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Doctors Warned of Smoking Dangers 400 Years Ago

drugs, cancer, smoking, cigarettesA doctor's letter written more than 400 years ago has revealed medics were even then concerned about the dangers of young people smoking.

The letter, by Dr. Eleazar Duncon, concluded that tobacco "is so hurtful and dangerous to youth ... that it was as well known by the name of Youths-bane as by the name of tobacco.”

The letter was unearthed by library staff at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) as they prepared for an exhibition. Professor Sir Neil Douglas, the president of the RCPE, said that the letter "provides a fascinating insight into historical medical concerns about the addictive nature of smoking and young people, and shows that this issue has been of concern for over four centuries."

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Does it surprise you to learn the dangers of cigarette smoking have been a concern of doctors for over 400 years?

Yet according to the American Lung Association’s most recent data, nearly 24 percent of men and 18 percent of women in the U.S. are still indulging their habit. Well that may seem high, it is radically reduced from when I was in high school and is still significantly lower than many countries.

I was in Norway last month and I was absolutely shocked at the percentage of people who were smoking there. Many Asian countries are far worse.

Everyone today realizes the dangers of smoking. Statistics indicate adult smokers can expect to take a minimum of 14 years off their lives. An estimated 70 percent of smokers would like to quit, but as anyone who has tried to give up the habit can tell you, addiction to the drug nicotine can be very powerful.

To insure a steady supply of customers in the face of dwindling sales, cigarette manufacturers have geared marketing campaigns to appeal to a younger demographic, and have even changed the formulation of their cigarettes to make them more addictive.

The Best Way to Quit Smoking? Don’t Ever Start.

There’s a large body of evidence pointing to the highly addictive properties of nicotine, especially for people who enjoy the experience of smoking from their very first cigarette.

If you’re the parent of an adolescent, you need to take an active role in insuring your child never picks up that first cigarette. Research indicates a young person’s brain can be more responsive to nicotine, starting with the very first inhale from a cigarette.

The behavior of adolescents changed with their first puff, indicating a heightened sensitivity to the pleasurable effects of the drug. This could explain why teenage smokers continue the habit into adulthood and have a harder time quitting than smokers who start later in life.

What’s Even More Dangerous to Your Child than Smoking?

I know this may surprise you but in my view it is sugar.

And just like nicotine, sugar is addictive.

Sugar increases insulin levels, which can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, premature aging and many other serious illnesses.

One of the major health problems in the U.S. is that two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese, and it’s no mystery consumption of sugar plays a major role in the obesity epidemic.

Your overweight child runs a greater risk of getting much sicker, much faster than an adolescent who takes up smoking.

Don’t be lulled into thinking candy, soda or processed fast foods are better for your child than a cigarette. Even the American Cancer Society has finally admitted what I’ve been saying for years about the dangers of obesity.

Parents as Role Models

A good way to insure your children don’t ever pick up that first cigarette is to lead by example.

Not only do kids mimic the behavior of their parents, but if you or other family members smoke around them, they’re being subjected to the hazards of second and even third hand smoke.

Kicking the Habit

No matter who in your family smokes, my advice is the same – get your nutritional program on track first, then tackle the cigarettes.

Eat for your nutritional type, eliminate sugar and grains, and make sure to consume adequate amounts of omega-3 fats. These three powerful steps in the right direction will put you well on your way to good health.

The best and safest way to quit smoking is cold turkey. Research shows that in the long run, smokers who quit cold turkey do better than those who used “helps” like nicotine gum, the patch, or quit-smoking drugs. These drugs, in particular, are a very bad idea, as some have life-threatening side effects.

The dietary improvements mentioned above will go a long way toward helping you give up nicotine. Good nutrition will minimize feelings of depression you may encounter when you quit smoking. And you’ll feel healthier in general, which can help motivate you to stick with your stop smoking program.

If depression does become an issue, I highly recommend you read my free online Meridian Tapping Technique manual to discover how this remarkable psychological acupressure technique is ideal for eliminating addictions -- particularly cigarette addiction, which has been shown to be associated with depression.

If the Meridian Tapping Technique doesn’t appeal to you, then feel free to research and experiment with any of the myriad of natural methods available to help smokers quit.

But whatever you do, please do not make the mistake of resorting to pharmaceutical “quit-smoking drugs” like Chantix, Zyban, Wellbutrin and others. Like all drugs, they come with a wide variety of side effects that are harmful to your health, but these types of drugs in particular also carry much higher risks of depression, violence and suicide.

Chantix is especially toxic and dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. There is absolutely no reason to risk your life to become a non-smoker when there are more effective, all natural ways to overcome your nicotine addiction.

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