Smokers usually hate being asked if they are aware of the impact that cigarettes have on their health – even if they are. However, if you or someone close to you is addicted to cigarettes, here are 9 reasons to quit smoking that you’ve probably never heard before.
If you smoke, your future children will smoke too
It’s no surprise that the children of smokers have a propensity to smoke themselves. But even if you quit smoking before they are born, your children may still pick up the habit. A study recently published in the magazine, Pediatrics, found that the children of current and former smokers have a 23-29% chance of falling prey to this addiction, in comparison to only 8% of children of non-smokers.
Even those who picked up the nicotine habit second hand had children who were at least 3.2 times more likely to smoke than those whose parents had never smoked cigarettes. Although researchers weren’t sure why adolescent children of smokers copied their parents, some believed it could be genetic.
You’re consuming more nicotine than you think
A study conducted by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the levels of nicotine in cigarettes rose by 11% between 1997 and 2005. So even if you have cut back on how many cigarettes you smoke, you’re probably taking in the same amount of nicotine.
Furthermore, smokers tend to inhale “light” cigarettes more deeply, which in reality is more dangerous. According to an article in the British Medical Journal, investigators found that people smoke more light cigarettes, and inhale more deeply, filling their lungs with a substance more toxic than what they would get from smoking regular cigarettes.
You’re contributing to poor health on a global scale
Sales of tobacco worldwide have increased to such an extent that American cigarette manufacturers now earn more money in the foreign market than in the United States, according to The Telegraph. The World Heath Organization reports that almost 80 percent of the billions of smokers worldwide live in poor, undeveloped nations that are less prone to regulate the sale and promotion of cigarettes.
You’ll waste almost $2,922 dollars on tobacco each year
If cigarettes cost $8.00 dollars per pack, that adds up to $2,922 per year according to American Cancer Society’s calculator.
Cigarettes make you weaker
Cigarettes have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and reduce the flow of blood to the internal organs, the heart, and the rest of the body in general, affecting your ability to work to your true potential. But, did you know smoking can actually debilitate muscular response too? Smoking carbon monoxide prevents your muscles from receiving oxygen to produce energy. The less oxygen your muscles receive, the more it limits your ability to work.
You’re contributing to organized crime
Between 12 and 33 percent of cigarettes sold on a world wide scale are on the black market, according to the World Health Organization. This means that the money you pay for cheaper tobacco could be lining the pockets of delinquent organizations and corrupt world officials – including terrorist organizations.
You’re going to get sick more easily
Cigarettes paralyze the body’s natural defense mechanisms. The chemicals found in tobacco smoke cause inflammation and damage on a cellular level, and can weaken the immune system.
The body produces white blood cells in response to injuries, infections and different types of cancer. A high white blood count brought on by smoking means that the body is constantly fighting against damage caused by tobacco addiction, which can lead to disease in almost any part of the body.
What’s more, smoking alters the natural defense systems of the respiratory tract, so smokers are more likely to suffer from common bacterial infections like staphylococcus aureus and haemophilus influenzae.
Smoking is like being constantly exposed to an X-ray machine
Smoking one pack of cigarettes a day for a year gives your body approximately a 0.36 mSv dose of radiation, according to the magazine, Scientific American. Instead of smoking, you could have 72 dental X-rays or fly for 106 hours. According to safety experts, we should avoid having more than one millisievert of radiation above the 3.1 millisieverts of natural radiation that we get from sources like soil, rocks, and the sun. An addiction to tobacco means you absorb 0.36 of a millisievert, which doesn’t leave much room for necessary radiology testing like mammograms (0.4 millisieverts).
You’re creating permanently toxic areas
Have you heard of third hand smoke? Apart from second hand smoke, which is what happens when non-smokers come in contact with actual smoke, third hand smoke is comprised of the toxic agents that remain in the area long after the smoker has left.
The residue of third hand smoke accumulates in areas over time and is resistant to regular cleaning. Third hand smoke cannot be eliminated by ventilating the room via windows, fans or air conditioners or by smoking only in certain parts of the house.
Recent studies suggest that third hand smoke causes more damage to DNA than investigators had previously thought. The specific nitrosamines of tobacco and some of the chemical compounds present in third hand smoke were found to be some of the most powerful carcinogens in existence, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It remains in the area, and when this includes clothes or carpets, it is especially dangerous to children.