The practice of smoking has been recorded in a number of different cultures, and its history can be dated back to as early as 5000 BC. In the past, smoking was practiced as a part of religious rituals, but as the years went by, it became a common social activity, not only among adults but among the youth as well.
While there is a varied perception surrounding this practice, medical studies have proven that smoking is dangerous to human health. Even that is an understatement, because the truth is, smoking kills. Cigarette smoking is now considered as the number one cause of diseases and deaths worldwide and claims nearly 500,000 lives each year, and that in the United States alone.
The good news is that it’s never too late to quit smoking. Regardless of your age and no matter how long you have been smoking, quitting can significantly improve your health. If you decide to quit smoking now, you are likely to add more years to your life and save money in the process. You will also likely to enjoy these following health benefits:
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Smoking can negatively affect almost all organs in the body, and the bones are not an exemption. Cigarette smoking can generate a huge load of free radicals. These free radicals can upset the hormonal balance that bones need to stay resilient. When you are smoking, your liver will also have the tendency to produce more enzymes that can cause damage to hormones like estrogen, leading to bone loss. Smoking also increases the production of cortisol, another occurrence that can lead to bone breakdown. Finally, smoking inhibits calcitonin, a hormone that helps build bones. It may take a while to see results, but quitting smoking now can help improve your bone health.
Stronger Lungs and Heart
Everybody knows that the two main organs that are commonly affected by smoking are the lungs and the heart. If you smoke, you have a 10% chance of developing lung cancer. If you suffer from a heart attack, you will only have a 5% chance of surviving. That is how bad smoking can affect your lungs and heart. Not only that, because by smoking, you increase your chances of developing COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by 33%. The good news is that quitting now can help reduce these numbers and give you a stronger heart and a healthier set of lungs.
Improved Dental Health
Not too many people realize that smoking can also have a huge impact on dental health. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, since the lips and the oral cavities are the main organs that come in contact with cigarettes or tobacco when smoking. According to studies, smokers have a higher risk of losing teeth. Smoking impedes the normal function of cell tissues in the gums. This increases the risk of infections and can even hinder wound healing. In addition, smoking causes other oral health problems such as tooth discoloration and bad breath. Mouth and throat cancer can also be a result of smoking. By quitting smoking, dental health can be improved and the risk for mouth and pharyngeal cancer can be reduced.
Improved Sex Life
Smoking can destroy both libido and fertility, and has a direct, negative effect on every level of sexuality for both men and women. For men, smoking can reduce the quality of semen, while for women, smoking causes early menopausal. If you want to have a better sex life, you need to quit smoking now.
People who smoke have a 70% higher chance of developing hearing problems. Studies show that individuals who smoked more than one pack a day had worse hearing thresholds than light smokers and people who don’t smoke at all. If you want to turn that ringing in your ears into sweet music, consider quitting today.
It may be hard to believe, but do you know that many people die from circulatory conditions as a result of smoking than die from lung disease and other forms of cancer? Nicotine and carbon monoxide acquiring from tobacco have very powerful effects on the arteries. While nicotine is a vasoconstrictor (causes the arteries to become smaller), carbon monoxide poisons the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. According to the American Cancer Society, you can improve your blood circulation within a few weeks from quitting, so there is no reason to think twice about quitting right away.
Improved Mental Health
Several studies have been made proving that smoking cessation can result in reduced depression, stress, and anxiety, as well as result in improved mood. While many smokers claim smoking helps them to relax and release stress, smoking actually causes stress. If you believe that you’re too stressed to quit now, rest assured that quitting will make you less stressed. Quitting smoking will also improve your memory and overall mental health and reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain disorders.
There’s a saying that goes “Smokers don’t grow old…because they die young.” This may seem to be a bit of a joke, but smoking actually does hasten the aging process. Smoking can demolish elastin and other connective tissues in your skin, causing it to sag and produce wrinkles. In addition, smoking can cause skin cancer. By quitting smoking, you can actually delay the aging process. It’s interesting that the human body has a way of healing itself. Once you stop smoking, your body will immediately repair itself and attempt to reverse the damage caused by smoking.
Lower Risk of Developing Cancer
Next to unhealthy eating, no activity has the potential to cause the most types of cancer than smoking. Aside from lung cancer, there are thirteen other types of cancer that can be caused by smoking, including breast cancer, cancer in the larynx, mouth and throat cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, cancer in the pancreas, and leukemia. Good thing you can cut your risk of developing these cancer types by up to 50% simply by quitting smoking today.
On average, smokers live 13 years shorter lives than non-smokers. That should be reason enough for you to quit smoking now.
Smoking addiction is a serious problem. If you believe you are addicted to cigarettes or tobacco smoking and would want to quit today, seek professional help immediately. It’s not too late.