metabolism are also higher.
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DO you have any gross pictures of smoking related cancer patients. Please scare me before I scare myself. I really really want to quit but It's damn hard!

Visit the pulminary wards and look at all the people on oxygen.  Call your local hospital - many of them sponsor stop smoking classes.  See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/lung_disease.html for a graphic description of lung disease.  See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/smoke.html for list of biologically active agents in tobacco and smoke.  Good luck and don't give up.
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I am doing a paper on second hand smoke and would like sone web page's to get some good info.

If you go to this link: http://www.lungusa.org and type in "second hand" in the SEARCH box in the lower right corner and press enter you will receive bountiful information. Thanks for asking.
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What is the temperature of smoking tobacco?

Please see NCI's (1998) Cigars: Health Effects and Trends Chapter 3. The temp of the cone of a lite cigarette is about 910  C. (1670  F); a cigar reaches about 930  C.(1706  F.)  Temps as high as 1290  C (2354  F) has been recorded for a cigar.   More details and graphs in the NCI Monograph 9. Larry Breed, Dr Ph., Community Health Education Institute, lblb@ix.netcom.com
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I am interested to know what I can do to get involved in the fight against big tobacco?

Please visit the Tobacco Activism Guide: http://www.tobacco.org/Resources/lbguide.html, http://www.tobacco.org/Resources/lbguide3.html
See my resource page for other links:
 http://www.smokehelp.org/html/resources.html
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Does your body start to heal itself, even after 30 yrs of smoking?
Or is it too late to even bother to stop?

On the contrary, you begin to feel better within a few days.  Unfortunately, the body does go through changes that can be difficult.  For instance, your sinuses may start to drain causing you to cough or feel a sore throat for a week or more.

Personally, I started when I was 18 (late by today's standards), smoked at least a pack of non-filter camels and quit finally when I was 48.  I haven't regretted it for one day.

I stopped having chronic bronchitis and colds.  My self-esteem rose dramatically within two weeks of being smoke free.  I felt back in control of my life and no longer felt I was "addictive/compulsive".

During the first few months you can feel "low" because your body isn't running on "high test" any more but eventually you get used it.

Don't stop trying to quit and you will succeed.  Thanks for visiting my web site.
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I'd like know if there is in USA some clinic that help people that want to stop smoking.

Please contact your state Health and Human Services Department or local Medical Society for qualified references.
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My girlfriend is smoking while using a nicotine patch.  She says that she takes it off when she smokes, but I am not convinced that makes it safe.  She says she takes it off when >she smokes, and I would just like to know whether this alleviates the health >risk or not.  She is pretty stubborn unless presented with cold hard facts.  Do you have any information on this subject.  Please reply as soon as you could as she continues this practice daily.

No one should smoke and be on the patch at the same time!  All the dangers regarding the patch are amply recorded on the insert in that comes with every patch kit.  Smoking and "Patching" is not quitting but just changing nicotine cocktails.  Nothing is gained.  Until your girlfriend is ready to quit, nothing you can do can make it happen.
There are plenty of cold, hard facts - she just has to be willing to acknowledge them and this will not happen until she is ready to come out of denial.
Tobacco is a powerful addictive drug and "sneaking" is a standard ploy of an addict whether we are talking alcohol, heroin, or nicotine.  Be careful you do not get caught up in "co-dependent" behaviors in trying to stop the addict.
Also, second hand smoke is as deadly as first hand smoke.  Be careful you don't create health problems for yourself.
The Patch's effectiveness is due to a long, slow delivery of a low level of nicotine.  Periodically "spiking" with a cigarette renders the whole process useless.
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How long does nicotine stay in your system?

72 to 96 hours max.
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How long does nicotine take to completely work it's way out of the body? Thank You very much.

Medically, nicotine takes only 72 to 96 hours to leave the body. However, the physical and mental reverberations can go on for weeks.
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How long, after you quit, does nicotine stay in the bloodstream?  I've just quit and want to start getting healthier.

Medically the nicotine is gone in 72 to 96 hours unless you receive it from second-hand smoke such as bars, closed rooms, etc.
It will take your body much long to get over the effects of long term nicotine addiction but the benefits begin immediately: Carbon Monoxide levels begin dropping, Blood pressure drops.
Short term you may experience a sore throat but this will clear up shortly.
See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html
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Does quitting smoking really help emphysema?

Yes and No. If already have emphysema it will retard progress of the disease but not cure it.  Quitting will also improve the functioning of the body's immune system.  If you don't have emphysema, your chances of contracting it drop with time.
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My husband and I are in the process of quitting.  Very determined to make it this time.  Do you have a really disgusting picture I could use as a screen saver?

I have scanned one in for you.  It is at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/picture_this.html.
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I did try many times to stop smoking but I started again with increasing smoking. How can I stop? Are there any medicals for buy to stop smoking.  I did read about some pills to stop smoking.  How can I find them?

Often when people have trouble quitting alone.  Pills do not always help  without a support group.  The "Freedom from Smoking ®" groups are excellent and can found through the American Lung Association at http://www.lungusa.org/

Nicotine may just be the "tip" of the addictive iceberg.  Patches may help ease the desire for nicotine but not much else.  I have outlined a process for quitting at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
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What kind of chemicals in SMOKELESS TOBACCO(Snuff), cause cancer?

See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/smoke.html most of the chemicals listed under "particulate phase" apply to Snuff.
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How bad can second hand smoke be compared to a smoker's intake?

See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/second_hand_smoke.html
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Hi  I have quit in the past for months at a time (and was Dumb enough to start back).  I now want to quit for good.  I want to live to see my children grow up. (with a mom who sets a good example) The most helpful thing for me before was a paper telling what happens after the last cigarette smoked.  It started with 20 minutes - Pulse and BP return to normal. Then it said 24 hours then 72 hours, 1 to 2 weeks, 1 month and so on up to about ten years.  This was VERY helpful as i could see the best benefits as encouragement to keep on keepin on.  I have lost this paper and don't know where to get another one.  PLEASE can you help me find a copy of something like this.  I can't tell you how much this means to me.  Please help.   Thank You

It is now posted at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html

Hi David!  Happy New Year!  Yes, all is VERY well.  2 more days will be one
full month; not a single puff; not even New Years Eve!!!  Have been off work
for Christmas shutdown; 11 days; work piled up.

Well congratulations!!  You are now in the safety zone. The odds of staying quit after a month are very good indeed.  Just watch out for second hand smoke like bars, cars, and other smokey places.  Nicotine is present in second-hand smoke as well other nasties - so it could trigger an urge.
Mainly, just make your mantra, "I can't have even one!" As time goes on the little devil on your shoulder will begin to whisper things like, "See you weren't really addicted - you can have
a puff.  What's the harm? "  This is what many report as their undoing. Great going.!!!
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My mother is suffering from emphysema.  She has smoked approximately 3 packs daily for at least 30 years (probably longer).  She is 70 years old.  Her breathing is labored and she has at least one pulmonary lesion.  She is also schizophrenic.  Smoking is her crutch and she has declared that she will die with a cigarette in her mouth.  Given this information, what physical symptoms can I expect to see in her?  How can I best help her (she will not quit)? Thanks for any input!

I feel for you.  My mother finally stopped smoking at 70 but only after her emphysema was well under way.  Unfortunately she is also an alcoholic and has not stopped drinking. However, even using a little oxygen cart my mother has been able to maintain a life but stress is her biggest downfall: physical or mental.  Stress increases the need of the body for oxygen which just isn't there.
Your mother's smoking will continue to aggravate her emphysema and in fact worsens and deepens its' effects.  COPD episodes will be the worst.  My mother has had four episodes in five years.
These require intense, costly ($25,000 to $40,000 per episode) hospital stays.  Twice her chart has been marked DNR (Do not resuscitate) and twice she has pulled through.
When I teach my stop smoking classes I tell smokers about the pain caused not only to themselves but to their loved ones.
My brother and sister and I have four times stood around her hospital bed - crying - and wondering and wondering and waiting.  Recovery time is very slow and painful.  Under all the medications they forget what they are saying, what happened and why.  Often the doctors prescribe tranquilizers so they will remain calm during their recovery period.

If your mother has oxygen and a cigarette she could blow herself (and you) up!
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I have quit for about a month and I can't stop vomiting about 20 minutes after I eat.  The three weeks I have vomited 6 times. Please help!! I tried quiting last summer and the same thing happened.  As soon as I started smoking, I felt better.  What should I do?

See a Doctor!!! You may be having an allergic reaction due to intense nicotine addiction. He may want you to use a patch.
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I am 15 and my father was recently diagnosed with the early stages of emphysema and I was wondering if he quit smoking would it progress??? Or what exactly will happen? He threw all of his cigarettes away. Should I be worried?

Once a person is diagnosed with emphysema it is irreversible. However, stopping smoking should definitely slow down its progress.  I would suggest he contact his local American Lung Association for help either through a Freedom from Smoking® class or an individual self help booklet.
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Hi, I'm doing a report on teenagers and smoking for school.  It's more of the psychological reasoning behind why teens smoke since they know it's so bad and has many long-term affects. I am also trying to back this up by saying that society influences teenagers to smoke.  If you have any ideas for this could you write back?  Thanks

Sure do!
1) Billions $ in advertising is directed at youth.  Last year more six years old kids recognized Joe Camel than Mickey Mouse.
2) Almost all youth of smoking parents are exposed in multiple ways to high levels of smoke and nicotine.  Nicotine does pass through the air to non-smokers. Also, nicotine passes through oxygen to the unborn fetus.  Also, through Mother's milk to nursing babies.
3) Most adults (both smokers and nonsmokers) do not perceive smoking as that "bad" even though more people will die from smoking related disease than all other reasons including hard drugs like heroin, crack, and alcohol.
4) Adults who smoke can't really say no to youth without confronting their own issues.
5) Smoking does produce a physical HIGH just like cocaine or heroin and therefore is attractive to those who are "down" which happens to youth a lot.  Unfortunately like all narcotics it is physically and emotionally addictive.
6) Smoking is also a social "prop" in that it gives one something to do when they feel nervous or unsure.
7) Again advertising glamorizes smoking so kids feel "cool".

How long does nicotine remain in your body?  I have been using snuff for years, recently quit but tested positive?  Please help...

Nicotine will last only 72 to 96 hours.  Generally this is only the beginning of the quitting process.  There are also many physical & behavior challenges that only begin to surface after the nicotine is gone.
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How can I get it across to young people that smoking can & will harm you, leave you crippled from a stroke, cause heart problems? It did for me.

Call the nearest hospital or school or state lung association and volunteer your time!
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Should tobacco companies be held responsible for smoking related diseases?
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I believe that the tobacco companies have lied, bribed and corrupted our country and our politicians.  Both our politicians and the tobacco companies and their executives should be held accountable.
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How long does it take for nicotine to leave your body (urine and blood stream) after you stop smoking?

72 to 96 hours.  Trace residues can remain for up to a year but these have no addictive effect.
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My boyfriend and I got in an argument about cigarette smoking.  He says it  is a mind altering drug just like alcohol. (he is an alcoholic) I realize-that it calms nerves but I don't think it affects the way I treat people or the things I do.  You probably think this is a really stupid question, but is nicotine a mind altering drug?

Alcohol is primarily a depressant although it also relaxes inhibitions and gives people an initial feeling of well-being.
Nicotine is more powerful drug and affects moods in a number of ways.  First of all, nicotine is a strong stimulant and is often used in conjunction with alcohol to "balance" moods;  i.e. alcohol is a downer and nicotine is an upper.  Complicating things for the smoker is that nicotine is also an extremely strong narcotic like heroin or cocaine.  Because of this everyone experiences withdrawal symptoms that begin shortly after a cigarette is smoked.  This withdrawal symptoms include irritability, tenseness, stress, anxiety.  When smokers say they smoke to relax it is these withdrawal symptoms that they are "dosing".  By smoking they alleviate the nicotine cravings and therefore report feeling more relaxed.
If you have a relationship with an alcoholic then I suggest that you seek a group like ALANON or private counseling to help you understand and deal with the mood swings that likely accompany alcoholism.
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My daughter claims to have quit smoking but I'm not sure!
How long after your last cigarette will nicotine no longer show in a blood test?

Residues will show up to a year or more.
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Wow! Any way to help cleanse the system?
Exercise, water and time.
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What is the most affective way to quit smoking?

One way is to join a smoking cessation group such as the Freedom from Smoking® by the American Lung  Association.
Don't give up trying and when you do succeed stopping, NEVER, NEVER SAY YOU CAN HAVE JUST ONE!!!
Some ideas on quitting are here: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
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I have been looking up chewing on the internet. I have found that there are about 9 different things that are found in chew. Like n-nitrosaminec, Polonium 210, Lead, Arsenic, etc. I was wondering how long these by-products stay in your body.

OK - I talked to a Doctor and of course it depends. Some chemicals you just breathe in and breathe out.  Some bind to the cells of your lungs and remain forever.  Some slowly work their way through your system, often causing liver or bladder cancer on their way out.  There is no safe form of tobacco.
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My question is "Is it normal to develop a hacking cough and a weird
sensation in your chest(lungs area) after about week or two of not smoking

Possibly, depending on many factors.  Long-term smokers develop a coating of tar and other substances on their tongue, throat and air-passages.  As this sloughs off, it can leave the skin very raw and sensitive.  If you are still being exposed to other sources of smoke this can be especially irritating.  Also, many smokers have chronic sinus problems that begin to clear up and drain.  This drainage can be very irritating to the throat and stomach.
If this continues, I suggest  you see a doctor and feel proud when you say, "I have quit smoking, can you help me."  Congratulations!!
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When a person quits using smokeless tobacco, how long does it take for the nicotine to be purged from the body?

72 to 96 hours the nicotene is gone!  Other chemicals can take longer.
Be sure and visit a dentist soon to remove the tar other residue or you could be facing some serious dental / gum problems.
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After one stops smoking cigarettes, does the black tarry discoloration ever disappear?

From the teeth, yes over several months - sometimes a year or more.
See your dentist and have them cleaned.
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What does cigarette smoke contain?  Is it toxic and what in cigarettes' is toxic?

This page lists the toxic ingredients: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/smoke.html
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What methods do tobacco companies use to encourage underage youth to begin smoking and to continue once they start?

1) Glamorize by using actors and models in cool, extreme, etc. scenes.
2) Parking "give-away" packs in accessible places in stores.  These packs are meant to be stolen and are replenished free by tobacco companies.
3) Promotion of "Gear" which is targeted at young kids who are creating their identities around clothes.
4) Spit is marketed first as candy then in increasing doses of nicotine.
5) Nicotine is of course highly addictive which "locks in" smokers.
6) Nicotine is a drug and will produce feelings of euphoria or "high" and acts as strongly as heroin does on the pleasure centers of the brain.
7) Cigarettes are advertised as relaxing when in fact they are only helping the user with their withdrawal symptoms and are helping to create the very stress they claim to relieve.
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I heard that over time, your lungs begin to heal from smoking cigarettes.  I would like to know if they ever do fully heal and if so, how long does it take for them to.  Please respond ASAP,  it's for a paper I'm doing to kind of  warn kids against smoking. Thanks a lot.

There is some healing but some most definitely not. The cilia, which are the dust filters on the back of the throat and lungs, will renew themselves in time.
However, if the lungs contract emphysema this will NOT heal.  Emphysema is for life.  Stopping smoking will slow the rate at which the lungs deteriorate.  Stopping smoking will also begin to lessen the chances of lung cancer developing.
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#2 What methods do tobacco companies use to encourage underage youth to begin smoking and to contiune once they start?

Here's another answer from http://www.tobacco.org

"Present the cigarette as one of a few initiations into the adult world. Present the cigarette as part of the illicit pleasure category of products and activities . . . . In your ads create a situation taken from the day-to-day life of the young smoker but in an elegant manner have this situation touch on the basic symbols of the growing-up, maturity process. To the best of your ability (considering some legal constraints) relate the cigarette to pot wine, beer, sex, etc."
--1975 Report prepared for Brown & Williamson by the Ted Bates agency concerning a proposed campaign for Viceroy.
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I am the kind of person that needs to set goals, and I need to know how long the coughing will last and what other withdrawal symptoms I will go through.  Then I can fight against them telling myself when it will be over. I have smoked for about 28 years, I now smoke about a pack and a half a day.

Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and even from one quit time to another.  Some people begin to feel a sore throat right away and it clears up within a few days.  Others don't feel the sore throat for one to two weeks afterward. Again it usually lasts only a few days.  Some people experience a lot of sinus drainage which can aggravate throat and stomach problems.
There are many drug withdrawal symptoms from Nicotine and many from the psychological addictions. 
You might consider finding a Freedom from Smoking® coarse which can found through your local American Lung Association or the National office: http://www.lungusa.org/ This coarse is very goal oriented.  Also see my tips at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
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I have smoked for ten years, but I have been quit for almost 3 weeks. I am  almost 26 , is it normal not to cough anything out of my lungs.  I thought they went through a cleansing process.

Not everyone coughs up tar and mucous in great globs.  Sometimes just little bits at a time.
Don't worry you are improving.  See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html
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What are the top 10 selling smokeless tobaccos.

You're on the wrong track friend. Tobacco is the main problem here. Smokeless or otherwise.
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I have not smoked for almost a month, in two days it will be a month. The  last two days I have craved a cigarette more than ever. Even worse now than  the day quit. I am using the patch and have smoked a pack a day for ten years. Why aren't my cravings subsiding????HELP!!!

It is not unusual to have times when cravings come back.  Eventually this will not happen.  Generally there are specific times and places that trigger us.  Some cravings are generated by response to situations that bother us.  Please don't panic.  It will get better.
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Is male impotence due to smoking reversible?

Generally, Yes.
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What are some diseases that can occur in the lungs from using tobacco? Thank  you very much!

Pneumonia
Bronchitis
Cancer of the Lungs
Emphysema
Tobacco use is also one major factor in heart attacks.
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How long does Nicotine stay in the bloodstream after you quit dipping skoal about once or twice a day?  How long will you experience withdrawl symptoms?

Nicotine takes about 72 to 96 hours to leave the bloodstream. Physical withdrawal symptoms last only a few days.  Psychological withdrawal can go on as long as the underlying reasons for addiction continue.
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I would like to know the contents {additives} in cigarettes?

See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/smoke.html
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Are muscle aches a common side effect when quitting cigarettes?  I have been 3 weeks without a cigarette & have been experiencing persistent aches & fatigue & bad headaches, is this normal?

Aches-Not usually.  Perhaps tension?  Fatigue often occurs.  Nicotine is a powerful stimulants and when you quit it will take the body awhile to rebalance itself to it's natural state.
If the headaches persist, check with a doctor.  You may some allergies that are now beginning to affect you - the smoke masks everything while it tries to kill you.
Exercise and drinking water are two excellent aides when quitting smoking.
Life will slowly get better!
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Is There a Blood Test That Can Detect If Someone Is a Smoker or Not?  Also,  How Long after You Quit Smoking Is the Nicotine Actually out of Your System?

There are residues from smoking that last for months, up to a year that will show up in standard drug testing.  Nicotine itself will metabolize out of the body within 72 to 96 hours.
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I am looking for the entire list of the 4000 toxic chemicals in a cigarette.  Would you be able to help me identify EACH of them?  I also need the 400 and the 40 cancer causing chemicals from the 4000.  Please let me know if you can help.  Thanks.  I need this info for a presentation.

The information I have is at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/smoke.html
Dr. Koop has a lot of good info: http://www.drkoop.com/
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Smoke free 7 days!  What physical problems can I expect while I am withdrawing from nicotine? I hear cold sores, leg problems etc.  Need your help on this. Thank you in advance.

Hurray!!!!
Everyone has different problems sometimes different each time they try.  Look at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
Especially 7,8,9 ...
You are also in a personality transition period.  This is the time when the addictive
self will try to woo you back to the evil weed whispering such things to you
as "it really was good" or " it helped me sooo much."  Don't listen to it.
Stay the course - it will feel like a roller coaster for awhile.
Remember no problem actually improves when you smoke a cigarette.
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I have recently quite chewing.  I have to take a drug test for medical insurance reasons.  Do you know how long after you quite using tobacco that they can detect the presence of nicotine in your blood?  Thanks for your help!

1 year is about the maximum for detection and also is considered to be how long you have to say quit for it to count for insurance.
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Hi, Im Trying Slowly Too Quit Smoking, I Used Too Smoke 3 Packs a Day, and  Now I'm at 1 and a Half a Day!  What I Wanna Know Is, the Withdrawal Symptoms I'm Feeling from the Decrease of the Nicotine Are Pretty Harsh, and I Dont  Think I'll Be Able to Sustain This!  How Long Do the Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
I'm Not Ready Yet Too Go Cold Turkey Yet, So I Would like Any Info on My  Situation, If You Would?  Thank You Much.

The nicotine will effectively be gone in 72 to 96 hours but only if you quit cold turkey.  Cutting down slowly seldom works and is extremely difficult!  It is much better to follow a definite program such as I outline in: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html

My girlfriend has quit smoking for two weeks but she is experiencing tightness in her chest.  Is this a common thing for people who quit smoking? Please let me know, I'm worried about this.

I am not qualified to answer Medical Questions especially over the internet. If you are truly worried then by all means seek a Doctor's opinion.  Nicotine is an extremely powerful narcotic drug and as such can produce some very strong and sometimes seemingly strange physical reactions. It is not uncommon to experience drowsiness, stomach upsets, throat irritations, light headedness, allergy type symptoms, etc.  It is also often the case that the stress of stopping can produce a variety of anxiety related symptoms.
The best remedies are sleep, water and exercise.  In addition it is important to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the situations where the desire to smoke is the strongest.
That said, a Doctor's visit is always a good idea.  She will receive strong support, and more tips about quitting.
Many will also experience some weight gain and therefore diet and exercise are also important issues to address.
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This is a great site!  Thank you for your excellent work.  I've had several  relatives die before their time due to tobacco related illness and I am frustrated daily by the cigarette litter lining the streets and the sunken faces of tobacco slaves who were tricked as kids by a powerful, insidious marketing scheme.
Please keep up the great work.  Everyone who quits not only saves themselves, but denies the tobacco companies more money for advertising.

Thank you.
Tobacco is the only product in the world that kills you when used according to directions.

I don't really have a question I just want to say thank you.  I quit and I'm struggling, it has been 3 weeks now, I'm ok but I could go back to smoking at anytime.  But I won't, I visit your site and I take a good look at the lungs and how scary it is.  I'm still young with 2 young children that I want to see grow into adulthood.  So everytime I feel like I'm going to give up and start smoking again, I'll go to your page. (Page referred to: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/picture_this.html)

Thank you.  The lung picture was suggested by another young woman who struggled like you.  After three weeks the struggle often becomes a war of lifestyles - old and new.  We used cigarettes to fill so many voids - real and imagined - that our addicted self keeps demanding the old ways.
Keep resisting and it WILL get easier but don't be surprised if occasionally the old addicted self sneak attacks.

If I were to have a blood test to determine if I smoke or not, how long does it take for the nicotine and other things to leave my blood?

1 year minimum - never if you live or work in a very smokey atmosphere.

I quit yesterday, however I am concerned because I start a new job on July  21st.  It is essential that I quit because I have asthma and if not now when  is the question.  So far (and it's not 24 hours yet) this seems to be a concern and I did not have this one until I was looking for motivation and read a quote that you should not quit when your going to start a new job.

If we look we can always find a reason not to quit.  Some people quit under the most trying circumstances.  Read carefully the material under http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
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What are the signs of premature emphysema??

This is principally a question for a doctor.  The early stages of emphysema are difficult to detect by a lay person.  By the time the signs are obvious the disease has already got a strong foothold.  If you have any questions a doctor can have a lung function test performed.  Some clinics or hospitals may even have offer free screening.

I have acquired a publication on emphysema from the American Lung Assoc. that is quite detailed.  The information is now at http://www.smokehelp.org/html/lung_disease.html.
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Are there any foods that will help decrease the cravings for cigarettes?

Celery, carrots, dry-roasted peanuts.
Lots of water.
Activity of any kind.
Exercise.
Keep moving.
The first week or two are the toughest but it does get easier.
Don't leave any empty moments to fill with thoughts of smoking.
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Can a smokers lung ever fully repair?

No, sadly once emphysema gets started it is a degenerative disease that cannot be reversed....
BUT, as soon as a person stops smoking the process begins immediately to slow down - stretching the end stage out to years or even longer.
For people who have not yet contracted emphysema, they can usually throw off most of the effects of smoking within 6mo's to 2 years. The cilia in the throat and lungs immediately begin working again; Bronchitis would begin to migitate, etc. See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html
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How Long Can Nicotine Be Found in a Blood or Urine Test.

1 year assuming you are not working or living in the presence of second-hand smoke.
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I've been using patches for like 4 years, off and on. I use them for months at a time and then gradually start smoking again after I take them off. I'm an RN and I believe I know the following: that using patches does nothing to help my cardiovascular system (meaning I'm still getting nicotine and it's damaging my arteries just like smoking tobacco would, but that I am helping my lungs? What do you think? I would also like to know which cessation method has the highest success rate? Also, are there any studies to show that extended use of nicotine patches are more harmful than regular smoking? P.S. I don't smoke when I wear patches and I always use Nicoderm CQ 21mg but I only wear it for about 14 hours and then take it off to sleep.

Glad to hear you don't smoke with a patch on - that could send your Blood Pressure way up! While Nicotine is often cited as the reason people smoke, it is usually only part of the cessation solution.
Most of us learned to smoke in response to a complex of factors usually in adolescence or young adult hood.  Not only did we become hooked on nicotine but we also incorporated smoking into our lifestyle. Today, even though we may have solved many of those issue we continue to follow old paths.  Cessation programs like the ALA program Freedom from Smoking®; help focus attention not only on the physical but also the behavior aspects of quitting. It helped me - after 30 years of smoking. There is no sure fire way. Most people try a number of times but many suggest the cold turkey approach. Fewer than 10% of Freedom from Smoking® (which I teach now) students use patches or other Nicotine reduction therapies. As a retired Doctor headed the chemical dependency unit of a local hospital said, "..eventually you have to kick the patch habit."
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I have read the page on what happens after my last smoke and my question is that I'm quitting with the patch does that mean nothing will happen till after I stop using the patch or does it still happen after my last cigarette it my be a dumb question but I would really like to know.....thanks

There is a spectacular change when you quit regardless of whether you are on the patch. When you smoke you are receiving large nicotine doses four to six (or more) times an hour and going through four to six (or more) withdrawal cycles.
The purpose of the patch is bring down and even out these cycles.
However, when you quit smoking you will experience losses both real and psychological. This occurs regardless of whether you are on the patch.  The losses include not having something to do like lighting, holding, crushing, waving, ....
Not having a crutch.  It has been your best (and worst) friend. All of these will engender a sense of loss.
Good luck and don't give up.
Remember a 10 or 20 or 30 year habit doesn't give up easily.
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A family member stopped smoking about 17/18 years ago. They have led a fairly active life and now at 48, they have been diagnosed with emphysema. What is the likely outcome and what do they have to look for in the future?

One of the dangers of smoking or second-hand smoke is that diseases like cancer or emphysema can start many years before they can be diagnosed. Other environmental factors such as dust and chemcials can also cause or exacerbate these diseases.
Alcohol in any quantity will also negatively affect health.
That said, however, all of the above is based on the statistics of large numbers. It is really only possible for your doctors to make any judgements or prognosis as to the course of the disease.
Not smoking is not a guarantee but only reduces possibilities. People who don't smoke or stop are less likely to contract lung diseases.  Those who have stopped will allow the body more strength to deal with the health issues.
There are many advances in therapies and operations that can minimize the effects and prolong life.
Exercise and diet make an enormous difference in the quality of life of this person. Please consult your local hospital or clinic for trained pulmonary exercise and diet specialists.
Also please consider sharing your message with others, especially teenagers, who think that as long as  they feel healthy they are healthy.
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I am 16 and have been smoking for 4 years. I have just got back home from undergoing heart surgey at the University of Michigan hospital. I had a oblation done to my heart through a heart cath. Can you give me some tips on how to make quitting smoking easier?

Have your doctor give you some exercises, drink water, use plenty of non-sugar crunchies like carrots and celery. See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/help_with_quitting.html
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I have smoked since age 19 and i have quit at age 33.  Will my chances be good for recovery. I smoked a pack and half a day

http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html for a list of what gets better when...
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How do you know you have emphasyma?

You don't always. Emphysema can start to develop long before you are aware of the symptoms - just as some forms of cancer.  If you have any questions or doubt you can have Lung Function
test at a local hospital or clinic.  See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/lung_disease.html
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Hi Can you tell me how many mg of nicotine are in a pack of cigs?
thank you. I have smoked for 30 yrs and now have 6 weeks without smoking...... yeah !!

15 to 20mg and up depending on cigarette brand and how much smoked. Unless you are exposed to second-hand smoke, all of the nicotine should be gone by now. Although traces may remain for a year, it is not enough to effect you physically.
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Does smoking increase the chance of cervical cancer in women with Endemetriosis?

Don't know.
I do know that smoking negatively impacts our immune system making us more susceptible to almost everything.
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How long does nicotine remain in your body?

Nicotine metabolizes through your system within 72 to 96 hours after your last cigarette or other form of tobacco. That is, unless you work or play in an area where there is second-hand smoke.
There are smoking by-products which remain in the body for up to a year which can be tested for.
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I guess my original question should have been how long should I expect the cravings to last? I am on day 7 and they are getting less frequent, yet still happening. Also, on average, when will I stop thinking about cigarettes ;all of the time? Thank you for your help.

See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/days_from_hell.html in my web site.
The real danger comes when you stop thinking all the time.. then you are more a risk to think - ahh this isn't so bad, I can have just one... or just to let your guard down.
After the nicotine, slowly the cigarettes let go of you but you have to let go of them as well.
Also this is not a straight line process, there will be good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours, but gradually there will be more good times than bad.

Can health damage due to tobacco use be reversed if a person quits using? If so, what is the time frame?

At lot but not all: See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/why_.html
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What is Emphysema, and how does it KILL YOU?

Emphysema is a disease of the lungs in which the muscle controlling the operating of the lungs slowly loses control thus making it more and more difficult to breathe. During the advanced stages, patients will usually be on oxygen to help with their breathing. Emphysema is not easily reversed if at all however the effects can be greatly slowed when a person stops smoking. Eventually a person on oxygen is still not able get absorb enough oxygen and to exhale waste gases and effect drowns in their own lungs.  See http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm

My dad died of lung cancer about a year ago. I am 34 years old and I have been smoking regularly for 22 years, will cancer be more a chance for me because of my dads cancer?

Not necessarily but possibly. However, if he smoked as well then you have smoked for even longer than 22 years - since you were born or since someone began regularly smoking in your household (See Secondhand smoke: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/second_hand_smoke.html). Cancer does start long before it is detectable.  Your biggest risk factor by far is 22 years of smoking. Maybe it is time to stop?

How long does it usually take to become addicted to tobacco? I usually have a cigar or two on the weekend, and I have become worried about addiction.

You probably are already addicted. There are several elements to addiction:
1) The brain chemistry is altered to need nicotine.
2) Nicotine makes us high and therefore we become dependent on nicotine for mood altering needs
3) We become psychologically dependent on the paraphernalia and process of smoking.

If you can't stop completely, you are addicted and are at risk for a variety of smoking related diseases including emphysema, cancer of the throat, palette, lungs etc.
Please stop
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I think that my grandfather has emphysema but isn't telling. He had angioplasty about 2 months ago and has been on oxygen daily. He says that the oxygen is only to help his breathing since the operation. He has this terrible cough and I keep asking him about it, but he blows me off. My brother and I have snooped around. Are there any other signs to check for?

Only a medical exam can tell for sure.  Perhaps the information on this page will help: http://www.smokehelp.org/html/lung_disease.html.  The saddest part about dealing with people with addictions is that they will only stop when they are ready and will only listen when they are ready.  This is what denial is.  Often people will not change until the pain of staying where they are is greater than the pain of changing.  What you can do: set limits, be firm, be loving but don't make it your life.
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hi - I'm a freshman in college and have smoked on and off since 9th grade.  I want to quit, but I find it VERY difficult with all my new friends who smoke and all the stress that comes with college. Would it be terrible if I waited to quit for about a year? I have asthma....

Every year it will get harder and harder.
With addiction there NEVER is a good time.
Smoking will continue to make your asthma worse.
Even college age people can develop cancer and emphysema.
Please stop
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Can mood swings and depression result after discontinuing the patches? How do you stabilize these emotional swings?
Yes.
Time, exercise and deep breathing.
Nicotine induces mood swings because it is a narcotic. It will take the body some time to get used to not having the stimulants. It is not a good idea to substitute other mood stimulants like extra caffeine, sugar, etc.

Some depression is not due to drug changes in your body so much as saying good-bye to an old friend.
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I find when I try to quit smoking that a lot of anger comes up for me. Very little patience. So I start smoking again to be a nicer person. It's very frustrating.
I have set my quit date for this Wednesday.
I want to thank you for putting this website together. You are really doing a great service and it is greatly appreciated.

You are very welcome. Please feel free to ask questions or vent while you are going through this. You are not alone. Many find that giving up smoking is like having their best friend die!  So all the emotions like anger, sadness, bargaining and denial that we feel when we lose a loved come out. We feel a sense of betrayal. This is on top of just kicking the nicotine habit.
Good luck
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Hi. My parents are smokers. I'm doing a research paper for school on cigarettes and tobacco addiction and I was wondering if you could send me so links I could go to that would really be effective in shocking people. Not only for my research paper but also to shock my parents enough to get them to quit. THANK YOU!!

I am very sorry for your predicament. The http://www.smokehelp.org/ site has some scary photos and scary facts but unfortunately people will not change until they are ready to. The scariest problem is the health risks that you are being forced to submit to. You have the right to clean air and the right to ask your parents not to spoke inside and not in the car. Second hand smoke is just as dangerous to you as it is to them. See http://www.smokehelp.org/html/second_hand_smoke.html
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I am working on a debate for a class in college on why tobacco should be illegal. Do you have any input on reasons or statistics why it should be?

Actually I am not in favor of making cigarettes illegal. In fact I think the tobacco companies are promoting that idea to enrage people. As with other drugs, I think broad counter educational and marketing campaigns are the key to change.
Controlling other drugs by making them illegal has clearly failed. What makes us think cigarettes would be any  different.
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My grandmother is dying from Emphysema. I want to know more about the disease, how it effects the body, how long people generally live with the disease, and what treatments are available. Do you know a good source where I can find this info?

It's full name is COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Try here: See http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm
Good Luck. It is very hard on the person and the family.  One doctor who visits my classes says emphysema is like breathing through a straw as you dip it into water.
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