Are You Ready to Quit the Habit of Smoking in 2013?

American author Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing on the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” This how is how most people feel about smoking. Many of those who smoke wish that they had never started, because then they wouldn’t be faced with the seemingly endless cycle of trying to quit. Every year on January 1st they resolve to quit, but something always causes them to light up again.

Smoking sways how you appear to others, and influences how they look at you. Cigarette smoke leaves a distasteful odor on your clothes. In addition to giving you bad breath, smoking changes how your taste buds work, so that means that food even tastes different. Why do you think so many people gain weight when they stop smoking? It’s because food tastes better!

Whether your tobacco of choice is a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, smoking is not only a hazard to yourself, but it is also harmful to those around you. Secondhand smoke affects non-smokers in the same ways that it can affect smokers. Here are some specific effects that smoking has on the human body.

  • Cancer – Smoking is responsible for more than ten different types of cancer! Some of the cancers linked to smoking include acute myeloid leukemia, bladder related cancers. It is such a huge problem, that the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health offer resources such as the website to support people in their decision to quit.
  • Stroke- Smoking can increase your risk of a stroke 2 to 4 times according to the National Stroke Association. That’s because it lowers the amount of oxygen in your blood. This causes the heart to work at an increased rate which invites blood clots to form and allows more build-up in the arteries – a deadly combination that could cause a stroke!
  • Heart Disease- Smoking can lead to heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the U.S. In fact, according to WebMD, every time you smoke a cigarette your risk of developing heart disease increases. When looking at all people who have coronary artery disease, it’s no surprise that most of them have a history of smoking.
  • Birthing and Reproductive Problems- Smoking can cause infertility, SIDS, and even lead to a stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy. The March of Dimes explains that smoking during pregnancy exposes your unborn baby to the dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes. Babies born to moms who smoke are often underweight, premature, and some even suffer birth defects.
  • Bone density problems- Women who smoke have an increased risk for a hip fracture over women who don’t smoke. That is because, as reported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, people who smoke are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones. The fractures associated with the disease can result in painful recovery times and even a lifetime of disability.

As the economy and other situations across the country seem to worsen, people turn to substances to help cope with their problems. Smoking is on the rise because of its accessibility, and how addictive it is. People can smoke at younger ages because unlike alcohol, which requires the buyer to be aged 21 or older, those as young as 18 years old can buy cigarettes.

Don’t become a statistic. The best way to avoid the problems associated with smoking is to not start in the first place. And if you already smoke, then there’s no time like the present when it comes to quitting. Grab the chance at a healthier lifestyle and stamp out smoking – your future will thank you for it!

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