Why Stop Smoking?
Do you REALLY need to ask? You’d have to be living under a rock for the past 10 years if you haven’t heard the news casts, been bugged by friends and relatives, given the ‘talk’ by your doctor or read in a magazine all of the nasty things that happen to your body with each and every puff of the cigarette.
But let’s assume for a minute that you know the general things that go wrong but you aren’t sure what happens to the body on the short term and the long term. Let’s take a quick minute to review them to help you find a great reason to stop smoking.
1. You are 10 times more likely to die from cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus than those who don’t smoke.
2. 12 times more likely to die of lung cancer or some form of lung disease
3. 10 times more likely to die of cancer of the larynx
4. 6 times more likely to die of heart disease
5. 2 times more likely to die of a stroke
6. Tobacco causes more than 430,000 deaths of adults per year in the US
7. 5 million under 18 will die prematurely from smoking related diseases
8. There are over 4,000 chemicals identified in cigarettes – over 43 of which are known to cause cancer in humans
9. Over 3,000 people exposed to passive smoke die of lung cancer each year
10. Between 150,000 and 300,000 children less than 18 months experience lower respiratory illnesses each year with an
exacerbation of asthma triggered by smoke.
11. Smoking of any and all cigarettes damages your health
12. Filtered cigarettes don’t filter out the chemicals that do the damage
1. More men smoke than women
2. American Indians or Native Alaskans have a higher rate of smoking than other ethnic groups
3. People with 16 or more years of education are the least likely to smoke.
But there’s more ….
Smoking is an addiction. But then that is fairly obvious to anyone who has ever smoked more than one cigarette and then tried to quit. The addiction goes beyond the body’s craving for nicotine, which leaves the blood stream within 48 hours after smoking your last cigarette.
The addiction is pervasive. It is social and psychological in nature as well. Smokers equate a cigarette with stress reduction, weight control, oral fixations, nervous habits and social situations.
So why, when this habit seems to invade every part of a persons life, should you stop smoking? There are numerous reasons from health, to social, to psychological, to biological. And, although there are many reasons listed here about why should you should stop smoking, you’ll probably be able name 10 others that are personal to your life.
Let’s start with the physical reasons why you should stop smoking.
Smoking affects the condition of your lungs. The bronchioles and bronchiole tree become inflamed and swollen which decreases your ability to take in adequate amounts of oxygen.
The swollen cells secrete liquid which causes wheezing and smokers hack and cough.
Each cigarette contains over 100 toxic chemicals and carcinogenic chemicals that change the chemistry of your body.
When you breathe in smoke you are also taking in carbon monoxide. This chemical takes up space on the hemoglobin that is normally taken by oxygen. By taking up this space you don’t have enough oxygen in your body and you experience fatigue.
The constant inflammation of the cells in your lungs decreases your ability to breathe and increases your risk for lung cancer.
Smoking increases your blood pressure. This increase affects your risk of heart attack and stroke, which is significantly greater than that of a non-smoker of any age, gender or race.
Smoking leads to emphysema, high blood pressure, fatigue, shortness of breath, heart failure, stroke, heart attack, lung cancer and death.
At the top of the list is usually that a loved one can’t stand to watch you kill yourself.
The habit is dirty, leaving ashes and soot all over your clothes and your home.
Smoking smells bad – both to those around you and anyone who may be thinking about kissing you.
Smoke damages the paint on the walls and permeates the cloth cushions on any furniture as well as the clothes you wear.
Most public buildings no longer allow smoking inside.
Many employers and insurance companies will discriminate against smokers – let’s face it – they have a high illness rate and a higher risk of catastrophic illness. Your insurance company charges higher rates for smokers and employers who have a low ratio of smokers who work at the company pay lower insurance rates.
Cigarettes cost well over $30.00 per week. That’s another $1560.00 per year that you could spend on gas in your car, taking your girl friend out to eat, or buying yourself a new wardrobe.
Cigarettes are a poor substitute for stress reduction since the nicotine doesn’t reduce your stress but makes your body work harder instead.
You aren’t able to use this ‘stress reduction’ technique in all situations which leaves you unable to cope in certain situations.
You are reliant on a product that is killing you to make you look cool and reduce the stress you are feeling.
These are just a few reasons why you should stop smoking. I am sure with just a couple of minutes you’ll be able to come up with 5 more that fit your particular situation.