The Negative Health Effects of Smoking and the Importance of Quitting
Did you know that more than 480,000 people in the United States die each year because of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure? It is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. Unfortunately, thousands of people, including kids, try a tobacco product for the first time every day. Smoking and the use of other tobacco products negatively affect your health and it is important to quit the bad habit. Especially if you’ve already developed a lung disease or other condition.
The Health Effects of Smoking
Smoking and using other products that contain tobacco are harmful to the human body and can cause a number of serious diseases and conditions. Not only is it harmful to the smoker’s body, but to those surrounding them, too. Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 41,000 deaths each year. Tobacco companies are coming out with new products such as e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco that are said to be safer. This is not true. The American Lung Association suggests to not use these as they are still damaging and should not be seen as a safe alternative.
Smokers are at greater risk, and put those around them at greater risk, of diseases and health conditions like a cardiovascular disease such as a stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart disease. Smoking can cause serious damage to blood vessels, making them thicken and become narrower, and can cause clots. This causes your heart to beat fast, thus increasing your blood pressure. Smoking also can cause lung disease, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis (and others under the COPD umbrella) by damaging your lungs’ airways and alveoli (small air sacs). Those that smoke are 12-13 more times likely to die from COPD than those who do not smoke. If you suffer from chronic illnesses like COPD, it is important to quit smoking now.
The Importance of Quoting Smoking
There are many reasons to kick a bad habit like smoking, such as saving money, saving yourself the inconvenience, improving your appearance and smell, but most importantly, the health of you and those around you. The moment you stop smoking, your body starts repairing itself from the damaged caused by smoking. Even 20 minutes after you quit, your health improves as your heart rate drops to a normal level. As time passes, your body heals itself and your health improves immensely.
Quitting is not an easy thing to do, but nothing worth achieving is ever easy. There will be challenges you face and temptations you feel. But it is all worth it. Whatever the reason for quitting is, it is worth it! There are many resources around you that you can take advantage of. Your key resources for quitting will be your doctor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, dentist, or another healthcare provider. They can prescribe you a medication best suited for you to help resist the urge to smoke, show you local resources, and a local quit-line.
For help quitting smoking, contact your doctor or visit the American Lung Association website to find a support center near you.