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Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

no smoking.jpg

a blog by Marie Lee

Smoking is bad for you on so many levels. The smoke itself contains heavy metals and other carcinogenic chemicals, nicotine is addicting, and smoke constricts blood vessels (yes, heavy smokers get that wrinkly look around their mouths from lack of circulation). To put it bluntly, smoking is a total no-no for fertility.

I know a case where a guy had a successful finger transplant and the doctor told him not to smoke — not even one puff — and he held out, but then when his hand seemed fine, snuck out for one little puff. Well, because of the decreased circulation in his reattached fingers, the transplants turned a funny grey color and eventually died. He had to have an amputation. Ugh.

And did you know that the filters in cigarettes aren’t biodegradable? If you don’t want your child inheriting a sea of cigarette butts, if you do smoke, please stop immediately—that means men, too. Smoking definitely adversely affects sperm quality and motility.

New research coming out even says that even third-hand smoke, that is, the stuff you inhale when you can smell smoke on people’s clothes, can cause health problems. So it’s not too surprising that a study at the University of Rochester in New York that found 11% of its study subjects had experienced difficulty getting pregnant, while about one in every three of them had suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. Further, the study found that women exposed to second-hand smoke during childhood and adulthood had a 39% higher chance of suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth, and had a 68% higher chance to have delayed conceiving. It also discovered that women who grew up in a house with a smoking parent were more likely to have had difficulty getting pregnant (defined as having had to try for at least a year).

So be mindful of where you might be exposed to secondhand smoke. At work? At home? At dining and entertainment places (in Rhode Island, they’ve gotten smoke out of the bars. Ah . . .).

And especially for older women, you can’t have anything impeding that all important circulation. As I mentioned in my earlier post on the Alan E. Beer Center, some women who habitually miscarry already have a condition that makes their blood more prone to clot; don’t want to add the stresses of smoke on top of that.

What to do about smoky smell of third-hand smoke on clothes? There is a solution, actually. In Europe they use ozone to get rid of odors and I’ve found that using an ozonator (a nifty little machine) gets rid of the smoke smell in clothes when it does occur. A slower (but still effective) way is to use a bag of zeolites. It’s basically a bag of what looks like rocks, which absorb the smoke/smell. They’re often available at your local household products store (I also noticed one of our BioKleen detergents uses zeolites to naturally clean and detoxify).

Of course the best thing is to not be exposed to it in the first place, but you can’t always control everything . . .

Comments (1)

Hi, this is some additional news for the smoking post:

According to Dr. Mercola (, Low-tar and filtered cigarettes might be even WORSE than the simple ones of days gone by. Apparently, smokers once tended to get a form of lung cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which strikes cells in larger air tubes. Then doctors noticed a jump in adenocarcinoma, which grows in small air sacs far deeper in the lung. Initial studies blamed the introduction of filtered, lower-tar cigarettes. When smokers switched, they began inhaling more deeply to get their nicotine jolt, pushing the smoke deeper than before. If you or your loved ones need help quitting, try acupuncture! It's so effective it was a major part of my father's practice (in a small town in Minnesota, not exactly alternative healthcare heaven) and in Korea they use it in stop smoking programs for teens.


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