Caley has smoked since high school. She picked up the habit to look cool in school, but as time went on, it became a nervous habit. She smoked whenever she was under stress in college and now at work. And she was often under a lot of stress. Occasionally, she made attempts to quit, but she always went back to smoking. However, she found out on Facebook that Jessy, a smoking buddy of hers, died of lung cancer a few weeks ago. She is now more determined to quit than ever before.
Smoking is a harmful habit practised by millions of people worldwide. While it may provide temporary relaxation, the long-term consequences of smoking are severe and can be life-threatening. It is estimated that 1.3 billion people use tobacco worldwide, with 80% of them living in low- and middle-income countries. So why should a smoker quit smoking?
- Improved Physical Health: Quitting smoking significantly improves physical health. Smoking damages the breathing system, leading to lung diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema. By quitting, individuals can reduce their risk of developing these conditions and improve their breathing.
- Reduced Risk of Cancer: Smoking is a leading cause of almost every type of cancer you can imagine, including lung, throat, mouth, and oesophageal cancer. Quitting helps individuals significantly reduce their risk of developing these life-threatening diseases. This gives them a chance for a healthier and longer life.
- Enhanced Cardiovascular Health: Smoking also damages the cardiovascular system (i.e. heart and blood vessels), increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other circulatory problems. By quitting smoking, blood circulation is improved. Also, blood pressure is lowered, and there is a reduced likelihood of experiencing heart-related complications.
- Financial Savings: Smoking is an expensive habit. The cost of cigarettes adds up over time, significantly affecting the smoker’s finances. When individuals quit smoking, they can save a substantial amount of money that can be allocated to more meaningful and rewarding endeavours.
- Improved Sense of Smell and Taste: Smoking dulls the senses of smell and taste by destroying the taste buds in the mouth. By quitting, individuals can regain these senses, allowing them to enjoy the flavors of food and appreciate the aromas around them more fully. This can lead to greater overall enjoyment of life.
- Enhanced Fertility: Smoking has detrimental effects on fertility for both men and women. It can reduce the chances of conception, increase the risk of miscarriages, and harm the development of the foetus. Quitting smoking is crucial for couples trying to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy.
- Protection of Loved Ones: Second-hand smoke poses serious health risks to those around smokers, particularly family members and friends. There are specific diseases in children that are linked to having parents who smoke cigarettes, such as “glue ear” due to fluid build-up in the ear. By quitting smoking, individuals protect their loved ones from the harmful effects of passive smoking, reducing their risk of respiratory problems and other smoking-related illnesses.
- Improved Physical Appearance: Smoking accelerates the aging process, leading to premature wrinkling, sagging skin, and a dull complexion. Quitting smoking can improve the skin's appearance, making it appear healthier, fresher, and more vibrant.
- Increased Energy and Stamina: Smoking reduces energy levels and stamina, making physical activities more challenging. By quitting, individuals can experience an increase in energy, allowing them to engage in activities they may have previously struggled with, leading to a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.
- Role Model for Others: Quitting smoking not only benefits the individual but also sets a positive example for others, especially children and young adults. By quitting, individuals show that it is possible to overcome addiction and prioritize their health, inspiring others to make positive changes in their lives as well.
The decision to quit smoking is undoubtedly challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable. Improved physical health, reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, financial savings, and a better quality of life are just a few of the compelling reasons to quit smoking. By taking this step, individuals not only improve their own well-being but also positively impact the lives of those around them. It is never too late to quit smoking and embrace a healthier and smoke-free future.