I overheard a family talking at the table next to mine. The son, who looked 35 years old, snapped “Cut me some slack, I only smoke 3 cigarettes a day!” I debated about whether or not I should intrude upon their conversation, and eventually decided not to. Everything I want to tell him, I shall now tell you. Even if you smoke less than five cigarettes a day, you damage your heart. There’s a two to four-fold increase in heart disease and stroke from smoking. It causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. Second hand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette as well as the smoke breathed out by smoker. It’s no better than smoking, because it contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic. Smokers have a hard time quitting. There’s a billion-dollar market for nicotine patches, lozenges, gums and prescription drugs like Chantix. These are certainly good options, but they don’t work for everyone. So today, I’m sharing some ideas that include dietary supplement options you can find at a health food store. I still insist you get your practitioner’s approval because I can’t possibly know what’s right for each of you. These are just considerations, and they do have side effects of their own: Option #1 SAMe (S adenosylmethionine). You make this natural amino acid but you can buy SAMe as a dietary supplement in the United States. With physician approval, the starting dosage of 200mg is taken twice daily on an empty stomach (one hour before a meal). Slowly increase it by 200 mg every few days until you get up to about 400 to 600 mg taken one hour before meals two or three times daily. If it makes you irritable, you’re taking too much. After you’ve been on SAMe for a while, and you’ve achieved a dose of at least 400 mg twice daily, you can try adding another natural amino acid “Tyrosine” about 200 to 500 mg twice a day, one hour before eating. The net effect should make you feel good, and stop the crave. Option #2 5HTP (5 Hydroxytryptophan). This is another natural amino acid that creates more serotonin, just like the prescription drugs sertraline and fluoexetine. If you’re on an antidepressant, then a low dosage of 25 to 50mg should be okay. If you do not take antidepressant medications, then a higher dose like 100 to 300 mg once or twice a day might be acceptable. Before beginning, read about potential adverse reactions such as “serotonin syndrome.” Lecithin. This naturally occurring compound is a good source of choline which helps stabilize cell membranes. It’s often (but not always) derived from soy. The dosage is 500 to 1000 mg twice daily. You have several options, and effective combinations vary from person to person. Some of you might benefit from tyrosine alone, or just SAMe, or perhaps lecithin. Whatever combination you try, include a little vitamin C since smoking depletes that antioxidant.