According to CDC more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. One in 5 death is caused by smoking per year (480,000). Over the past 50 years, the risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased continuously.
Smoking causes cancer (at least 17 different types), heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking also increases the risk of other diseases including tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis. Just in men, it increases the risk of lung cancer by more than 25 times. 90 percent of all lung cancers are due to smoking. Smoking leads to multiple diseases and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
So how does Smoking cause so much damage?
Carcinogens in tobacco smoke directly damage the DNA which leads to mutation and eventually leads to cells converting to cancer cells. In the lungs, smoking cause chronic inflammation which leads to structural damage leading to COPD. In men, smoking has a direct effect on reproductive health causing a decrease in the amount of semen. Smoking In women disrupts normal menstruation and If you are pregnant and smoking it will cause low birth weight.
Avoid places that allow smoking. If you are not a smoker but someone else in your household or around you Smokes, be aware of second-hand smoke. According to CDC Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Keep in mind that secondhand smoke increased the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
Best tips to quit smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the most important decisions people can take to improve their health regardless of age or how long they have been smoking.
- Prepare yourself to quit and set a specific date.
- Clean your house, cars, and any hideouts where you keep your cigarettes for a rainy day so when the time comes you are not tempted.
- Talk to your healthcare provider for further help.
- Support system is extremely important in your journey. Advise all your friends and family not to smoke around you. Also, avoid places that allow smoking.
- Mental preparation and knowing that you are making a lifesaving decision is the key in case you crave cigarettes, find ways to be active, go to the gym, and spend time with friends and family. Do physical activity as it will help you forget about your craving.
- Get help via getting medication from your healthcare providers. Pills and patches could become an important part of your quitting process.
- Eat a balanced diet. Add extra fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
- Know that you may not succeed the first time. Sometimes it takes more than one try to get to your lifesaving decision. Give it a second and a third go and learn from your mistakes.