Important Reasons to Quit Smoking
by Lee Andrew Henderson
How does cigarette smoking hurt you? Let us count just a few of the ways. It damages your health, your bank account, your appearance, your senses, and even your sleep. Those alone should be enough reasons to quit.
Everyone knows about the risk of lung cancer, but smoking is actually responsible for 90 percent of ALL cancer deaths. It can also get you by way of heart disease, which smokers are two to four times more likely to get than others. And then there's the greatly increased risk of acute or chronic bronchitis.
Any smoker who keeps a careful budget is likely to discover that he's spending thousands of dollars on cigarettes--and cigarette taxes and prices are expected to keep going up. Plus there are other, smaller expenses that add up. Smokers are probably buying extra teeth-whitening products and breath mints, and more moisturizers because of the bad skin. Smoking can cause hair to fall out, so smokers may spend extra money on hair products. Not to mention that smokers can run up huge hospital bills if smoking damages their lungs or heart.
In the February 2008 issue of CHEST there was a study that said smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to have restless nights. The reason is that smokers can experience nicotine withdrawals just from not smoking for the seven or eight hours they are trying to sleep. Sleep is important to everyone's health and quality of life. Sleep deprivation can lead to crankiness, fatigue, blurry vision, loss of memory and stress, and some of those afflictions can lead to more serious conditions.
Smokers who take a hard look in the mirror will probably notice that they just don't look as good as they once did. Smoking stains the teeth yellow and brown. Smokers' skin is likely to show accelerated wrinkling. The fumes in the smoke can even damage hair follicles and make hair fall out.
Think hard about how food tastes now and how it tasted before you started smoking. Everything probably tastes different or tastes worse. Smokers will do damage to their taste buds and no food will taste as good as it should. Constantly breathing in smoke can also damage a person's sense of smell.