Many people still think that smoking is harmless, until they suffer serious consequences from it. People fail to realize how harmful it can be to their health. Cigarettes contain a lot of toxic substances that affect many of the organs in the body and can cause serious diseases like cancer.
Smoking reduces your life expectancy. In fact, this habit is responsible for many deaths around the world. In addition to reducing your life expectancy, a smoking habit can destroy your youth.
In a recent study, it was found that smoking can take up to 10 years off your life, affecting the organs of the body and accelerating the aging process.
According to figures from the World Health Organization, each year more than 6 million people die as a result of cigarettes, 1 million of which are passive smokers.
A tobacco habit destroys your health in general and, according to current figures, it’s responsible for more deaths around the world than HIV, alcohol use, and illegal drugs combined.
What happens when you smoke?
Smoking increases your risk of developing cardiac disease, stroke, emphysema or chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder (COPD), bronchitis, lung cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and skin cancer, among others.
In a U.S., Canadian and British study, it was found that smoking can take off up to 10 years of your life expectancy. This study was conducted to determine the dangers of tobacco use and the benefits of quitting smoking. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
To carry out this study, researchers gathered data from nearly 217,000 adults in the U.S. between 1997 and 2004. The data revealed that a smoker has a mortality rate three times higher than a non-smoker. Many of these deaths were the direct result of diseases linked to smoking.
The study found that non-smokers have twice the likelihood of reaching age 80 in comparison to those who smoke. This means that smoking doesn’t only affect the elderly, but also the middle aged.
The good news is that study concluded that those who quit smoking can get back up to 10 years of their life. Those that quit smoking between the ages of 25 and 34; 35 and 44; and 45 and 54 added around ten, nine and six years to their life span, respectively.
Is quitting smoking possible?
Smoking is a difficult habit to give up, but it’s not impossible. When trying to quit smoking, many people experience cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that make them believe that it’s impossible to quit this bad habit.
However, with some will power and a positive attitude, it is possible to quit smoking although it may take several attempts. If you’re willing to give up this terrible vice, consider the following methods:
- Cold turkey: This is perhaps the hardest method to use, but it also has the highest success rate. Quitting cold turkey offers the best results with the biggest advantage of immediately stopping the negative effects of smoking.
- Gradually quitting: If you don’t feel like you could quit cold turkey, try to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke a day to zero. Try smoking half as many and reduce the amount you smoke day by day.
- Nicotine alternatives: Alternative nicotine delivery methods consist of using a series of products that replace the high amounts of nicotine in cigarettes with smaller doses. Nicotine replacement products come as patches, chewing gum, lozenges and nasal sprays, just to name a few. This method is good for reducing cravings for cigarettes until you experience none at all.
- Acupuncture: This technique that comes from traditional Chinese medicine can help you control cravings. It’s relaxing and can really help those who are motivated to quit smoking.