"In reality, cigarette smoking is as addictive as heroine," said Registered Therapist Debra Pardue.
said most smokers are shocked when they learn the ingredients in cigarettes.
said, "It's not nicotine that causes the cancer it's the nicotine that keeps you addicted.
The other additives are what cause cancers."
So some try to wean themselves off heavy cigarettes by turning to lights, dip or chew.
They believe they'll never be able to quit completely because they fear their craving will never go away.
In realty, Pardue
says these alternatives are no better and while each individual reacts differently, the chemical withdrawal is only ten to 14 days.
said, "You're only going to gain an average of five to seven pounds and if you weigh the detrimental side effects to that five to seven pounds against the benefits of quitting, it's no comparison."
According to the American Cancer Society
within 20 minutes of that last cigarette, a person's blood pressure and pulse drop to normal.
So, even if you've been smoking most of your life, Pardue
said it's never too late to give up the habit.
If not for you, then for those around you.
"The way we live our lives has a direct effect on our kids and grandkids so we need to set an example for them," Pardue
Both Kennedy and Pardue say it's easier to quit if you have a support group, whether it be a friend, co-worker or spouse.
For more information and tips to help you quit smoking, go to the links section and click on American Cancer Society
In an effort to help Texomans, Pardue will be teaching a course at United Regional.