One of the most harmful things that a person can choose to do to his or her body is to smoke tobacco. Why? Because tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death in the United States. Despite this knowledge many smokers are not convinced that their addiction to tobacco is harmful. To make matters worse, many even believe that they can choose to break their bad habit whenever they want. The reality is that addiction to smoking can be very hard to break. There is no immediate danger from tobacco use because the dangerous chemicals in tobacco smoke take several years to manifest their ill consequences. This gives a false sense of security and when the ill effects are discovered it is often too late. If you commit to smoking cessation today, you may be able to improve the quality and quantity of your life and your loved ones’ lives through the mechanisms below.
The sooner you choose to stop smoking, the better the chance you will not suffer prematurely from a disease associated with it
Reduce your risk of cancer
Smoking is a leading contributor to a number of different cancers including lung, colon, throat, bladder, and kidney.
Reduce your risk of hardening of the arteries
Using tobacco increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blockage of the arteries in the legs that can result in amputations and gangrene.
Reduce your risk of chronic lung disease
Cigarettes causes chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. People who suffer from COPD often require home oxygen and may eventually need a lung transplant.
Have a healthier family
Exposure to second hand tobacco smoke causes increased risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke in nonsmokers. Children also experience increased frequency of lung and ear infections, severe asthma attacks, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Smokers rarely stop to think about the personal financial burden of tobacco use. A recent study estimated that the lifetime cost of taking 1 pack of cigarettes per day for 51 years was at least $1.1 million. Think of what you could do with this extra money that you can save on tobacco, increased healthcare costs, and lost income.
Enjoy a better love life
Tobacco use has been shown to decrease libido and impair sexual performance by decreasing the flow of blood through vessels.
Avoid social exclusion
The number of smoke-free work places and social gathering sites such as restaurants is steadily increasing. Some companies are even instituting hiring policies that require employees to be nonsmokers, offering free smoking cessation and testing for nicotine in the urine
The list of benefits that you can expect from stopping smoking are many, the examples above are just a small look at some of the biggest. There will always naysayers and smokers with stories of people they know who had stopped using tobacco and still had a heart attack or were diagnosed with cancer. This can and will happen, but the sooner you choose to stop using cigarettes, the better the chance you will not suffer prematurely from a disease associated with this bad habit. Who wants to miss out on their birth of their grandchildren or see a loved one suffer from disease related to second hand tobacco smoke. The correct decision seems obvious, but many need to make the decision to quit smoking.