Most smokers and tobacco-users have tried to quit multiple times, horrified by the numerous government-funded TV ads and billboards that serve to put people off the habit, not to mention their own doctor’s advice.
It’s a given that we all want to live a long, happy and healthy life, but tobacco-smokers are directly putting their health at risk on a daily basis, wasting a huge proportion of their income, and putting their loved ones at risk too. Some people reassure themselves with tales of their tobacco-smoking grandparents, who never quit and lived to be 90 years old, but few are this lucky, and we now live in a time where we’re armed with information and have no more excuses.
Though it may be difficult to kick a tobacco habit for good, the rewards and benefits can be motivation enough for many.
Here’s a run-down of the top 7 reasons why you should throw out the fags this No Smoking Day.
1. Because you are more susceptible to ten different cancers.
There are very few who are diagnosed with lung cancer unless they themselves have smoked, or they have been exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis.
And according to the NHS, it’s not just lung cancer which is the main risk (though 90% of lung cancer diagnoses are caused by smoking), there are ten other cancers commonly associated with tobacco use, including stomach, mouth and oesophagus.
2. Because even smoking tobacco once a day can triple the health risks involved.
Some think that if they only smoke tobacco sparingly, the risk of long-term health problems is low. The fact is that “smoking just one cigarette a day trebles your risk of lung cancer and raises the risk of chronic lung disease”, according to GP Dr Michael Apple.
3. Because tobacco doesn’t actually make you feel less stressed.
Stress-relief is a common reason that some people cite for smoking tobacco and cigarettes, but this is a myth. Smoking tobacco actually causes stress, as it is our perceived need for nicotine making us tense. The only way to ease this stress is to satisfy the nicotine craving, so it’s a vicious cycle.
Electronic cigarettes are a common replacement for many tobacco-smokers, as they contain no tobacco, tar, carbon monoxide or any other harmful chemicals associated with traditional smoking, but they can satisfy nicotine cravings more safely and help users moderate their intake. Some continue to use them, and some use them as a way of weaning themselves off nicotine for good.
4. Because you’ll look ten years’ older AT LEAST!
Smoking tobacco wreaks havoc on your body, which will understandably become obvious on the outside. Smoking causes skin to age prematurely by between 10 and 20 years, gives the skin a yellow-grey tinge, causes a wide variety of dental issues, doubles the risk of skin conditions such as psoriasis, and most importantly, the damage done to skin is completely irreversible.
5. Because quitting won’t necessarily cause weight gain.
A worry for many is that stopping their tobacco-smoking habit will cause rapid weight gain, but it’s possible to avoid this with healthy choices.
Those most likely to gain weight after quitting are those who are already considerably overweight and those who are also heavy drinkers. Postponing your diet until after you’ve completely quit and continuing to exercise throughout the quitting process are two ways to avoid weight gain.
6. Because the sooner you quit, the sooner your body will recover.
The human body is surprisingly resilient, despite what we all put it through. After quitting, a tobacco-smokers circulation improves within three months, their lifespan could be increased by ten years, and lung function improves overall. It has also been found that those who stop smoking before an operation spend two days less recovering in hospital on average.
7. Because you’re exposing your family and friends to similar risks.
Over 80% of cigarette smoke is completely invisible, meaning that tobacco-smokers who smoke around friends and family, even if they have windows open or do it at a distance, are exposing them to exactly the same risks and health problems.
This is by no means a definitive list, there are hundreds of health and social problems associated with smoking tobacco. So quit tobacco and make a permanent, positive change to your life this No Smoking Day!