© 2012 Katina Davenport
If you are a smoker and having a hard time quitting, hopefully this information will motivate you to stop smoking. Smoking damages your entire internal systems. Every organ, every cell, and every blood vessel are affected by smoking. The risk factor for smoking is disease and death. For years, many have only known of the possibility of lung cancer as a risk factor. However, there are several:
- Head and neck
Pulmonary Diseases (lungs)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
- Heart disease
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Heart attack
- Impotence in males
- Sexual dysfunction and infertility in women
The reason cancer is so prevalent in smokers is due to the chemicals that are inhaled through the lungs and spread throughout the body. Cigarette smoke has 7,000 chemicals in them; 250 chemicals are cancer causing agents. Some of the agents include:
- Beryllium (a toxic metal)
- 1.3 Butadiene (hazard gas)
- Cadmium (toxic metal)
- Ethylene oxide
- Nickel (a metallic element)
- Polonium-210 (radioactive chemical element)
- Vinyl Chloride
We know that smoking is highly carcinogenic, but were only informed on the risk factor for lung cancer Researchers now know tobacco smoking can cause other cancers. Anytime you come into contact with smoke, you are putting your health at risk. Secondhand smoke is the leading cause of smoke related cancer. There are approximately 3,000 deaths in the United States due to secondhand smoke. It causes premature death in adults as well as children. Pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of having a baby with low birth weight and other problems associated with smoking.
It is possible to deter the effects once you stop, but it takes several years for the effects to diminish. If you quit smoking before the age of 30 you can reduce your chances of dying prematurely by 90 percent. Those that quit by age 50 reduces their risk of dying early by 50 percent. Once you quit smoking you reduce the amount of carbon monoxide in your system, reduce high blood pressure, and improve circulation throughout the body; just to name a few.
It is concerning that pre-teens and teenagers still think that smoking is cool, even after seeing all of the reports and campaigns against smoking on televisions. Parents that smoke are more likely to have children that smoke. Parents are the example.
How to Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is quite difficult for those that have been addicted to nicotine for years. Nicotine has the same addictive qualities as drugs. Experts have given guidelines to quitting: picking a quit day, sticking to your plans, dealing with withdrawal, and staying nicotine free.
Picking a day to quit involves knowing what day to start the process. Making a strong commitment to quitting on a specific day is key to beginning a successful quitting program. If you are going to use prescriptions to help you quit it is imperative to have those medications in time for that day.
Sticking to your plans and avoiding temptations means you can’t hang out with the smokers on your lunch break any more. It could be difficult if there is someone in your home that is a smoker; however, you could suggest that person go outside for a smoke. Avoiding stressful situations will keep you from thinking about taking a puff to ease those stressful feelings. Experts advise that you should take frequent walks or doing other hobbies. If you don’t have a hobby, now would be a great time to find one.
Nicotine replacements are designed to help smokers reduce the feelings of withdrawal. The biggest challenge is dealing with the mental withdrawal of smoking. Often, you may find yourself rationalizing your use of cigarettes, but it is important to stay committed. Attending stop-smoking classes will assist you in quitting, and writing down those sneaky thoughts will help you expel them from your system.
If you are smoking or know someone that is smoking, help save their lives. Kindly, urge them not to smoke.