Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Perception surrounding smoking has varied over time and from one place to another: holy and sinful, sophisticated and vulgar, a panacea and deadly health hazard. Smoking does have major effects on people’s health, whether young or old it can lead to major health problems.
We are aware of the fact that cigarette smoking causes cancer. Some people believe that cigarette smoking only leads to lung cancer, if you are one of them, you are completely mistaken. Smoking leads to cancer of the nose, mouth, larynx (voice box), trachea, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, cervix, bone marrow and blood. Wondering how it happens? When you smoke, the entire process, right from when you light up your cigarette to when you exhale, leads to several drastic and disastrous effects in the body. Out of the 41,000 chemicals in cigarettes, a large percentage are known to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). These chemicals combined with the heat of the smoke leads to mutations in your cells causing them to multiply in an uncontrolled manner, leading to cancer.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), a smoker is two to four times likelier to suffer from coronary artery disease and stroke than a non-smoker. Moreover, people who smoke have a 25 times greater risk of suffering from lung cancer. Here’s how; the chemicals present in cigarette smoke affect the entire composition of your blood; making it thicker and more prone to the formation of blood clots. Apart from that it also causes the constriction of your blood vessels, increases your blood pressure (since it makes your heart beat faster), and leads to the formation of plaque – increasing your chances of suffering from cardiovascular and heart disease.
Today we try to find ways to fight aging signs, some people use creams, change the way they eat, and even surgical treatments. Little do they know that if they quit smoking it can change their whole appearance of fine lines and other aging signs by half. Smoking does lead to the appearance of fine lines (especially around the eyes and lips), age spots, puffy eyes, dull, dry and lifeless skin. This is because the chemicals that are present in cigarettes cause the fine capillaries under your skin to contract and constricts the blood flow to your skin. This lack of blood and fresh oxygen causes your skin to look dull and lifeless, which leads to permanent damage to connective fibers like elastin and collagen leading to the formation of permanent lines and wrinkles
In conclusion, there are other ways to free one’s mind other than smoking. When we inhale and exhale it is a relaxing activity for both smokers and non-smokers. One can experience relaxation without smoking because the relaxation you get from smoking is as a result of the deep breath you take while puffing. If one feels ready to quit smoking there are some very effective recommendations to help them quit smoking.
Set a date and ensure you stop smoking completely at the chosen date, plan an exercise routine and have discipline: this will help you free you from cravings and help improve your health, avoid all kinds of items that remind you of cigarettes and clean anything that has the particular smell, get busy with activities such as exercise, hang out with friends, shop or spend time with family.
- Cancer.org – Tobacco and Cancer
- Medical News Today – Smoking and Cancer: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease
- Mayo Clinic – Smoking and cancer: What’s the connection?
- PubMed – Smoking and Cancer
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
- World Health Organization – Tobacco
- National Center for Biotechnology Information – The Mechanisms of Carcinogenicity of Tobacco Smoke Compounds