Every year about 5 million deaths worldwide are attributed to smoking. We understand that cigarettes consist of tobacco, nicotine and flavoring agents but in fact they have around 5000 chemicals, over 40 of which are carcinogenic in nature. Cigarette smoke consists of tars, toxic gases and heavy metals which are very harmful for health. Health warning and ghastly images of cancer patients on cigarette boxes remind people of only some of the risks involved. Although cigarette smoke consists of 5000 different substances, nicotine is considered as the most addictive of them all. The nicotine in the cigarettes binds itself with specific brain receptors known as nicotinic receptors in the reward circuit of the brain. This in turn leads of release of dopamine which is associated with pleasure and temporary improvement of cognitive functions. But repeated usage leads to dependency on smoking for these so-called rewards. On the other hand quitting smoking will lead to immediate health benefits such as enhanced heart health, improved senses especially that of taste and smell, enhanced energy levels and efficient lungs leading to better breathing, reduced risk of lung and heart diseases and also cancer.
Health Risks of Smoking
Smoking causes decreased life expectancy, it also promotes cholesterol deposits on the artery walls. In addition nicotine in cigarettes also increases blood pressure. Thus smoking is one be primary reason for cardiovascular diseases, myocardial infraction and stokes in smokers. In fact smoking doubles up risk of heart diseases. Smoking and tobacco usage is also number one reason for oral and lung cancers. Both nicotine and tobacco causes addiction thus leading to physical, physiological and behavioral dependence. Smoke from cigarette cause premature aging of the skin. Due to regular smoking the skin loses its elasticity leading to drier skin and wrinkles. Smoking also effects oxygenation of the skin which has a negative impact on the skin of the face. Smoke from cigarettes also clogs skin pores which lead to formation of black spots too. Smoking also negatively affects both quantity and quality of sperms and may also lead to impotency. Smoking is especially harmful for women as it has a harmful effect on the reproductory system. For pregnant women smoking and even passive smoking is doubly dangerous as it is very harmful for the child and can cause brain damage, it also ups the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and other complications in pregnant women.
Tips to Stop Smoking
There are numerous methods and tips available which when followed can help reduce cravings and assist one to quit smoking. Some of the most used methods being nicotine patches, alternate therapies such as Acupuncture and Hypnosis and usage of electronic cigarettes instead. Researchers have come up with some great tips that will help one quit smoking. While quitting one will have to fight craving and stress thus de-stress yourself on a daily basis through reading, massages, bubble bath, yoga, cinema outing, lunches, shopping or whatever that makes you feel good and keeps away you from craving and related stress. This will also keep one busy and distract them from smoking, do so everyday for 2-3 weeks when quitting. Monitor your diet and drink ample amount of water, keep away from food items that assist craving such as alcohol and caffeine. Increase intake of fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy products. Indulge in regular physical activity; take up a sport or physical activity like jogging, swimming, aerobics and more. Avoid keeping company of smokers, also once an individual quits smoking it’s very important to avoid relapse.