NO BUTTS – WHY QUITTING SMOKING NOW IS SO IMPORTANT.
In today’s modern, health-conscious society, one would think that it wouldn’t be necessary or needed to remind people of the numerous evils of smoking. With all of the runners, walkers, and bikers, plentiful diets, and focus on cutting fats, sugars, and abstaining from eating GMO foods, too many people have a dangerous nicotine habit.
There are so many benefits to smokers who quit, and the great news is that it is never, ever too late to quit. For example, quitting smoking even after the age of 60 reduces your risk of dying at about 40% when compared to a continual smoker.
It should be enough just to know that you have removed a dangerous habit from your life. But being able to join the non-smoking club may not be reason enough to quit. The following provides health and other non-health benefits from quitting smoking.
Smoking Health Risks
Protecting The Immune System – One of smoking’s many health risks is its ability to compromise the immune system. Smokers significantly increase their risk of developing autoimmune diseases. The list of autoimmune diseases is long and varied and includes:
- Addison’s Disease
- Graves’ Disease
- Celiac Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Aplastic Anemia
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- And many, many others
Safeguarding Bone Health – Smokers have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones and makes them much easier to break. Studies indicate that smoking has a pronounced effect on bone density. However, there is a definite impetus on bone health brought on by no longer smoking. The risk of developing low bone mass and suffering fractures is greatly diminished by quitting smoking.
Keeping a Healthy Heart – Tobacco contains dangerous toxins that increase the danger of developing heart disease. Those toxins also cause considerable cellular damage to the bloodstream. These factors can lead to a greater risk of contracting such heart diseases as:
- Atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries)
- Aneurysms (Unhealthy blood vessels that can burst and lead to death)
- Cardiovascular diseases and symptoms, including:
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart attack and artery damage
- Cardiac-related chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Peripheral Arterial Disease
Preventing Lung Damage – Cigarette smoking damages the lungs and inhibits breathing.
Smoking also brings about respiratory diseases that include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic Bronchitis
Guarding Your Eyesight – The eyes are also vulnerable to smoking-related diseases. Smokers put themselves in danger of contracting several types of blindness, including cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration.
Diabetes Prevention – Research has proven that smoking causes Type 2 Diabetes. Smokers are 30 to 40% more at risk to develop Type 2 diabetes. Diabetic smokers have more difficulty with insulin resistance and with the overall control of their diabetes. Smoking has adverse effects on every kind and type of diabetes.
The higher risks associated with diabetic smoking include the following:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Reduced blood flow in legs and feet leading to infections, ulcers, and amputation
- Retinopathy – A severe eye disease that can potentially result in blindness
- Peripheral neuropathy – Nerve damage to limbs and appendages causing numbness, pain, weakness, and reduced coordination
The Cigarette/Cancer Link – Ten percent of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke can cause cancer. Smoking has been shown to cause an extremely wide variety of cancers that affect the entire body, including:
- Lung Cancer
- Tracheal Cancer
- Bronchial Cancer
- Esophageal Cancer
- Oral Cavity Cancer
- Nasopharynx cancer
- Nasal cavity cancer
- Larynx cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Uterine Cervical cancer
- Colon cancer
- Rectum cancer
- Also, smoking can also lead to the development of leukemia.
Non-Smoking Health Benefits
The benefits of not smoking are felt immediately upon quitting. The moment the smoker quits smoking cigarettes, he or she is already healthier than they were while they were smoking.
Here is a list of short- and long-term non-smoking health benefitsbenefits to quitting smoking:
- 20 minutes after quitting – The heart-rate of the former smoker drops
- 12 hours after quitting – The bloodstream’s carbon monoxide levels drop to normal
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting – The risk of heart attack drops dramatically. Lung function begins to improve
- 1 to 9 months after quitting – Coughing and shortness of breath decreases
- 1 year after quitting – The added risk of coronary heart disease is 50% less than a smoker’s
- 5 years after quitting – The risk of having a stroke becomes the same as a non-smoker
- 10 years after quitting – The risk of getting lung cancer is 50% less than a smoker. Cancer risks decrease for several kinds of cancer, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
- 15 years after quitting – The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a nonsmoker.