Quit Smoking, Age Well & Live Longer

Six Reasons to Quit Smoking

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One out of every five deaths is caused by tobacco - By the end of the first day after quitting smoking, you've decreased your chances of having a heart attack.

1) Quit smoking to age well.
People who smoke tend to have more wrinkles than people who don't and their skin often looks unhealthy. Worse than these mere esthetique reasons to give up this habit, smoking can be a real danger to your health.

2) Quit smoking to avoid hardening of the arteries
Smoking injures blood vessels and this can lead to hardening of the arteries. Smoking filters, or filtered cigarettes have limited effect. Smoking is bad for anyone, especially those with high blood pressure. After one year smoke free, you reduce your risk of heart attack, so you have a lot to gain by giving up this dangerous habit. And if you don’t smoke, don’t start, because the habit is hard to kick.

3) Quit Smoking to avoid heart attack or stroke
Because smoking clogs the arteries, if you give up the habit it will reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Quitting will also reduce your chance of developing a lung disease, such as emphysema and lung cancer.

4) Quit Smoking to Feel Well
You will feel fitter and be less out of breath after effort, less likely to suffer coughing fits, and generally feel fitter and have more energy.

5) Quit Smoking to Become More Attractive
You are likely to become more attractive to the opposite sex. For one thing smoking causes wrinkles and grey, pasty skin– so you will look younger and healthier if don’t smoke. You will also smell more wholesome. Your clothes, and hair, as well as your home, office car will smell better and kissing you will no longer resemble kissing an ashtray.

6) Quit Smoking to Protect Your Loved-Ones
Your children and others, who have been exposed to your smoking habit, will have less upper respiratory problems and they are less likely to smoke when they get to their teens.

Tips to Help You Rise to the Challenge

  • Try and figure out what makes you want to smoke. If it is stress related, enrol in a meditation or soprology course and learn how to breathe deeply when the need for a cigarette challenges your will power. Drink a glass of cold, fresh water if the breathing doesn’t help or go out for a walk, If your desire to smoke increases when you drink alcohol, try to avoid drinking alcohol till you’ve kicked your smoking habit. If your desire to smoke increases after a relaxing meal, make sure you schedule an activity right after dinner, to distract you.

  • Pick a target date to quit and try to stick to it. Throw out all your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia and try and avoid social events where people smoke and friends who smoke for the first few weeks. Enlist a (non smoking) member of the family to help. They love you and will have probably been worried about the risks you have been exposing yourself to. The admiration of those you love and your friends and colleagues for your strength of character will increase if you meet this challenge. Keep this in mind when you think you are going to fail.

  • Being more active will distract you from smoking and even cut down your desire to smoke. Take up running with a group of friends, Nordic walking or hiking to fill your lungs with clean fresh air. Eat healthy snacks or chew gum, take up knitting or making things when it’s too cold or rainy to go outside or join a gym and head there when the urge to smoke becomes too strong.

  • Unfortunately, you might experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, constipation, irritability and trouble concentrating and be tired and slightly depressed. Luckily these symptoms will lesson and usually be over within four to six weeks if you persevere. Put the money you are saving from not smoking and treat yourself to something you have wanted for some time as a reward for your determination and self-control

  • If you find quitting too difficult ask your doctor for help. There are nicotine patches and gum, as well as other medicines that can help you fight this dirty and dangerous habit.

Further Reading

Uncovering the effects of smoking: historical perspective by Richard Doll, published in 1998 in the Journal Statistical Methods in Medical Research, volume 7,1998, pages 87–117.

Recommended Resources

You Can Quit Smoking!

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