Whether or not they choose to smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars, most smokers realize they are making a dangerous lifestyle choice. Many would like to quit but the highly addictive nature of nicotine makes it extremely difficult. There are many great reasons to stop smoking for those who need a little extra incentive to help them kick the habit.
Health Reasons to Stop Smoking
Most smokers are aware of the most common health reasons to stop smoking like decreasing their risk of developing lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease but they may not be aware of how smoking affects other areas of overall health. Studies show that smokers are much more likely to develop macular degeneration, which can cause blindness, than non-smokers. Smoking has also been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, ulcers, acid reflux and impotence as well as asthma, chronic bronchitis and infertility.
Smoking Prematurely Ages the Skin
One of the most popular reasons to stop smoking is to prevent skin from aging before its time. Research shows that smokers often develop deep lines and wrinkles on their skin much earlier than non-smokers due to the reduction of blood flow to the skin. Less blood flow prevents the skin from getting the nutrients and oxygen it needs to stay elastic and, as a result, the skin sags and wrinkles. In addition, long-term smokers often have a sickly, yellowish tone to their skin.
Smoking is Expensive
Saving money is one of the best reasons to stop smoking. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is around five dollars and some states tack on a hefty tax that raises the price even more. Smokers usually have to pay significantly higher life and health insurance premiums than non-smokers and also experience higher medical and dental expenses due to problems caused by smoking.
Smoking Causes Major Dental/Oral Issues
An increased risk of developing oral cancer is another one of the most important reasons to stop smoking. Smokers are also at risk for gum disease which can lead to tooth decay and sensitivity. In addition, nicotine and other chemicals contained in cigarettes can stick to teeth and gums causing plaque build-up, stains and bad breath. In the same way smoking decreases blood flow to the skin, blood flow is also reduced to the gums. This causes inflammation that can lead to tooth loss.
Secondhand Smoke Causes Health Problems
Knowing that secondhand smoke can harm family and friends is another one of the critical reasons to stop smoking. In 2006, the Surgeon General released findings stating that secondhand smoke causes disease in non-smokers, including children. The findings also discussed a link between Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and secondhand smoke. In addition, children exposed to secondhand smoke experience more ear infections, asthma, and respiratory infections than children who are not exposed.
Stop Smoking Tips
While quitting smoking is difficult, many stop smoking tips can help. Smokers should contact a health care professional to discuss available smoking cessation drugs to reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Also, they should consider joining a support group to learn which stop smoking tips worked for others. They need to develop coping strategies to deal with cravings when they strike, such as starting a new hobby, calling a friend or exercising. They also need to focus on their reasons to stop smoking.
Enjoying healthier skin and finances and decreasing the risk of disease are all great reasons to stop smoking. It is never too late to quit and quitting will immediately begin to reverse some of the damage caused by smoking and lead to a healthier and longer life.
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