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Smoking Harmful Effects & How to Quit Smoking

Smoking ages you and will make you less attractive...
Smoking CAN Kill You!
smoking picture

On average, each cigarette you smoke is harmful enough to shorten your life by 11 minutes!

Each drag on a cigarette exposes your lungs to 43 harmful chemicals we know cause cancer!

30,000 people worldwide burn or suffocate to death each year because of fires caused by smoking cigarettes!

The following are some of the Harmful Effects of Smoking and why you should Quit Smoking Right Away:

  • Smoking is a leading cause of cancers of the throat, swallow pipe, lung, stomach, and kidneys.
  • It leads to unattractive tar deposits on your teeth and fingernails.
  • Smoking in your home makes breathing ailments and ear infections more likely in your children. And they are more likely to pick up the habit as adults.
  • Long term smoking puts you at risk for chronic bronchitis and emphysema - lung disorders - both of which leave you permanently short of breath and are miserable conditions to live with.
  • Smoking depresses your immune system making colds more often and severe.
  • Your sense of smell and taste are corrupted by smoking.
  • Smoking increases coronary artery disease leading to heart attacks.
  • Tobacco smoke lowers fertility and in pregnant mothers lowers baby birth weight.

The good news is: most of the harm from smoking can be reversed by your body if you quit smoking before it becomes irreversible.

Smokers tend to feel good after a puff because nicotine is a stimulant. Nicotine causes your heart to beat faster, cuts your appetite, and raises your blood pressure. But placing your hand on a fire does the same thing - doesn't mean it's good for you!

Smoking in Pregnancy

   
smoking in pregnancy picture

Remember that smoking affects you AND your baby!

The following are just some of the horrible harmful effects smoking in pregnancy can have on your baby:

  • Lower birth weight. Smoking reduces the amount of blood that reaches your placenta starving your baby of the food it needs to grow.
  • Smoking makes it harder to get pregnant in the first place by lowering your fertility.
  • Once pregnant, smoking makes miscarriages more likely.
  • After birth, babies born to smoking mothers cry more as they crave the nicotine you do in cigarette smoke.
  • Babies born to smoking mothers are more likely to die unexplained (SIDS), and to suffer from asthma and ear infections when older.
  • Children of smoking parents are more likely to smoke too.

The Harmful Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke

   
chemicals in tobacco picture

Each puff of cigarette smoke has in over 4000 harmful chemicals, 40 of which we know cause cancer!!!

And did you know that Nicotine, the addictive ingredient of cigarettes is used in agriculture as an insecticide?

Each drag you take on a cigarette also has in the following household chemicals you may find familiar:

  • Acetone = Wall paint stripper.
  • Arsenic = Ant poison.
  • Ammonia = Floor and toilet cleaner.
  • Butane = Lighter fluid.
  • Carbon Monoxide = Car exhaust.
  • DDT = Insecticide.
  • Methanol = NASA fuel.
  • Naphthalene = Moth balls.
  • Nicotine = Insecticide and weed killer.
  • Vinyl Chloride = PVC pipes.

A pack-a-day smoker will inhale 1g of Formaldehyde in a year. Now why would you want to put that into your lungs?

How to Quit Smoking

So you think SMOKING is silly and you're ready to quit. The following is a 3 point game plan to help you quit smoking permanently:

quit smoking picture

Step 1 to Quit Smoking: Have your Reasons

You need to be very clear in your mind why you are quitting smoking. You need to list all the ways that smoking is costing and hurting you. Write down on a piece of paper how smoking is turning your teeth brown, how you might have a hidden cancer because of smoking, how much money you're putting into your ashtray every month, how silly you feel following the smoking crowd, how selfish you are blowing your homicidal smoke into the faces of friends and family etc.

Step 3 to Quit Smoking: Be Committed

You can't be serious about quitting and have a pack stashed away under your mattress "in case of emergency". This is one time you have to burn all your bridges because just one pull on a skinny cigarette can drag you back into smoker slavery. Here's how to prove you mean business:

  • Don't you find wishy-washy people lame? Good, then you need to tell everybody you know that you're quitting smoking by some date. That way you'll have to smoke in your closet if you fail.
  • Throw out every cigarette, every ash tray, every lighter you own and every smoking friend you have. It's important to keep everything away that reminds you of smoking when you're quitting. That means staying away from places with lots of smoke and friends who smoke around you. Ever wonder why every bartender in the world likes a drink; it's hard not too with it swirling around you all the time. So keep the smoke away while you quit.
  • Set a date to quit smoking. You can plan to quit everyday for the rest of your life but good intentions alone won't work. You need to set aside a date to stop. Vacation is a bad time. It needs to be a time when you are busy - that helps to keep your mind off it.

Step 3 to Quit Smoking: Be Ready for the Fight

Cigarette smoke is addictive but nowhere as strong as other drugs like cocaine. You can beat this thing. Eight out of every ten smokers who quit do it 'cold turkey'. That means no crutches, no fancy support groups, no outside help. Just them, the cigarettes, and the willpower to say NO!. Forewarned is forearmed. These are the obstacles in your path that you'll have to cross over on your way to being free of smoke:

  • The craving - there's no way around it, you're going to feel like something's missing from your life. But it will pass. The longer you don't give in the less its power over you will be. Each time you think of a cigarette it might help to also think of the bitter harmful poisons you'll be sucking into your innocent lungs. Keeping busy also helps. When you get a craving to smoke, doing a hobby or going for a walk should help. If you really can't stand it then you could try Zyban or the nicotine patch.
  • The fidgeting - for some people it's not the smoke but the cigarette itself and the puffing motion they crave because it relaxes them in public. But other people do things like chew gum, crack their knuckles, play with their hair etc. If you find that without a cigarette you feel uncomfortable you can invent a new fidget or choose from one of the above.
  • Weight gain - One of the harmful effects of smoking is that it lowers weight. But off cigarettes you can expect only to gain at most 10 pounds. That's really not much of a visible difference.
  • Antisocial? - One of the comforts of smoking is doing it with friends; it's like sharing a drink. A kind of bonding experience. But think of it this way, are you still close with all of your friends from ten years ago? Do you think then that your cigarette sharing friends now will visit you in hospital when you have lung cancer ten years from now?

Step 4 to Quit Smoking: Work with your Doctor

Let your doctor know you plan to quit smoking. They can help with literature, moral support, and two effective medications which can be used together or separately:

  • Zyban - this pill a day activates your brain pleasure center just like cigarettes reducing your craving for nicotine. It is started while still smoking and a quit date 2 weeks later set. Use is for up to 3 months and helps to prevent relapse.
  • Nicotine Patch - these skin tags deliver a constant deescalating dose of nicotine through your skin making quitting a gradual gentle process over 3 months. You are not to smoke while using the patch.

So good luck and happy breathing!

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    Last Updated:
    April 22 2016
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