Because of smoking, over 400,000 premature deaths are reported worldwide each year and now, young adults are at a rise which causes concern among parents and anti-smoking organizations. This article will unveil some scary facts about smoking in any form (tobacco, cigars, marijuana), and also suggests effective ways to help you quit smoking.

Worldwide, smoking has become a leading killer responsible for over 440,000 premature deaths each year. It’s shocked to find that the tobacco use, either in marijuana, smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, or cigars has taken away more innocent lives than illegal drugs, AIDS, suicides, alcohol, cancers and road accidents combined.

A study published by ‘The Lancet” shows that tobacco is among the most dangerous substances used by humans and its danger can be similar to those illegal drugs like ecstasy or marijuana. Carbon Monoxide, Acetone, Hydrazine, Tar, Nicotine, Ammonia, Cyanide and Formaldehyde are some of the frightening ingredients found in tobacco/cigarettes. When it’s burnt, over 4,000 chemical compounds are created, all of which are toxic to one’s health and environment. It’s questionable why local governments have allowed and approved nearly 600 harmful chemicals and substances to be used in cigarettes.

Cigars/tobacco/cigarettes contain frightening cancer-inducing agents which can cause cancers. They include Nitric acid, Phenol, Cadmium, Benzene, 3-Cyanopyridine, Acrolein, Dimenthylnitrosamine, Indole, lead, Urethane, 4-Aminobiphenyl, 3-Butadiene, Benzopyrene, Ethylmethylnitrosamine, Toluene, Isoquioline, Hydrazine, 3-Cyanopyridine, Acetonitrile, Dibenzacridine, Mathylamine, Isoamylamine, 3-vinylpyridine, Acetadehyde and Nitrosopyrrolidine.

Alas! Smoking is a scary scene to ponder upon! See, what happen to the smoker’s lungs?

What are the Side Effects of Smoking?

Smoking and Lung Cancer

Smoking has long been considered as a major cause of lung cancer and approximately 90% of lung cancer deaths are directly linked to smoking. Not surprisingly, chronic lung conditions (COPD) are commonly associated with smoking.

Smoking and Other Cancers

Besides lung cancer, the risk of dying from other types of cancers is higher among smokers in comparison to those who have never smoked. Smoking in any form, whether it be marijuana, cigar or tobacco, can cause cancers of pancreas, ureter, liver, throat, kidney, bladder, cervix, pharynx, colon, prostate, acute myeloid leukemia, mouth, esophagus and oral cavity. And it has been reported that smoking causes 60% chances of getting breast cancer and with people who smoke a pack or more than a pack a day has 83% of getting any type of cancer.

The heavy smokers may have tissues around their larynx (voice box) and throat breaking down, and later they could have tumor or cancer there, causing them having difficulty to speak and lose of voice. By that time, they may have another larynx installed to help them speak!

Smoking Can Give Rise to LDL

Smoking can directly give rise to LDL cholesterol and increase slightly in triglycerides (TC) while decreasing HDL cholesterol. This in turns affects your cholesterol levels and causes arteries to become congested and coagulated, and the blocked arteries simultaneously interfere in the heart getting adequate amount of blood and oxygen causing chest pain and angina.

Smoking and Heart Disease

Smoking accelerates arteries hardening (atherosclerosis) by destroying endothelial cells lining on the inner side of the blood vessels, and subsequently the fat will accumulate beneath the endothelial layer. When this situation happens, the blood vessels become swellen and the swelling narrows the lumen of the blood vessels causing a reduced blood flow to the heart, and this is during which one experiences Angina. Smoking also raises the risk of blood clot formation by increasing levels of fibrinogen and platelets. When blood clot forms or blood platelets stick together because of smoking, it will prevent blood flow in the blood vessels and thereby causing heart attack (or Myocardial Infarction), Peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D), heart failure, stroke, arrhythmias, chest pain or even death.

Smoking and High Blood Pressure

Due to that carbon monoxide (CO) in cigarettes interfering with red blood’s ability to transport oxygen-rich blood to the heart tissues effectively, it can cause a rise in high blood pressure.

Smoking and Pregnancy

Smoking is always strictly prohibited for pregnant moms as there are many adverse effects on unborn babies. Babies who are born to moms who smoke while pregnancy are prone to have severe respiratory problems and other health related problems, deformed in appearance, increased likelihood of having low-birth-weight babies, or the pregnant moms may have to face the stronger possibilities of stillbirth. Even if and when they are born the babies may die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Smoking during pregnancy increases the danger of early delivery, intrauterine growth retardation, and vaginal bleeding during pregnancy.

Smoking and Oral Ailments

Cigarettes as well as smokeless tobacco contains many deadly substances, with 28 carcinogens (or cancer-causing agents) being confirmed to cause life-threatening diseases. In particular, the carcinogens can increase the potential risk of developing cancer related to the oral cavity, and may also cause recession of the gum and a lesion of the soft tissue called leukoplakia (always seen as a white patch or plaque that can hardly be scraped off the mouth).

Bad oral health is more prevalent among smokers, and that’s why they also have to encounter with the problems related to the breakdown of tissue (especially their teeth) in their mouth with unpleasant odors. When the breakdown of tissues continues to occur in smoker’s mouth, they have to confront with a badly deformed and scarred face, with each one is life-threatening and severe, in most cases.

Why You Should Stop Smoking?

Not only does smoking grab attention for the contribution of lung cancer, but also in truth smoking is a primary cause of heart-related disease among with other chronic diseases which may be life-threatening. If you smoke a packet or more of cigarettes a day, your life span will be shorten 15 minutes each time you smoke and the risk for you to have heart attack can increase two-fold in comparison to those who have never smoked. That means the more you smoke, the more you are at risk of the diseases mentioned above. Therefore, there is reason enough to stop smoking.

The moment you smoke your last cigarette/tobacco/marijuana, you have reduced the risk of developing chronic diseases and in most cases they are the most life threatening. As you don’t smoke, you see changes in your body which include increased sense of smell and taste; reduced risk of cancer, stroke and heart attack, increased circulation of healthy and oxygen rich blood flow to the cells and the immediate effect of reduction in other underlying diseases. Definitely, stop smoking will lead you to a healthier life!

How to Quit Smoking Effectively?

Quitting smoking could be tough especially due to the fact that smoking can lead to nicotine dependence and addiction. Even though it’s hard to do but you’ve to do it for the sake of your own health, love and support from your beloved one, and most importantly, to save people surrounding you from breathing in very harmful secondhand smoke and also to save our environment from being polluted by the toxic substances released from the tobacco when it’s burnt.

Remember the successful attempt from quitting comes from your strong mental attitude. You’ve to pray with the assistance of the God to help you strongly put away the last cigarette. You yourself are the person who can control your thoughts to quit smoke. Make up your mind: no matter what no cigarettes/tobacco/marijuana. You may also consult health professional to help you better eradicate this awful habit. It’s also a good idea to get counseling with a mental addiction therapist to help you go through painful experience of addiction moments.

Help yourself to cope with stress after quitting by doing yoga three times a week. Besides that, make yourself physically active by exercising, either by walking, jogging, or swimming, at least 10-15 minutes a day.

In order to quit smoking, you may adopt herbal aromatherapy to help you go through the addiction. With this option, you can select from a variety of different essential oils (e.g. cedar wood, thyme, Juniper, basil, Lavender, Pennyroyal) to soothe you to relaxation to better cope with the cigarette when the addiction arises. Additionally, you can add sage, rosemary, black pepper, basil, marjoram into your daily diet to curb the possible symptoms arising from the feel of craving on cigarettes during the period of withdrawal while smoking.

Lastly, I wish you all the success in quitting! You will definitely smell better, taste better, sleep better, eat better and live longer—which you deserve!

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