Stop Smoking During the Great American Smokeout

San Francisco, CA – Did you know if you’re a smoker, you could gain almost immediate benefits as soon as you quit, regardless of your age? Within 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rates drop to normal. Eight hours after quitting, the oxygen level in the blood increases to normal. One day after quitting, the odds of having a heart attack start to drop. Within 48 hours nerve endings start re-growing and the ability to smell and taste is enhanced. Within two weeks, lung function will have increased by up to 30 percent. Two weeks to 3 months after quitting, circulation improves and walking becomes easier. One year, the body’s energy level increases and the risk of coronary heart disease will be half that of a smoker.

Since 1977, the American Cancer Society and Citizens for a Smokefree America have sponsored the Great American Smokeout (TM) each November, an event based on the idea that smokers who can manage to quit for a day can quit for good. In support of kicking the habit, clinical interns at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine will be offering ear acupuncture treatments to the public at it’s donation-based clinic in Potrero Hill. The ear clinic operates Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:30 – 4:15 pm, and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:0 am to 11:45 am. The Ear Clinic is located at 555 De Haro Street, Classroom D, in San Francisco. No appointments are necessary, and no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

In the treatment of addictions, traditional Chinese medicine utilizes auricular (ear) acupuncture, where four to five very small needles are inserted into points corresponding to the lung, kidney and nervous system. It is thought that these needles increase the flow of endorphins, morphine-like hormones that induce a deep state of relaxation. This state is prolonged and leads to a lessening of cravings for nicotine and other drugs. Acupuncture can also help ease the jitters, irritability and restlessness people commonly complain about when trying to quit.

Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. In fact, acupuncture is often a court-mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to curb withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings. Ear acupuncture is a safe and effective option for people looking for treatment with few to no side effects.

Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the U.S., says the American Cancer Society, but each year it kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, suicides, murders and fires combined. According to the American Lung Association, 1 in 5 adults smoke, and smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 440,000 American lives each year. Cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain over 4,000 chemicals, including 60 known to cause cancer. An estimated 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-caused chronic conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other cardiovascular diseases. Smoking greatly increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and women’s reproductive disorders.

Millions of Americans will stub out their cigarettes on November 19, 2009. For individuals truly motivated to stop smoking, acupuncture can be just the help they need. Join American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and make the Great American Smokeout (TM) the first day of your smoke-free life!

For more information on the donation-based ear clinic, or to make an appointment in the College’s full-service Community Clinic, please call (415) 282-9603.

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About American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. In addition to its graduate curriculum, ACTCM offers continuing education, public education, community outreach and clinical services in acupuncture and herbal medicine. ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. ACTCM is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.