Smoking is Bad, but Why Exactly?

By on 04/13/2017

quit smokingWe have all known from a very young age that smoking kills and “tobacco is wacko!” Yet, 16-20% of Americans still smoke. Most smokers start their habit in their impressionable teenage years and are then hooked for life, because it is one of the most addictive legal drugs out there.

Why is smoking so bad, exactly?

Because it destroys your body inside and out, with both immediate and long-term negative health effects.

Short Term Effects of Smoking

  • Inflamed airways
  • Persistent cough/trouble recovering from colds and viruses
  • Quick addiction and tobacco dependency
  • Yellow teeth and nails
  • Bad Breath
  • Increased stress
  • Irritabilitysmokers cough
  • Financial loss due to cost of smoking habit
  • Constricted blood vessels which increase chances of stroke and heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers and acid reflux
  • Lower immune system
  • Increased chances of pneumonia and sinus infections
  • Second-hand smoke exposure to those around you (very detrimental to children!)
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • You will smell bad, always

Long Term Effects of Smoking

  • Greatly increased risk of many types of cancer, including:
    • lung cancer
    • mouth cancer
    • throat cancer
    • esophagus cancer
    • pancreatic cancer
    • nose cancer
    • kidney cancer
    • liver cancer
    • bladder cancer
    • bowel cancer
    • ovarian cancer
    • cervical cancer
    • bone marrow cancer
    • stomach cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic emphysema
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Insomnia

And don’t forget what long-term smoking also does to your physical appearance:

smoking aging

  • Premature wrinkling
  • Raspy voice
  • Dull, dry and thin skin
  • Weak hair and nails
  • Eye bags due to lack of sleep
  • Increased risk of psoriasis
  • Yellow teeth and tooth loss
  • Scarring from wounds taking longer to heal
  • Stretch marks due to weak skin
  • Increased risk of cataracts

What Happens When You Quit Smoking

The good news is that as soon as you quit smoking your body almost immediately starts to recover and improve.

  • Within 30 minutes of your last cigarette your heart rate will begin to normalize and after 2 hours or so, your blood pressure will also be much closer to normal levels and your circulation will start to improve. You may be feeling strong urges and cravings, but your body is actually already starting its recovery process so hold on and don’t give up!

Withdrawal symptoms include cravings, anxiety, mood swings, exhaustion, trouble sleeping and increased appetite. Symptoms peak around day 3, but will mostly pass in 2 weeks so do whatever it takes to stay strong and not give in!

  • After 12 hours of no cigarettes, the level of carbon monoxide in your body subsides and the oxygen level increases.
  • After 24 hours your risk for heart attack will already start to decrease!
  • In about 48 hours nerve endings will start to regrow and your sense of smell and taste will start to come back. You will be shocked at the difference in foods and smells!increased smell
  • On day 3 you can consider yourself nicotine free as this is the threshold when all nicotine has been processed out of your system.
  • By week 3 of being smoke-free your body will have regenerated at a cellular level and your risk for heart disease, stroke and even cancer will reduce. Exercise will be easier and your heart rate will be steadier.
  • In 9 months your lungs will have pushed out most of the collected mucus and debris and the cilia will have regrown. Your risk of infection is much lower and coughing has usually subsided.
  • By 1 year, your risk for heart disease is now 50% lower!
  • As you approach 5 years of being smoke-free, your risk of stroke is now equal to someone who never smoked at all.
  • By 10 years, your risk of cancer will also have dropped 50% and you will also have saved over $90,000 by not paying for those horrible cigarettes!


About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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