Not only is smoking a suicidal, health-wrecking habit but it is one of the major causes of all types of headaches. No one can feel completely safe from headaches until he or she has quit smoking for good.

Space prevents our giving a complete stop-smoking strategy. But we do know that more people are addicted to nicotine than to all street and prescription drugs combined, and that smoking is as addictive as heroin or cocaine.

Nicotine stimulates production of beta-endorphin and certain neurotransmitters that cause alertness, arousal, a feeling of pleasure, and freedom from pain and anxiety.

What smokers fail to realize is that regular daily exercise, such as a brisk five-mile walk, provides exactly the same level of alertness, arousal, and a feeling of pleasure, and freedom from pain and anxiety as does smoking, all without the health risks of smoking. (All smokers should have their doctor’s permission before taking up exercise.)

Additionally, most stop-smoking authorities advise switching from smoking to chewing a nicotine-based gum like Nicorettes. The goal is then to gradually break your addiction to the gum—a task made much easier when you exercise daily.

The many other steps you can take are described in books or arc taught in the clinics. Don’t be afraid of gaining a few pounds. To equal the health risk of smoking, you would have to be 120 pounds overweight. And if you do slip up, begin to quit smoking again immediately. Don’t take a second cigarette. A single slip won’t wreck your intuitions.


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