8 reasons to quit smoking ought to be enough, right? Is it enough to at least get you thinking? Maybe not. Very high research spends and media attention have been directed at smoking. It is a proven killer. Besides 3/4ths of all cases of lung cancer, it also causes of 1/5th of all deaths from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. But you have already heard all that. So, we’ve collected 8 reasons to quit smoking that are more persuasive and less commonly known that most that you have come across.
1 – Erectile Dysfunction: Here is good reason to start with. 15% of men who smoke have experienced erectile dysfunction. If you smoke more than a pack a day, chances of experiencing impotence go up 60%. That is a big price to pay to feel like a manly cowboy.
2 – Pregnancy: If you are an expecting mother who smokes, you are subjecting your child to the harm of criminal proportions! Most of what you eat, drink and inhale passes on to your womb through the placenta via your blood. Not only are you increasing your child’s chances of developing various birth defects, you may also be putting his/her life at risk.
3 – Lung cancer among women: 3/4ths of all lung cancer patients are men as smoking is the major cause. But among women who smoke, the chances of developing lung cancer are higher than men. It means for every stick you smoke, the odds fall against you faster. Survival rates too have been found to be higher among women but you don’t want to get there, right?
4 – Smoking makes you look older: We may not have found an anti-aging elixir. But we sure have a concoction for speeding it up and it consists of all the nice chemicals that enter your lungs when you puff. Wrinkles on your skin, grey hair and baldness appear faster in smokers. This is because you are essentially chugging coal into the freight train of your aging.
5 – Make the most of your workouts: More and more people are working out, some to look good/better, some grudgingly at the prodding of their families/doctors. Whatever be the reason, you are spending time and money to stay fit or improve your health. But if you smoke, you are wasting a lot of effort. You will also find making progress in your workouts difficult as the carbon monoxide in your blood keeps oxygen at low levels.
6. They are not free you know: A pack a day is a lot of money, nearly Rs.100 or $2. On a monthly basis, it represents a considerable percentage of your salary. You may be spending lesser money on fruits and medication. Taxes on tobacco and cigarettes are only going to go up every year. The cigarette companies in turn pass the cost on to you, the addicted customer. If there ever was an example of inelastic demand in economics, smokers are it. Conversely, it makes buying shares of cigarette companies a very wise decision.
7 – Heartburn and loss of palatability: Smoking causes irritation to the stomach to the point of causing or aggravating stomach cancer. Most smokers live with constant acidity and eventually get used to it. Besides the direct damage to your gastrointestinal system, it also hampers absorption and digestion of food. Smoking also reduces sensitivity of taste buds. So you tend to eat more oily and spicy food.
8 – Second-hand smoke: If at this point, even after reading our carefully put together reasons to quit smoking, you have an expression on your face that says, ‘It’s my life Jose,’ consider this: second-hand smoke kills six lakh people every year, most of whom are children. If you cannot emphasize with strangers in public places, at least spare a thought for family and kids who have no choice but to be near you. You may point out that you always go outside to smoke. But over a life time you are sure to subject the ones around you with a potent dose. The smoke that you puff out (second-hand smoke) is a more concentrated concoction of carcinogens.
We’re hoping to have left you with more than just the 8 reasons to quit smoking that have been mentioned above if you’re a smoker. And even if you don’t really smoke, the list may just help you encourage someone.
– Punit Pania