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This site is an archive of our Well Written Blog posts until April 2020. For the most up-to-date content visit NWIJournal.com.

The opinions and thoughts expressed here those of the authors and do not necessarily correlate with those of the National Wellness Institute. Read more.


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Be Healthy or Smoke. You Can't do Both.

Posted By NWI, Monday, July 11, 2016

Of course, you can not smoke and still be unhealthy, but studies released at the end of last year by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) indicate that there is no way for a current smoker, or a recent smoker, to be as healthy as a nonsmoker. This is bad news for the roughly 49% of Americans who are either current or past smokers.


In lab tests that measured respiratory response, 6-minute walking distance, and observational traits such as respiratory wall thickening, current and past smokers’ results all lagged behind those of nonsmokers.


In addition, even past smokers showed more evidence of emphysema and ‘gas trapping,’ a retention of air in the lungs that makes it impossible to exhale fully. Ultimately , even ex-smokers showed more evidence of disease in later life, and experience lower quality of life than the nonsmoker control group.


In summary, these studies show that there is no such thing as a healthy smoker. The best way to prevent disease from smoking is to never start in the first place.


To read the studies by the NCBI and NLM, click here.


Tags:  health  Quitting Smoking  Smoking  Smoking Cessation  wellness 

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Smoking - It's Worse Than You Thought!

Posted By NWI, Thursday, July 2, 2015

According to a study reported earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, the effects of smoking are even worse than previously thought.

In addition to a mortality rate among smokers which is 2-3 times more than people who have never smoked, smoking is now being linked to a variety of diseases that had not previously been considered as connected.

This 11-year study, testing more than 950,000 people, concluded, “17% of the excess mortality rate among current smokers was due to associations with causes that are not currently established as attributable to smoking.”  Some of the fatal diseases which occurred in higher rates among smokers include renal failure, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

However, the good news is that the odds of contracting these diseases decreased for test subjects as the number of years since quitting smoking increased.

To read the full study, click here.


Tags:  Cigarettes  Health Risks  Smoking  Smoking Cessation  Study 

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Significant Link Between Cannabis Use and Onset of Mania Symptoms

Posted By NWI, Monday, March 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

As certain U.S. states move to legalize marijuana, Colorado leading the charge, many wonder about the safety of smoking the plant. After all, advertisers told us for years that smoking tobacco was safe and even promoted it as a weight-loss tool.

Luckily researchers are continuing to do what they do best: question our assumptions and shed light on what is true vs. what is not true.

In this case, researchers from the University of Warwick Medical School, have found evidence to suggest a significant relationship between cannabis use and the onset and increase of mania symptoms. Mania symptoms are associated with bipolar disorders and can include feelings of persistent elation, increased energy, hyperactivity, a reduced need for sleep, anger, aggression, delusions, and hallucinations.


The paper, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders (February 2015), was a review of scientific literature examining the effect of cannabis use. The paper strove to answer two questions: 1) Does cannabis use lead to increased occurrence of mania symptoms or manic episodes in individuals with pre-existing bipolar disorder?, and 2) does cannabis use increase the risk of onset of mania symptoms in those without pre-existing bipolar disorder?


In both cases the answer was not only “yes,” but a significant link between use and mania became evident. According to the authors, cannabis use significantly worsened mania symptoms in people who had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. More research is needed, suggested the authors, to consider specific pathways from cannabis use to mania and how these may be effected by genetic vulnerability and environmental risk factors.


"Cannabis is the most prevalent drug used by the under-18s and during this critical period of development services should be especially aware of and responsive to the problems that cannabis use can cause for adolescent populations,” warned the authors.

Gibbs, M. et al. Cannabis use and mania symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2015; 171: 39 DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.09.016

Tags:  Cannabis  Emotional  Mania  March 2015  Mental Health  Physical  Smoking 

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NIH’s Guidelines on Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Quitting Smoking

Posted By NWI, Monday, March 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has several guidelines and recommendations for individuals who would like to try alternative smoking cessation techniques. Because March is host to Kick Butts Day (March 18) sponsored by the Campaign for Tobacco–Free Kids (www.kickbuttsday.org), NIH guidelines were well timed!

According to NIH (https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/smoking), conventional quit-smoking treatments such as counseling and medication, can double or triple the chances that a smoker will kick the habit successfully.


But NIH also took the time to address some of the less conventional, complimentary health, approaches to quitting.

  • There is evidence to suggest that mind-body practices can aide individuals who are trying to quit smoking. Examples of these practices include meditation-based therapies, yoga, and guided relaxation to reduce the urge to smoke.
  • Acupuncture and hypnosis, according to NIH, are supported by little evidence of benefit.
  • There is no current evidence that dietary supplements or a certain supplement are effective.
  • Mind-body practices are generally considered safe when performed by healthy people, but individuals should always consult a doctor or complimentary heath practitioner before starting any regimen.
  • Dietary supplements, although labeled “natural,” are not always safe. Some supplements can interact negatively with other medications.
  • For more quitting resources visit www.smokefree.gov

Tags:  Alternative Medicine  Emotional  March 2015  Physical  Smoking  Spiritual 

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