Are you a smoker who's thinking about quitting but wondering if it's worth it? Cigarettes are an addictive substance, and quitting can be difficult. But if you need help, there are a variety of medications and methods designed to help people stop smoking. You may have heard the statement that smoking causes lung cancer, but if that's not enough to deter you, there are many other reasons-health and non-health related alike- why smoking cessation is a good idea; here are three good reasons to quit smoking as soon as possible.
The most obvious reason to quit smoking is to protect and improve your health. The Center for Disease Control calculates that 443,000 people die in the United States each year from smoking-related disease, and that more people worldwide die from tobacco use than from HIV, illicit drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, suicides and murders combined. The average person's lifespan is shortened by eleven minutes per cigarette smoked and smoking has been conclusively linked to a variety of life-threatening illnesses affecting almost every organ of the body. Some of the most prevalent diseases among smokers are lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and obstructive lung disease. Other types of cancer linked to tobacco use are leukemia, bladder, cervical, esophageal, kidney, laryngeal, pancreatic, pharyngeal, stomach and oral cancer. Smoking also causes low bone density (putting smokers at an increased risk for broken bones and developing osteoporosis), an increased risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, infertility, high blood pressure and teeth and gum disease.
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Smoking is not only a detriment to your own health; it also harms the health of your friends and family. Smoking is particularly dangerous for pregnant woman and parents of small children, as exposure to cigarette smoke can cause preterm delivery, low birth weight, still birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Children around secondhand smoke also get sick more often and are prone to developing asthma and fluid in their ears. But the risks are not only for children; people who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop asthma and respiratory infections, and are at a 20-30% increased risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease when compared to other non-smokers. Researchers are currently in the process of examining a possible link between secondhand smoke and breast cancer development as well. The Center for Disease Control states there is no safe level of secondhand smoke; any exposure increases an individual's risk of developing a life-threatening illness.
Quitting smoking can also improve your quality of life in non-health related ways, including saving you money, time, and the inconvenience of smoking in an increasingly regulated society. The average smoker spends about 1,500 dollars every year. In New York City, the average is 3,300 dollars annually! Quitting smoking can save you not only that money, but also the potential expenses of dealing with a smoking-related illness, and save you money on your health and life insurance policies; while the effects of smoking cannot be completely reversed, your health will begin to improve after you quit. As your lung capacity improves, you'll be able to participate in exercise and recreational activities with greater ease, making your outings with family and friends more fun.Additionally, quitting smoking means you won't have to worry about smoking or nonsmoking areas in or outside, and will give you a better pick at apartment, hotel and even car rentals.