Smoking Impacts Your Health More Than You May Realize
For years we have been educated on the effects of smoking, yet there are many that continue despite the direct and indirect health problems that are linked to this habit. Many use November as the month to quit smoking. If you know a smoker, pass on this information to help motivate them for the journey to become smoke-free.
The statistics of heath problems related to smoking are scary. Those who light up have the following risks:
Two times the risk of having a stroke
Six times the risk of oral cancers
10 times the risk of throat cancer
10 times the risk of developing COPD
12 times the risk of lung cancer
12 times the risk of heart disease
Let’s now look at smoking from another view. Smoking impacts the tiny vessels in the body. That means poor healing, impotence, peripheral vascular disease where the legs swell and become discolored, and problems in pregnancy due to less blood flow to the baby. This also affects the eyes, leading to cataracts and glaucoma. Wrinkles, stained teeth, loss of teeth, gum disease, and cavities occur. The bones can become more fragile and may even break. Smoking can lead to cancer of the bladder, kidneys, esophagus, cervix, pancreas and blood. Smoking also leads to more acid in the stomach, which can lead to ulcers. So it’s not just lung disease, heart attacks and strokes, but the entire body is compromised due to smoking.
In addition to the smoker, other family members can be affected by second-hand smoke, leading to cancer, asthma, ear infections, respiratory infections, and even sudden infant death syndrome.
So what are the rewards of quitting besides more money in your pocket? Within the first days to weeks of stopping, the blood pressure begins to decrease, and the oxygen level begins to rise. Circulation and lung function improves. Food smells and tastes better too. Within months to years the body feels more energy, coughing, fatigue and shortness of breath are likely to decrease, and you feel better overall. Over a five year period, the lung cancer death decreases by almost half.
If you smoke, there are support, methods and even medications that may help you on this journey. Do it for yourself. Set a goal, and take that first step. You’ll be glad you did!