Those who are non-smokers can recognize a smoker almost immediately. The smell of tobacco, the persistent cough, plus a certain lack of patience which shows up the minute they finish one cigarette. These are all “tells.” If this is you, friends and relatives have probably coaxed you to stop. It’s not to shame or embarrass you, but just to provide the facts like the top 10 reasons to quit smoking right now. It’s not too late, and could save your life.
Smoking gives you facial wrinkles and results in premature aging from dry skin. It also causes your teeth to darken and turn yellow along with your fingernails. In addition, long term smoking can lead to gum disease and ulcers plus infections that can lead to tooth loss.
The smell of smoke stays in your clothes, your hair, your car, and your home. It precedes you when you walk into a room, so everyone knows you smoke. You don’t notice it anymore, but everyone else does.
The telltale “smoker’s cough” is the body’s way of clearing out the chemicals and toxins that enter your airways and lungs from smoking. It will eventually cause phlegm and can lead to chronic bronchitis.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is quite common in smokers. How common? 8 out of 10 cases are due to smoking.
Smoking lowers your ability to fight off infections. If you smoke, you have more respiratory tract infections than non-smokers.
Nicotine causes our blood vessels to tighten and constrict blood flow. This increases your risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.
You are much more susceptible to heart disease if you smoke. Smokers account for one-fifth of all deaths from heart disease, and a 70% higher death rate from coronary heart disease than non-smokers. Smoking a pack a day doubles your risk of a heart attack.
Smoking increases the amount of insulin resistance in the body causing a more rapid progression of type 2 diabetes. If you smoke and have diabetes, you become more at risk to develop kidney disease, eye problems, and have a heart attack.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women, and smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. It also increases your risk of throat cancer, mouth cancer, kidney cancer, esophageal, and bladder cancer.
Maybe you weren’t aware but 37,000 – 40,000 people die each year from secondhand smoke. Children become at risk from secondhand smoke leading to chronic respiratory conditions, bronchitis, asthma with more severe attacks, pneumonia, and ear infections.
Infants are more at risk for SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome with over 1000 deaths per year. Perhaps you didn’t know how much your smoking affects those you love.
You can breathe easier, cough less, and improve your overall health if you take the step to quit smoking right now. Contact Weirton Medical Center if you are ready to stop!
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (304) 797-6DOC.