Smoking has just become even more expensive. The new federal taxes on tobacco products raised tobacco taxes on cigarettes from 39 cents to $1.01 a pack on April 1 as part of an increase to pay for expanded federal health insurance programs for uninsured children. I like the idea of giving health coverage to children and I agree with this plan 100%. The reason I agree is because I don’t smoke. I used to but I quit many years ago.
The reason I quit was because cigarettes were making me feel terrible. I had colds constantly. My breath stunk and so did my clothes. Over the past 35 years or so I have seen the effects of smoking on many of my friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, quite a few of them are experiencing health problems. It was because of this that I decided to start helping people quit smoking using hypnosis and NLP. I wanted to help people have a better chance at living a long, healthy life.
If you need reasons to quit, here are 9 of the best reasons I could come up with.
1. Smoking Causes Poor Circulation and Heart Disease
Smoking can kill you a number of ways. The most prominent is heart disease. There were 332,973 deaths due to heart disease in 2004. It was the number one cause of death in the United States. Smoking is responsible for 30 percent of all heart attacks and cardiovascular deaths. Nicotine, the main ingredient in cigarettes, raises your blood pressure and makes your blood clot more easily. When your blood clots more easily it gets stuck in your veins causing poor circulation and heart attacks.
Did you know that smokers often have frequent headaches? They get them because there is a constant lack of oxygen due to hardened, narrowed blood vessels to your brain. Oh, by the way, these hardened, narrowed blood vessels can lead to a stroke. Even though it wasn’t due to smoking my dad had a stroke. I guarantee you that one of the biggest reasons I don’t smoke is that I don’t want to spend the last years of my life like my dad did, weakened, using a crutch and frustrated because he couldn’t find the words to explain what he wanted to say.
Those blood clots caused by your smoking can cause a stroke if they end up in your brain. Smoking deprives your cardiovascular system of oxygen. When combined with the monoxide poisoning form cigarettes, this lack of oxygen forms thick cholesterol deposits on your artery walls, choking off your blood supply. This resulting poor circulation can cause impotence, another reason to quit smoking. If you are a middle-aged or older man smoking can keep you from getting an erection and also impairs sperm motility. Most men find that this reverses when they stop smoking.
If that wasn’t enough, the poor circulation caused by smoking’s result in Claudication or chronic pains in the legs, feet and toes. This can eventually lead to a loss of circulation and you can end up having gangrene which will lead to the amputations of your toes or feet. Smoking can also be linked to loss of circulation in your fingers.
2. Smoking Causes Cancer of the Mouth, Emphysema, Lung Cancer and Bronchitis
Do you know anyone who has died from cancer? I have known a few. It can be a slow, terrible death. Cancer is caused cells that grow like weeds in a garden that strangle out needed bodily functions and good cells. I would not wish cancer on anyone.
Studies show that smoking is responsible for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Read that again, smoking is responsible for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Tobacco in any form, including “smokeless” or chewing tobacco significantly increases the risk for cancer of the mouth.
Smoking tobacco can cause similar effects as well as giving you gum disease and tooth decay. Dentist regularly send me their patients that smoke because they know the problems smoking has on dental health. Smoking also makes your teeth yellow and gives you bad breath.
If you smoke you are ten times more likely to get lung cancer as a nonsmoker. Smoking is linked to 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths each year. Smoking is responsible for 82 percent of deaths due to emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
When you inhale the smoke from a cigarette it passes through your bronchi, or breathing tubes. Nasty chemicals from the cigarette smoke, like hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, ammonia, attach themselves to the lining of the bronchi and cause them to erode. They also cause the inflammation to the bronchi that result in chronic smoker’s cough. As the bronchi weaken they become more susceptible to bronchial infections as well as to colds and the flu.
3. Smoking Causes Heartburn, Ulcers and other Digestive Problems
Your entire digestive system is affected. Smoking causes increased stomach acid secretion that contributes to heartburn and peptic ulcers. Since smoking interferes with circulation, smokers experience delays in the healing of ulcers to the stomach and duodenum.
Smoking also increases the risk of Crohn’s disease. It has also been linked to gallstones, which form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. Smoking has been linked to liver damage and research suggests that smoking can worsen liver disease caused by drinking too much alcohol.
4. Smoking Causes Cancer to the Esophagus and Throat
In adults, the esophagus is an approximately 10 inch hollow tube that carries food and liquids from your mouth to your stomach. The muscles of the esophagus contract as you swallow to push food down into the stomach. It has glands in its lining that produce mucus that makes swallowing easier. Difficulty in swallowing is usually the first symptom of esophageal cancer in most patients.
Esophageal cancer is the seventh leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. The tars and other chemicals in cigarette smoke can trigger cancer of the esophagus and throat. Esophageal cancer is often fatal. Both smoking and smokeless tobacco have been linked to the approximately 12,300 new cases in the U.S. annually and each year there are approximately 12,000 deaths caused by esophageal cancer.
5. Smoking Causes Pancreatic Cancer and Bladder Cancer
“Actor Patrick Swayze is defiantly continuing to smoke – despite suffering from cancer. Patrick was spotted enjoying a cigarette recently whilst waiting in his car for his wife to fetch pizza. The 56-year-old star has not quit the awful habit despite undergoing months of chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. The ill ‘Ghost’ actor was also recently rushed to hospital with a lung infection and doctors declared him “more ill than ever”.”
Pancreatic cancer occurs most commonly in men between the ages of 35 and 70. It is the fourth highest cause of cancer mortality.
Smokers experience much higher rates of pancreatic cancer. In fact the risk of getting cancer of the pancreas is 2 to 3 times higher in smokers. Experts believe that 2 to 3 out of 10 cases of pancreatic cancer are thought to be caused by smoking. People who use “smokeless” tobacco are also more likely to get pancreatic cancer.
The carcinogenic compounds in cigarette smoke have also been linked to bladder cancer. Our bodies rid themselves of chemicals in our urine which is stored in the bladder. The presence of carcinogens in your urine from cigarette smoke can cause bladder cancer, which is often fatal.
6. Smoking Damages Kidneys
Your kidneys can be directly affected by smoking. Since smoking affects your circulation it also can elevate your blood pressure. Although high blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout your body, when blood vessels in your kidneys are damaged it interferes with your kidney’s ability to remove wastes and excessive fluid. This can lead to a vicious cycle with the extra fluid in your blood vessels raising your blood pressure even more, eventually resulting in kidney failure.
7. Smoking, Fertility and the Effects the Unborn Children
Studies have shown that smoking reduces a women’s fertility. It also delays their ability to conceive after they stop using birth control pills.
Just like when you eat, a smoking mother is smoking for two. You increase the risks of miscarriage, premature birth and your baby’s death in its first year. The infant mortality rate at birth or through a miscarriage is 50 percent higher when the mother smokes. Children whose mothers smoke are also 2½ times more likely to die of crib death or sudden infant death syndrome.
The affects of smoking during pregnancy last a lifetime. The average birth weight of babies whose mother’s smoked is less than babies of nonsmokers. Also, when examined at age 7, children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were more likely be shorter, slower readers and socially impaired.
8. Smoking Causes Wrinkles
Smoking reduces blood flow to your skin. Have you ever seen someone who has smoked for decades? Of course you have! Because of the lack of circulation to their skin they look life old, wrinkled baseball mitts. This lack of circulation prevents the needed oxygen and nutrients from reaching your skin. It also reduces the amount of natural skin softeners, collagen and elastin, in your skin.
Smokers easily appear 5 years older than non-smokers of the same age. Since cigarette smoke irritates the skin and eyes, smokers squint more which leads to more wrinkles around the corners of the eyes.
9. Smoking Causes Osteoporosis
Recent studies have shown a direct relationship between smoking and decreased bone density which is known as osteoporosis. It most often affects women. Osteoporosis is a disease which causes bones to weaken and fracture more easily.
What Can You Do?
As you can see smoking has been shown to directly affect your health. Statistics show that forty percent of the men who smoke will die before they reach retirement age. Women smokers face an increased risk of cervical cancer. Pregnant women not only take risks with their own health but also take a chance with the health of their unborn babies.
The good news is that if you haven’t experienced any of these effects yet you can quit. When you quit your body begins to repair itself and within ten years your body will have repaired most of the damage your smoking caused.
If you are interested in quitting on your own I have a FREE e-course that can help you become smoke free for life. If you are really committed to quitting and are interested in getting help you can reach me at (800) 989-6570. Whatever you do decide to quit for good and for life!
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