According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking kills about 480,000 Americans each year. Of these, 41,000 deaths account for exposure to secondhand smoke. Moreover, in 2014, 40 millions adults in the US or 16.8% of the population were current smokers. The problem gets even worse when you take into account that teenagers smoke as well. Smoking is a bad habit that can severely impact your health and quality of life. If you're debating with yourself about whether you should quit or not, this article will motivate you to reach your decision and ditch this bad habit. Here are eight reasons you should quit.

1. Smelling like smoke

Okay, you're probably aware of this already but it's still important to mention it. Smokers have that distinctive smell of smoke that other people simply can't stand. You can put any perfume you want and you still can't get rid of that smoke. Since you don't want other people to take one step back when you're near and you most certainly don't want your clothes or even hair to smell like smoke, quitting is the best thing to do then. According to Steven Schroeder, director of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California San Francisco, smokers are extremely self-conscious about the smell of smoke in their clothes and hair as well as in their breath. 

2. Dulling of senses 

Smokers experience dulling of their senses, particularly smell and taste. Study published in the journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders showed that only 21% of the smokers had taste threshold comparable to nonsmokers. Taste buds on smokers' tongues were flatter than the buds on the tongues of nonsmokers. As a smoker, you can't appreciate taste of many foods the way nonsmokers do. Also, you're not able to enjoy all lovely smells around you in the same intensity like your counterparts. 

3. Premature aging 

Sun's damaging UV rays aren't the only factor that contributes to premature aging. Smoking plays an important role as well. Multiple studies were conducted to inspect the link between aging and smoking. All of them got the same results - smoking can accelerate formation of fine lines and wrinkles on your face. For instance, Koh J.S. and team of scientists of the Catholic University of Korea, conducted a research that included 123 nonsmokers, 160 current smokers, and 67 past smokers. Findings from this study, published in the International Journal of Dermatology, showed that current smokers have a higher degree of facial wrinkling than nonsmokers and past smokers. 

So, what's the connection? Smoking leads to biochemical changes in the body that accelerate the aging process. For example, it deprives your skin of oxygen by causing constriction of the blood vessels. That way, your skin isn't able to get not only oxygen but healthy nutrients it needs to remain healthy and plump. 

4. Impotence

Here's a great reason for men to quit smoking - this nasty habit can contribute to impotence by affecting blood vessels including those that must dilate in order for erection to occur. There's a growing body of evidence that suggests the link between impotence and smoking. Tengs T. O. of the University of California published a review of studies on this topic in Preventive Medicine. The review examined 1008 journal articles and identified 19 studies that reported smoking habits of 3819 impotent men. Findings from this review showed tobacco is an important risk factor for impotence. 

5. Increased risk for bacterial infections

Smoking is linked with various health risks like lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, and many others including bacterial infections. Tobacco Induced Diseases study revealed that both active smokers and individuals exposed to secondhand smoke are at a higher risk of developing bacterial infection such as respiratory tract infections including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and Legionnaires disease. Furthermore, smoking makes you more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases, post-surgical, and nosocomial infections. This happens because tiny hairs called cilia that line respiratory tract are supposed to protect us from infections. Cigarette smoke paralyzes the cilia thus destroying their protective mechanism. Luckily, after you quit smoking cilia are able to perform their primary role properly once again.  

6. You put other people's health at risk

One of the scariest consequences of smoking is that it jeopardizes health of other people as well, not just yours. According to the CDC since 1964, about 2,500,000 nonsmokers died from health problems caused by secondhand smoke exposure. In children, secondhand smoke exposure causes ear and respiratory infections while in adults it can contribute to heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Therefore, to protect yourself and the ones you love make smoking a history. 

7. Decreased endurance and physical performance 

Smoking causes immediate and longstanding effects of exercise and physical activity. If you ever wondered why you get tired so easily, here's your answer. Smokers have less endurance, poorer physical performance, and increased rates of injury as well as other complications from physical activity. Why are smokers less fit than nonsmokers? It's because when you inhale tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide binds to red blood cells thus displacing oxygen and preventing its delivery to the muscles and other tissues in your body. 

8. It's bad for your budget

If you're a smoker, then you're probably aware this habit isn't as cheap as it might seem. Although the price of a pack of cigarettes varies in different cities, states, or countries the result is the same - regardless where you are, your budget suffers due to smoking. To realize the true impact of smoking on your budget, take a pen and piece of paper and calculate; add the price of pack of cigarettes,do you smoke one or more packs a day, and see how much you actually have to pay per month. It's a big amount of money, isn't it? 

To sum it up; smoking is a bad habit that affects not only your health and quality of life but other people's at the same time. Although it may seem to you it's difficult to quit smoking with strong willpower and dedication you can do it. Team up with someone else who also wants to quit and support each there. Plus, there are various websites  and support groups where you can get useful tips and tricks that will eventually lead you to a healthier lifestyle. For example, stopsmokingnowaids.com features useful tips and tricks that can help you ditch the bad habit. You can check the article here. And also bear in mind that you can buy something nice for yourself for that money you usually spend on cigarettes on monthly basis. 

 

Published by Amra Serdarevic