While smoking was the focus of TV stars, "cool" kids, and the upper class through the 1950s and 60s, time has shown us a wide range of life-threatening medical conditions derived from this surprisingly once-idealized habit. While smoking was once allowed in bars, restaurants, and even airplanes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are now more than open with their warnings of the dangers of smoking, especially when it comes to the level of carbon monoxide toxicity you'll find in the average smoker's bloodstream.
If conditions such as breathing issues, cancer, poor immunity, and much more weren’t a good enough reason to plan your quit date, the worldwide COVID virus that attacks compromised immune systems should have given you an extra push toward quitting smoking.
If not, here are 12 more reasons to quit smoking in 2021.
One of the top reasons users typically quit smoking is from urges from their health care providers to push to improve their health, especially when it comes to decreasing the potential health risks of lung disease. You only get one body, and once that body is broken or damaged, you often don’t get the option to simply undo the issues, especially when inhalers become an everyday necessity.
1. Weakened Immune System
Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from infection, sickness, and any other form of germ or bacteria that may attack. A healthy body should rarely become ill, and when it does, it should bounce back fairly quickly.
Smoking causes a weakened immune system, which leaves you susceptible to illness. 2020 has shown the increased health risks of a weakened immune system, pushing many people to a smoke-free, healthier lifestyle in 2021.
The word alone sends chills down your spine. Cancer is an uphill battle we don’t want to see anyone face. Smoking has been found to increase the risk of cancer throughout the body, including:
- Colon and rectum
- Kidney and ureter
- Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
- Trachea, bronchus, and lung
Once cancer begins to spread, the treatments are unpleasant, costly, and risky. If there’s one main reason to quit smoking, cancer should be it.
3. Pregnancy Risks
For adults of all ages, the idea of children and a family is an encouraging motivator. For smokers, this means potential health risks for you or the baby. This includes preterm birth, low birth weight, and various birth defects associated with the skin and lungs.
Smoking also places men at risk as it lowers sperm count, and can cause infertility.
4. Cardiovascular Issues
Smoking has been known to cause issues with the heart and bloodstream, causing a range of cardiovascular issues. This includes issues such as:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Increased pulse
- Increased blood pressure
- Restricted blood vessels
- Heart attack
Once damage occurs to the heart, maintenance and surgery to repair it is extremely risky.
5. Respiratory Issues
When considering respiratory issues, issues with your mouth, nose, throat and lungs can cause painful or difficulty breathing. Smoking is known for creating sores within the mouth and throat, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, mouth throat or lung cancer, and an increased risk of asthma.
Difficulty breaking ultimately leads to a lack of oxygen in the body leading to fatigue, issues sleeping, or increased coughing and wheezing.
6. Poor Eyesight
If the smoke rolling into your eyes wasn’t bad enough, smoking is known to damage your vision. Inside the retina of your eyes are a mass of small blood vessels. The same way that smoking can cause cardiovascular issues, it can have an effect on your vision.
This could be a slight loss of vision, all the way to total blindness.
7. Smell and Tastes
Some of the first negative effects found with smoking are the loss of smell and taste. The constant irritation and exposure to the harsh chemicals from cigarette smoking blocks and damages the sensory cells associated with smell and taste.
Many people have associated this with a loss of enjoyment in food, drinks, and other flavorful treats. If a smoker stops early, the ability to smell and taste could fully return, where prolonged use will continue to damage the receptors until damage is permanent even if they suddenly decide to quit cold turkey.
8. Your Wallet
One of the biggest factors people like to overlook or ignore is the massive costs of being a regular smoker. Smokers have been known to spend thousands of dollars every year on cigarettes alone, but due to addiction, will often associate their lower than ideal bank account to other items of their life.
What could you do with an extra couple hundred dollars per month?
For smokers living in the city, this cost can double as prices increase with taxation and demand. This means less cash to do the things you enjoy.
9. Smell of Cigarettes
If you’re a smoker, you’ve heard the comments, if you’re not a smoker, you’ve said the comments.
Cigarettes leave behind a terrible smell that sticks to your body, clothes, car, house, and anything else it touches. Sometimes it is so strong, it actually makes some people gag.
It’s even known to stick on clothes even after being washed. It’s often considered unprofessional and frowned upon in the workplace, and is overall just a harsh unpleasant stink to non smokers.
10. Secondhand Smoke
The only thing worse than someone choosing to smoke and putting themselves at risk, is someone who doesn’t smoke being put at risk for health issues because of someone in their household.
From your family members to your pets, secondhand smoke can increase the possibility for smoking-related illnesses, even if someone has never smoked a day in their life. The nicotine burns off as the cigarette is lit, and is released into the air, causing it to be breathed in by those around you.
Children are especially at danger for health risks, as their bodies are a lot smaller and are still working through development. You should never smoke around a child for any reason.
As we age, the importance of looking young becomes more important. Smoking is known to make signs of aging appear more quickly and more robustly, such as yellow nails and teeth, baggy and wrinkly eyes, and damage to the skin.
Smoking has also been known to cause hair to turn grey or begin falling out. These hits to appearance added with the health issues such as fatigue and shortness of breath can have a major negative impact on your social and professional life.
12. The Inconvenience
As much as a smoker will try to play off that they enjoy their smoke breaks, there is a point where it becomes inconvenient. Depending on your habit, the idea that you “need” a cigarette after a meal, or when you wake up, or even after a certain amount of time becomes a hassle for you, and the people around you.
This is really seen when going out with a group of friends, since non-smokers will be ready to go enjoy themselves, and yet need to stand around and wait for that one friend to smoke a cigarette first to keep at bay what are actually the beginnings of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
It’s Time To Quit Tobacco
Many of these issues are associated with nicotine use, creating the need for tobacco alternatives to serve as a form of nicotine replacement therapy that actually eliminates nicotine versus still making it available.
Unfortunately, many e-cigarettes and vaping "alternatives" where nicotine-infused vape juice ends up ultimately delivering more nicotine thanks to the availability of a long steady "smoke" through the day versus having one cigarette at a time. On this note, smokeless tobacco and over-the-counter nicotine alternatives like nicotine gum can help, but don't quite provide the satisfaction of smoking, either, usually resulting in smokers just doubling up their nicotine intake with both patches/gum and smoking.
Regardless if you’re wanting to stop due to personal reasons, professional reasons, or just for the sake of your family, you will find yourself living an all-around better lifestyle once you quit smoking. Smoking has negative effects on various aspects of your life, and while the nicotine addiction is hard to pull away from, you'll find that your improved quality of life and newfound health benefits with smoking cessation is worth every second.
Nicotine and the act of smoking are truly addictive, and can create mental health issues. The path to becoming nicotine-free is often difficult, especially with the ever-common "I'll have one last cigarette," but the outcome of a healthier life is worth the fight.
It’s time to take control of your smoking habits and work towards a healthy, long-lived life, and Oklahoma Smokes can help with tobacco-free, nicotine-free, additive-free CBD smokes that take the edge off and help satisfy the urge.