Three Good Reasons to Quit Smoking

By Slava Fuzayloff

Are you a smoker who's thinking
about quitting but wondering if
it's worth it? Cigarettes are an
addictive substance, and
quitting can be difficult. But if
you need help, there are a
variety of medications and
methods designed to help
people stop smoking.

You may have heard the statement
that smoking causes lung cancer, but if that's not enough
to deter you, there are many other reasons-health and
non-health related alike- why smoking cessation is a
good idea; here are three good reasons to quit smoking
as soon as possible.

The most obvious reason to quit smoking is to protect
and improve your health. The Center for Disease Control
calculates that 443,000 people die in the United States
each year from smoking-related disease, and that more
people worldwide die from tobacco use than from HIV,
illicit drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents,
suicides and murders combined.

The average person's
lifespan is shortened by eleven minutes per cigarette
smoked and smoking has been conclusively linked to a
variety of life-threatening illnesses affecting almost every
organ of the body.

Some of the most prevalent diseases among smokers are lung cancer,
coronary heart disease, stroke, and obstructive lung disease.

Other types of cancer linked to tobacco use are leukemia, bladder,
cervical, esophageal, kidney, laryngeal, pancreatic, pharyngeal,
stomach and oral cancer.

Smoking also causes low bone density (putting smokers at an increased
risk for broken bones and developing
osteoporosis), an increased risk of macular degeneration
and cataracts, infertility, high blood pressure and teeth
and gum disease. Smoking is not only a detriment to your own health;
it also harms the health of your friends and family.

Smoking is particularly dangerous for pregnant woman
and parents of small children, as exposure to cigarette
smoke can cause preterm delivery, low birth weight, still
birth, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Children around secondhand smoke also get sick more
often and are prone to developing asthma and fluid in
their ears.

But the risks are not only for children; people
who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely
to develop asthma and respiratory infections, and are at
a 20-30% increased risk of developing lung cancer or
heart disease when compared to other non-smokers.

Researchers are currently in the process of examining a
possible link between secondhand smoke and breast
cancer development as well.

The Center for Disease
Control states there is no safe level of secondhand
smoke; any exposure increases an individual's risk of
developing a life-threatening illness.

Quitting smoking can also improve your quality of life in
non-health related ways, including saving you money,
time, and the inconvenience of smoking in an
increasingly regulated society.

It is said that, the average smoker
spends about 1,500 dollars every year. In New York City,
the average is 3,300 dollars annually!

Quitting smoking
can save you not only that money, but also the potential
expenses of dealing with a smoking-related illness, and
save you money on your health and life insurance
policies; while the effects of smoking cannot be
completely reversed, your health will begin to improve
after you quit.

As your lung capacity improves, you'll be
able to participate in exercise and recreational activities
with greater ease, making your outings with family and
friends more fun.

Finally, quitting smoking means
you won't have to worry about smoking or nonsmoking
areas in or outside, and will give you a better pick at
apartment, hotel and even car rentals.
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