Why You Should Quit Smoking Now
Face the truth – smoking is injurious to health! If you don’t give up in time, it will affect your body and risk your health. Every time you smoke a cigarette, you end up inhaling 4000 different chemicals, of which 80 can cause severe health problems including cancer, infertility, heart attack and others. Given below is a list of the 10 deadly effects of smoking every smoker should know.
Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.
- Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Illegal drug use
- Alcohol use
- Motor vehicle injuries
- Firearm-related incidents
- More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.
- Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths.1,2 More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
- Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
- The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S
Smoking cigarettes affects lung health because a person breathes in not only nicotine but also a variety of additional chemicals.
Cigarettes are responsible for a substantial increase in the risk of developing lung cancer. This risk is 25 times greater for men and 25.7 times greater for women.
The CDC report that roughly 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths is linked to smoking.
Smoking cigarettes also presents a greater risk of developing and dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). In fact, the American Lung Association report that smoking causes 80 percent of COPD deaths.
Cigarettes are also linked to developing emphysema and chronic bronchitis. They can also trigger or exacerbate an asthma attack.
Besides having bad breadth and yellow teeth, smokers may lose all of their teeth before the advent of old age. Hair loss and damaged skin, premature boldness and graying of hair are other developments that make them look older than their biological age. These effects can aggravate in case a smoker does not stick to a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking cigarettes can damage the heart, blood vessels, and blood cells.
The chemicals and tar in cigarettes can increase a person’s risk of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. This buildup limits blood flow and can lead to dangerous blockages.
Smoking also increases the risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which occurs when the arteries to the arms and legs start to narrow, restricting blood flow.
Research shows a direct link between smoking and developing PAD. Even those who used to smoke face a higher risk than people who never smoked.
Having PAD increases the risk of experiencing:
- blood clots
- angina, or chest pain
- a stroke
- a heart attack
Poor oral hygiene
People who smoke have double the risk of gum disease. This risk increases with the number of cigarettes a person smokes.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- swollen and tender gums
- bleeding when brushing
- loose teeth
- sensitive teeth
Smoking tobacco can limit a person’s ability to taste and smell things properly. It can also stain the teeth yellow or brown.
- Reducing Your Fertility: Many people are aware of the risks associated with smoking while pregnant, but did you know the habit can also affect your ability to get pregnant? Smoking can make it harder for a woman to conceive, but can also affect men’s sperm, reducing fertility and increasing risks of birth defects and miscarriage.
- Inviting Negative Social Stigma: Since people are aware of the dangers of smoking, there are more people who frown on smoking than those who favor the habit. It’s banned in nearly all public places, and some landlords won’t rent to smokers due to higher maintenance and insurance costs.
Health risks of smoking during pregnancy
If you smoke when you’re pregnant, you put your unborn baby’s health at risk, as well as your own.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of complications such as:
- premature (early) birth
- a low birth weight baby
Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body:
- Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
- Colon and rectum (colorectal)
- Kidney and ureter
- Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
- Trachea, bronchus, and lung
Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.
If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.
While quitting smoking can be challenging, the CDC report that today, there are more people who used to smoke than people who currently smoke.
Once a person stops smoking, the benefits start accumulating. These include clearer skin, improved oral health, more stable hormones, a stronger immune system, and a reduced risk of many types of cancers.
Some other benefits of quitting smoking include:
- After 20 minutes–12 hours: Heart rate and carbon monoxide in the blood drop to normal levels.
- After 1 year: The risk of a heart attack is much lower, as is blood pressure. Coughing and upper respiratory problems begin to improve.
- After 2–5 years: The risk of stroke drops to that of someone who does not smoke, according to the CDC.
- After 5–15 years: The risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is reduced by half.
- After 10 years: The risk of lung cancer and bladder cancer is half that of someone who currently smokes.
- After 15 years: The risk of heart disease is similar to that of someone who never smoked.
Nicotine is an addictive drug and can cause withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using it. These symptoms including cravings, increased appetite, and irritability. Cravings and other effects typically subside over time.
A doctor or other healthcare professional can help a person take positive steps toward quitting smoking.