If You Smoke Like a Chimney, You're Likely to Go up in Flames
Now We Know: Smoking Kills.
Smoking is a habit many people have, one that can cost them their lives. The CDC says “cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.” Plus, it can also be an indirect cause of death because it promotes other health conditions that can negatively affect one’s overall quality of life and health.
Smoking can cause individuals to develop the following health conditions (brace yourself, it’s a pretty long list):
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Coronary heart disease
Bladder, blood, cervical, colon, throat, kidney, liver, oral, stomach, and other cancers
Reproductive issues (i.e. infertility and erectile dysfunction)
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
A weak immune system
Whoa… With all that bad that may come with smoking, just why do people do it?
Well, there are a couple reasons. Yep just a few, not nearly as many as there are to not smoke. People may smoke for social reasons, to consume nicotine, to cope, for image, or because it's just habit.
Reasons People Smoke
Once you start to experience nicotine’s addictive high, it can be hard to quit it. This is one reason quitting smoking can be so hard, people can experience withdrawal symptoms and crave that drug again. Some nicotine alternatives include nicotine patches, pills, and gum. Although they aren’t as harmful as cigs, these too should only be a temporary fix. Developing any sort of dependence would be challenging, it just somewhat limits a person’s freedom.
Many people smoke to manage unpleasant feelings like stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Fortunately, cigarettes aren’t the only way people have to cope with such feelings.
Reasons to Stop
There are much healthier--not to mention cheaper-- outlets. You just need to find them. Some alternative ways could be meditating, exercising, or just participating in things you enjoy like hobbies. These can give you a different type of “feel good” effect than nicotine does, probably a more rewarding one too. So, not smoking wouldn’t just benefit people’s physical health, but their emotional and mental health as well.
What’s more is that smokers aren’t just hurting themselves, others can experience many of the same health risks from secondhand smoke.
"Secondhand smoke causes more than 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults every single year," claims truth.
Actually, smoking wasn’t always known to be bad. Wikipedia provides that many ancient civilizations like Babylon, India, and China practiced smoking. They smoked things other than tobacco cigarettes though. It wasn’t until the 1600s that criticism arose.
According to David Halk, even science used to deny the harm of smoking. It wasn’t until the 20th century that education about smoking’s dangers came about. It was finally announced in 1964 that smoking caused lung cancer. Nevertheless, people were in denial. There were even “pro-smoking scientists.” Nowadays, you’d have to be crazy to voice that. It’d endanger your credibility as a professional instantly.
Though smoking products helped the economy, its effects on the environment certainly aren’t worth it. Smoking obviously pollutes the air, but cigarettes are also a huge source of litter. The NWES claims cigarettes are the world’s number one source of litter. Most people don’t have ashtrays in their cars…
Those discarded cigarettes can pose a threat to wildlife and nature: animals might consume the toxins and a cigarette could start a fire.
The good news is that people are starting to shift their values and quit.
However, more people took up smoking with the release of e-cigarettes and vaping.
“In 2015, the U.S. surgeon general reported that e-cigarette use among high school students had increased by 900%, and 40% of young e-cigarette users had never smoked regular tobacco,” provides John Hopkins Medicine.
While vaping is better than smoking cigarettes, it still negatively affects health. Vaping doesn't contain tobacco but still contains many other chemicals. And, one Jul pod contains just as much nicotine as 20 cigarettes!
Lonnie B. says that vaping does offer some benefits like increased alertness and euphoria. Nevertheless, the fact remains that vaping has been linked to lung diseases called EVALI. Vaping is really just the lesser evil when it comes to smoking.
Save yourself and others by quitting smoking. If you are a smoker, you’ve likely been given this same advice before. I know, I know-- easier said than done right. Both my grandma and uncle were heavy smokers but were able to successfully quit the harmful habit, so I can tell you it is possible. They did it on their own, but you don’t have to. You can rely on programs and other systems of support.
Medical News Today suggests trying nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline, bupropion, self-help books, lobelia, vitamins B and C, helpful apps, and Tai Chi. These may ease withdrawal symptoms.
It’s best to devise a plan that is tailored to you. What works for you might be different for someone else. You might be a different kind of smoker, have different triggers, or different reasons. All that matters is wanting to stop so you can regain control over your body.
Smoking Cessation Formula was right when they said: “Everything you are and everything you have is because of a decision you once made. Decide to quit smoking, and nothing will stop you.” Choosing to quit is the first step in quitting, believing you can is the next.
Do you smoke or know someone close to you that smokes?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Erin Day