Why stop smoking? There are lots of reasons to stop smoking, some more personal than others. What we have here are 10 facts that apply to everyone who smokes. These are 10 major health problems and every single time you take a puff, you increase your risk of developing one of them. Warning: Some of these are scary. If you really don’t want to quit, then don’t read.
Almost every case of lung cancer in the world, 90% according to recent research, is caused by cigarette smoke. Either the victim smoked or was constantly exposed to second hand smoke.
This has to be at the top of your list of reasons to stop smoking, because the 5 year survival rate for people diagnosed with lung cancer is as low as 1%. Even in the best case scenario, the survival rate is not above 67%. In other words, most people who get lung cancer die.
So, why stop smoking? You may think that because you smoke now, you’ve already done irreversible damage, but the risk of developing lung cancer goes down gradually for every year that you do not smoke. After 15 years of not smoking, your risk is no greater than that of a person who never smoked.
Other Types of Cancer
One of the reasons that smokers are more likely to develop and die from lung cancer is that nicotine suppresses mechanisms in the immune system that would normally prevent the growth of cancerous tumors. Thus, smokers and those who use other forms of tobacco are more likely to develop cancers of all types than a person who does not use tobacco.
In emphysema, the lungs are damaged to the point that they are no longer elastic. It becomes difficult to exhale. It is accompanied by wheezing and shortness of breath and is irreversible. Even if you have been told or you believe that you are in the early stages of this disease, it is still one of the most important reasons to stop smoking, because when people with emphysema stop smoking and avoid all exposure to cigarette smoke, the progression of the disease slows down dramatically.
Why stop smoking? Smoking leads to reduced blood flow in the arteries. Eventually this can lead to a heart attack. After 1 year of not smoking, your risk of developing heart disease is reduced by more than half.
High Blood Pressure
The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke increase your blood pressure. Over time this can damage the large arteries and tiny blood vessels. Eventually this can lead to one of the other reasons to stop smoking…
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for having a stroke. Number four is cigarette smoking. Number two is heart disease, which can be caused by cigarette smoking. Why stop smoking? After only a few days of not smoking, your blood pressure will be lower, reducing your risk of having a sudden stroke that can end your life or cause permanent brain damage.
This is probably one of the reasons to stop smoking that you have never heard of. You don’t see this warning on a cigarette pack, but three separate studies all came to the same conclusion. Smokers are four times more likely to become blind because of age related macular degeneration than non-smokers.
Macular degeneration is a severe and progressive condition in which the central vision is lost. It is one of the most common causes of blindness in the elderly. Why stop smoking? Former smokers, those who have quit, have only a slightly greater risk than those who never smoked.
The rate of mental decline is five times faster in smokers than in non-smokers. If you have any family history of Alzheimer’s or other neurological conditions, this should be one of your top reasons to stop smoking now, unless, you want to be a burden to your family or simply forget them.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and other Auto-immune Diseases
Lupus is a chronic disease that causes pain and inflammation. Eventually there can be tissue damage throughout the body. Why stop smoking? Current smokers have an increased risk for the development of lupus, but for those who have quit, there is no increased risk.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic and sometimes disabling disease characterized by painful, swollen joints. Scientists have identified several genetic risk factors for developing RA. Smokers with one of these genetic risk factors are 16 times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
Lupus and Rheumatoid arthritis are classified as auto-immune diseases. Because nicotine impairs the proper function of the immune system, cigarette smoking can increase your risk of developing either one of these auto-immune diseases. Studies concerning these facts were published recently in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism.
Men’s Reasons to Stop Smoking
Infertility, erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer have all been linked to cigarette smoking.
Women’s Reasons to Stop Smoking
If you are a woman who smokes, you have an increased risk of infertility, an increased chance of miscarriage, an increased risk of giving birth prematurely, giving birth to children with low birth weight, giving birth to children who have colic and losing your child to SIDS.