Why People Should Stop Smoking
by Ruth Taylor
There are many reasons to stop smoking. Not only will the smoker's own health improve, but the health of his family or those living with him will as well. Stop smoking to reduce the risks of many serious health conditions and to look and breathe better. There are even economic reasons to stop smoking. Less money spent on cigarettes and treating resulting health concerns means more money in your pocket.
Reduce Cancer Risks
There is a strong link between smoking and lung cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, men who smoke have 23 times the risk of dying of lung cancer than nonsmokers, and women smokers have 13 times higher risk. Not only will stopping smoking reduce your chances of lung cancer, quitting also will reduce your chances of other cancers as well. Bladder, cervix, kidney, pancreas and stomach cancer are only some of the cancers caused by smoking.
Smoking Ages You
Cigarette smoke narrows blood vessels that arrive to the surface of your skin. With narrower blood vessels, nutrients like vitamin A and even oxygen begin to be depleted. Skin also loses its suppleness because of damage to collagen and elastin. These fibers normally keep your skin strong and flexible. Heat from the cigarette smoke as you bring it up to your lips is also responsible for skin damage. Once damaged, the skin cannot repair itself. However, it may take years for skin damage to happen, so the sooner you quit, the better your skin will look.
Special Concerns for Women
Women smokers have lower bond density after menopause than nonsmokers. Lower bone density means that fractures, particularly hip fractures are a risk. Long before menopause, smoking can raise the risk of infertility and other problems related with pregnancy and childbirth. Babies of smokers may be born premature or stillborn, or have a low birth weight. They are also at a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Stopping smoking will help your breathing. Tar from cigarettes stain lungs, and the carbon monoxide makes it harder for oxygen to reach your brain and vital organs. Smokers are more prone to respiratory infections such as bronchitis and may eventually succumb to emphysema. Smoking also affects your friends and family. Second-hand smoke, which is what your family members and friends breathe when you smoke, raises their risk of cancers and cardiovascular problems every time they inhale.
If better health for you and your family were not enough of a motivating factor, maybe having more money will move you. As of 2009, a pack of cigarettes costs more than four dollars. (Center for Disease Control) A smoker who buys only two packs of cigarettes a week will save more than 400 dollars a year by quitting. It goes without saying that quitting smoking also will save money on doctor's visits and medical treatment in the future. In short, stopping smoking will improve your health, your family's health and could save your life.