Smoking Dependency

Compiled by John G. Connor, M.Ac., L.Ac. Edited by Barbara Connor, M.Ac., L.Ac.

Useful Foods and Vitamins
Dietary Recommendations
Lifestyle Recommendations

· As most of you probably already know, some of the serious health problems linked to smoking include: angina, arteriosclerosis, one third of all cancer deaths, cataracts, chronic bronchitis, colorectal cancer, diarrhea, emphysema, heartburn, high blood pressure, 85% of all lung cancer cases, one fourth of fatal heart attacks, impotence, peptic ulcers, respiratory ailments, circulatory ailments and cancers of the mouth and throat.

· Women who smoke face a greater risk of osteoporosis after menopause and have a much higher risk of developing cervical or uterine cancer.

· In preliminary research smoking has been linked to significantly increased risk of developing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. (Hardy et al, 1998)

· Barbara and I feel it is very important to work with you to help you quit smoking once you have made this decision.  And we get excellent results using a combination of acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, hara visceral work and herbs when treating patients who want to stop smoking.  In addition to these therapies we incorporate various aspects of the following on a case-by-case basis in order to strengthen your lungs, detoxify your liver and eliminate your cravings for smoking:

· Berries, citrus fruits, green vegetables, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, collards, kale, mangos, onions, papayas, green peas, persimmons, pineapple, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes contain vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant that protects the body against cell damage.  Smokers break down vitamin C about twice as fast as nonsmokers, drastically depleting the body of vitamin C; therefore, it is important to make sure you get adequate amounts of this vitamin.

· Mackerel, salmon, sardines, peanuts and spinach contain Coenzyme Q10, which aids oxygen flow to the brain and protects heart tissue.  It also acts as an antioxidant to protect cells and the lungs.

· Brown rice, fish, legumes, peanuts, peas, poultry, rice bran, wheat germ and whole grains; also asparagus, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, dulse, kelp, most nuts, oatmeal, plums, dried prunes, raisins, spirulina and watercress contain vitamin B1, which acts as an antioxidant protecting the body from the degenerative effects of smoking.  It also has a positive effect on growth, cognitive activity and normal appetite.

· Fish, legumes, poultry, spinach, whole grains and yogurt; also asparagus, avocados, broccoli, brussel sprouts, currants, dandelion greens, dulse, kelp, leafy greens, mushrooms, molasses, nuts and watercress contain vitamin B2, which aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, is needed for the metabolism of tryptophan and is important in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.

· Avocados, brewer’s yeast, broccoli, carrots, dandelion greens, dates, eggs, figs, fish, peanuts, potatoes, prunes, tomatoes, wheat germ and whole wheat products contain vitamin B3,which is needed for proper circulation and healthy skin.  It aids in the functioning of the nervous system, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and lowers cholesterol.

· Fresh vegetables, brewer’s yeast, eggs, kidney, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, royal jelly, saltwater fish, torula yeast, whole rye flour, and whole wheat contain vitamin B5, which may be helpful in treating depression and anxiety.  It plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones, is involved in the production of neurotransmitters and is needed for the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

· Brewer’s yeast, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, peas, spinach, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and wheat germ; also avocado, bananas, beans, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, brown rice, whole grains, cabbage, cantaloupe, corn, dulse, potatoes, soybeans, and tempeh contain vitamin B6, which is involved in more bodily functions than almost any other single nutrient.  It plays a role in cancer immunity and aids in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.

· Brewer’s yeast, clams, eggs, herring, mackerel, dairy products, and seafood; also dulse, kelp, kombu, nori, soybeans and soy products contain vitamin B12, which is needed to prevent anemia.  It also prevents nerve damage and promotes normal growth and development by maintaining the fatty sheaths that cover and protect nerve endings.  It is linked to the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that assists memory and learning.

· Cold pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains; also brown rice, cornmeal, dulse, eggs, kelp, flaxseed, milk, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, watercress, wheat and wheat germ contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that is important in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  It promotes normal blood clotting and healing, reduces scarring from some wounds, reduces blood pressure, aids in preventing cataracts and relaxes leg cramps.

· Green and yellow fruits and vegetables and fish liver oils contain vitamin A, which protects against colds, influenza, and infections of the kidneys, bladder, lungs and mucous membranes.  It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect the cells against cancer and other diseases, and slows the aging process.

· Green leafy vegetables, apricots, pumpkins, oranges, barley, bran, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, cheese, chicken, dates, legumes, lentils, milk, mushrooms, split peas, root vegetables, salmon, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and whole wheat contain folic acid, which is needed for the formation of red blood cells.  It also increases the production of white blood cells, which are crucial in the defense against cancer.  Scientists at the University of Alabama Medical Center found that folic acid in dark leafy vegetables, oranges and liver could act together with vitamin B12 to prevent injuries to lung tissue and retard the development of cancer among cigarette smokers.

· Milk Thistle is an herb that protects the liver against the harmful toxins from cigarette smoke.

· Avoid sugar, junk food, fatty, greasy food, processed and refined foods, saturated fats, salt or white flour.
· Do not eat animal protein except for broiled fish.  Avoid luncheon meat or smoked or cured meats.
· Limit your consumption of dairy products to yogurt, kefir or goat milk cheese.
· Avoid alcohol, coffee and all teas except herbal teas.

· When cravings strike, try taking a walk, doing some sit-ups or engaging in any activity that can momentarily take your mind off cigarettes.  Remember that the acute craving for a cigarette lasts only three to five minutes.  Also remember that it gets easier and easier as times goes by.
· When you stop smoking, you may feel an increase in your appetite.  Try not to reach for the nearest sweet to satisfy your cravings.  Keep some fresh fruit or dried fruit and nuts at hand.  These will satisfy your cravings and also make you feel better.

Balch, James F., M.D., Balch, Phyllis A., C.N.C., Prescription for Nutritional Healing Garden City Park: Avery Publish Group, 1997
Mindell, Earl, R.P.H., Ph.D., Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century New York: Warner Books, 1999
Moss, Ralph W., Ph.D., Cancer Therapy, The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Non-Toxic Treatment and Prevention Brooklyn: Equinox Press, 1996

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Compassionate Acupuncture and Healing Arts, providing craniosacral acupuncture, herbal and nutritional medicine in Durham, North Carolina. Phone number 919-475-1005.

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