Did you know that smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in many countries? In the United States, for instance, it kills almost 500,000 people every year. It is a habit that subjects you to a variety of diseases that can negatively affect your major bodily organs, and shorten your lifespan.
If you are a smoker, you should seriously consider quitting as soon as possible. You are not going to get anything beneficial from poisoning your body with the nicotine and the other chemicals found in cigarettes and tobacco. In fact, you are only doing yourself harm, and your body is not going to thank you for that.
Below are important reasons why quitting smoking is an urgent matter:
You are at higher risk of having a stroke.
Compared to non-smokers, smokers are 50% more likely to suffer from a stroke. A stroke occurs when the flow of blood to the brain is cut off.
Every time you smoke, the substances contained in cigarettes can get into your body systems and cause them to not perform to their potential. These harmful cigarette chemicals stick to your blood vessel walls and create a blockage, resulting to poor blood circulation. And, because your brain is not receiving sufficient oxygen, its cells start to die, and you are left with severe complications, or even dead.
You are prone to heart disease.
Smoking exposes your cardiovascular system to carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other substances that impede the proper circulation of blood in your body. It causes damages to the blood vessels, arteries, and others.
If you do not quit right away, you are at risk of blood clots, and suffering from a heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary heart disease. The longer and more frequently you smoke, the higher the chances of you dying from a heart attack, coronary heart disease, and other heart disease. But, if you quit, you reduce your risk by about half, after only a year of being completely clean.
You are destroying your lungs.
The effects of smoking to your lungs and the rest of your respiratory can vary from mild to severe. At the beginning, you may only get colds, coughs, and wheezing. But, as you continue your bad habit of inducing more and more amounts of nicotine and other harmful substances, you become at risk of much more serious, fatal diseases, like emphysema, lung cancer, and pneumonia. As a matter of fact, more than 80% of lung cancer deaths are all related to smoking.
Moreover, you are prone to developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is a medical condition that is made up of a number of lung diseases, which include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. If you have it, your airways are restricted and your lung tissues are damaged, and you end up with breathing difficulties, chest infections, and persistent coughing with phlegm.
You weaken your bones and muscles.
For your bones and muscles to be strong and healthy, they have to be fed with sufficient amounts of oxygen all the time. However, if you smoke, you are making it hard for your respiratory system to regulate oxygen throughout your body. This deprives your bones and muscles of the sustenance that they need. So, you experience more frequent muscle pains and aches, and your bones lose density and become brittle and weak. Your body will have a hard time building muscles and bones, and cannot protect you as effectively as before against fractures and other injuries.
You can encounter fertility problems.
The chemicals that are present in cigarettes and tobacco can be damaging to the blood vessels that serve as pathways for blood that your penis and other reproductive system organs need. They can kill your sperm cells and lower your sperm count, making it difficult to reproduce. They can also put you at risk of testicular cancer, a disease that can be very aggressive and bring about a long list of symptoms that are not going to be fun to deal with for a long time.
Your immune system is weakened.
The high amounts of tar and other dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes can negatively affect your immune system. They can cause a decline in its ability to fight off infections and other diseases that are ready to attack you anytime. With a weakened immune system, you become more vulnerable to severe medical disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
You get bad skin.
If, before you start smoking, you are already dealing with a lot of pimples, acne, and other skin blemishes, you will only find yourself in a much worse situation once you pick up your first cigarette stick and eventually get addicted to nicotine.
Smoking cuts down the oxygen supply that reaches your skin, resulting to it looking old and dull. It can make a 20-year-old guy look twice his age due to the early onset of wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, the grayish or yellowish skin complexion, and the sunken, hollow cheeks.
You have a higher chance of getting kidney cancer.
Are you aware that more than 70% of patients who battle kidney cancer only live for a year after receiving their diagnosis? Kidney cancer is a very serious condition that can drastically affect your everyday life. If you have kidney cancer, you experience a wide variety of symptoms that include blood in your urine, appetite loss, weight loss, persistent fever, and fatigue. If not diagnosed and treated right away, it can spread to your liver, bones, lungs, lymph nodes, and brain. It can also lead to death.
Smoking 10 cigarettes a day makes you one and a half times likely to get afflicted with kidney cancer. And, if you smoke twice that number, your probability of developing the disease also doubles. So, to lower your risk, stop smoking as soon as you can. It will be tough, but your sacrifices will all be worth it.