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Re: [humanism-174] Presidential Politics

From: Mark T.
Sent on: Friday, September 14, 2007 1:45 AM
I didn't mean to imply that smoking cigarettes eases my stress or relaxes me (although I do feel a great joy upon lighting up if I haven't had one for a few hours!). 
The truth is that I am usually a very stress-free person who doesn't sweat the small stuff, doesn't take ANYTHING too seriously, is not easily angered, is almost never in a hurry, is not burdened by any guilt, is comfortable with who he is, and doesn't particularly care what the world thinks of him... who happens to smoke. That is what I meant to imply with my "creed".
I AM addicted though... to coffee also. But I'm cool with that.

On 9/13/07, Maude <[address removed]> wrote:
Now Mark,
I think I already had this conversation with you-Sona would be proud. But I will reiterate.
Smoking causes stress. Smoking does not alleviate stress reactions in the body. You THINK smoking alleviates stress because you are ADDICTED.
If you happen to have a blood pressure cuff, try this little experiment: 1. Don't smoke for 3 hours and take your BP. 2. Have a cigarette and take your BP right after you finish smoking it and then 15 minutes thereafter. 3. One morning, get up and walk around and have coffee and do whatever you do but do not smoke for 1 hour after arising and take your BP after that 1 hour (the 1 hour after getting out of bed is important because lots of people have blood pressure dips while sleeping). 4. The next morning, get up and smoke when you normally do-first thing, with your coffee after you've been up 15 minutes, etc. and then take your BP. 5. The next time you get REAL MAD about something that keeps you mad for a good while, smoke through your disgust like you normally would and take your BP every couple hours that you are mad. 6. The next, next time you get REAL MAD about something that keeps you mad, DO NOT SMOKE and take your blood pressure every couple hours that you are mad.
I am willing to put money on it that even in the last instance, where you are not smoking your way through being mad, your BP will be HIGHER when you smoke through the problem that made you mad. I can almost guarantee it. You may psychologically feel better when smoking yourself through an anger episode, but, by smoking, you are causing additional stress to your body above that of just being mad without smoking.
Also, not smoking does not cause hot-headedness except in the withdrawal period-even late withdrawal period-say a month at most. After that, if you are not a hot-head by nature, not smoking will not cause you to react like one.
Sure, there are lots of never-smokers and former smokers who are hot-heads but it has nothing to do with smoking history. If you experience a time of over reacting during quitting smoking it is withdrawal from the addiction and it will end but it does not cause you to become a personality that reacts stressfully to minor situations.
Smoking also increases cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone that causes stress to all systems of the body basically. So, without getting agitated, you are causing stress to your system as if you were agitated by smoking.
Cancer of no sort runs in my family on either side and there are tons of smokers. You may never get lung cancer. HOWEVER, let's see, I have an aunt who is 85 who is of sound mind and in good health really, including her heart, has always been very athletic, but unfortunately, she has lost both legs to peripheral artery disease due to smoking. It is only due to smoking. She quit smoking 30 years ago, btw. But the damage had been done. She envisioned her golden years spending time in her house in Florida bordering the golf course but alas, even with both protheses-very good custom legs, at her age she finds it too physically difficult to climb in and out of the golf carts repeatedly.
I smoke but I don't love smoking. I hate it. I have quit a number of times and the more times I quit and start again, the more I hate smoking over time. I hate the coughing, sometimes I cut way down just to eliminate that and I feel good when I do that. I hate not being able to run as far as when I don't smoke, I hate the smell that stinks up my house and clothes, I hate having to be inconvenienced by going outside during social events. I am aiming to one day wake up and hate it enough that I will quite and it will stick.
But, smoking CAUSES stress to the body.

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