6 Unexpected Reasons To Quit Smoking
After years of conclusive research, we all know that smoking is extremely bad for our health. It has been linked to at least 15 types of cancer, deadly conditions including stroke and heart disease and daily health impacts from breathlessness to a weakened immune system. This is hardly surprising when you consider that cigarette smoke contains over 4000 harmful chemicals including benzene, carbon monoxide and cyanide.
However, in case this isn’t enough to convince you to kick your habit, there are plenty of other ways which smoking adversely affects you, including some you may not have thought of.
Here we outline six reasons to quit smoking which may surprise you!
Smoking Affects Your Fertility
The damage caused by smoking goes far beyond the more well-known health impacts. Cigarettes and tobacco products have also been linked to infertility in both men and women. This is because smoking impacts on just about every part of fertility: the chemicals in smoke can damage eggs and sperm, as well as attacking the DNA within them, and smoking has also been linked to miscarriage and foetal abnormalities. Studies have shown that the chance conceiving improves immediately once you quit smoking.
Quitting Means Less Trips To The Dentist
Along with general health effects, smoking also attacks our oral health. Smokers are much more likely to suffer from cavities and oral infections, meaning more trips to the dentist. This is because the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke damage the immune system, and reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to cells via the blood stream, both by lowering the level of oxygen in the blood, and constricting blood vessels and therefore restricting circulation.
All of this makes oral infections more likely, encourages gum and periodontal disease and promotes the presence of bacteria which causes cavities. Quit smoking and you can be assured you will suffer the dentist’s drill less often.
Quitting Reverses the Damage From Smoking
A common excuse given by long-term smokers is that they have are already doomed to suffer cancer or chronic disease thanks to years of smoking, so they might as well keep going! However this simply isn’t true: as soon as you quit smoking, your body begins to repair itself and even your risk of contracting serious diseases begins to go down again.
Five years after quitting smoking, the risk of contracting most smokers is reduced to half of what it was when you were smoking. The risk of contracting lung cancer goes from around 20 times higher compared to non-smokers to 39% of this five years after quitting, and continues to drop from then on. Two to five years after quitting smoking, the risk of suffering a stroke goes back to roughly the same as a non-smoker’s.
Additionally, after quitting smoking you will almost immediately start to feel positive changes to your health. Sense of taste and smell will improve within a day or two of having your first cigarette, and “smokers’ cough” and breathless will improve within two weeks as the mucus in your airways dissipates, bronchial types open up again and oxygen levels in the blood return to normal.
Your Mental Health Will Improve
Some people think that smoking helps them stay calm and relaxed. However, scientific evidence points to the opposite: studies show that nicotine can exacerbate mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Furthermore, smoking can play havoc with medications prescribed for anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and other mental health conditions, meaning that this medication is either less effective or sufferers need to increase their dosage levels, meaning greater side effects
For pretty much everyone, nicotine addiction locks you into a cycle of feeling anxious and irritable as nicotine withdrawal starts to kick in, so you have a cigarette which makes you relax – for a while. However, sooner or later the effects wear off and you start to feel the jitters again. Once you get past the initial withdrawal of quitting, you will feel calmer, more relaxed and have a more stable state of mind.
There Are Huge Financial Savings
Have you ever sat down and worked out exactly how much you spend on cigarettes? This will vary depending on what country or state you live in, but the answer will probably shock you.
In the US, the cost of a pack of cigarettes ranges from around $5.50 in some states, to $14 per pack in others. Let’s take the average of this at $9.75 per pack. Now imagine you smoke a pack a day: this equates to around $70 a week, or an incredible $3550 per year. Think you can’t afford an overseas holiday? Quit smoking and you’ll easily have that covered.
It’s Never Been Easier To Quit
By now you’re probably convinced of the advantages of quitting smoking, but you may still be put off by the prospect of quitting. There’s no denying that quitting is hard: breaking a the pull of nicotine means fighting an addiction which is equivalent to cocaine or heroin. Experts tell us that it takes most people smokers up to 30 attempts to quit smoking.
However, the range of cessation available today means that it is easier than ever to kick the habit. In particular vaping, which has been recommended by experts such as Public Health England as a method for quitting smoking, offers a more effective alternative to going “cold turkey”. You can buy or mix e-liquid to varying nicotine – see sites like vapemate for the range of vape juice and concentrates available – this means you can gradually step down your nicotine addiction in a way that also mimics the habitual nature of smoking a cigarette.