21 Shocking Reasons Why smoking Is Bad For You!
Have you ever asked yourself about that certain thing that makes you want to smoke more cigarettes? Oh well, it’s not only one single thing, that’s for sure.
There are actually two main reasons for why people keep smoking. The first one is the physical addiction. Nicotine, the main nitrogen-containing chemical, is responsible for many smokers wanting more toxic-filled cigarette smoke inhaled in their lungs.
Secondly, but also most importantly, is the psychological aspect of the objectionable addiction. To put it simple, it means that you are falsely convincing your brain that the entire set of smoking behavior patterns is rewarding.
Formerly, it was thought that smoking isn’t (that) bad for your health, therefore there were even advertising campaigns popularizing smoking and basically denying its effects on health. But recent studies (1, 2) have proven that cigarette smoking is the biggest cause of cancer among the whole world’s population.
You may think that’s not quite enough for you to be convinced yet. Let’s move to the actual 21reasons why smoking is bad for you that you were most certainly looking for.
- Smoking can kill you. Easily, the most important reason for why smoking is bad for you is that it is an unmerciful killing machine. With 6 million deaths per year, smoking is by far the leading cause of death, worldwide. The fact that it kills more than tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria – all combined – is self-explanatory.
Furthermore, the specialists’ predictions show that smoking will be the cause of death of 8 million people, by 2030. We certainly don’t want that benchmark to keep climbing at that pace, do we?
- Smoking is very bad for non-smokers as well. ‘How is that possible?’ you may ask yourself. Well, there is this thing called secondhand smoke exposure, which means you may not have smoked once in your life and still develop a smoking related disease.That is because passive smoking, which means just being in the proximity of a smoker, is way more dangerous than it seems. There are circa 40.000 deaths every single year, in USA only, caused by secondhand smoke exposure (3).Therefore, you can at least keep this in mind when you smoke nearby your own children or your loved ones. There’s a reason why they are called the loved ones, right?
- Cigarette smoking does damage your teeth and gums. It is already widely known that smoking can lead to literally a tongue of dental issues. I’m sorry, I meant a ton.But did you know that, according to American Cancer Society, smokers are 6 times more prone to develop oral type of cancers than non-smokers? I know, I know, that’s a huge difference right there. And we’re not even flossing. No pun intended.
- Smoking leads to a number of cardiovascular dysfunctions. The best known is atherosclerosis. This is a medical condition where the arteries are starting to narrow and harden, causing the blood to get stuck inside the arteries and disrupting its normal flow.
Also, the blood getting clogged up inside its track is the main reason for suffering a stroke. And that can go very bad. Ask Louis Armstrong, who was, by the way, now that I am given the opportunity, a heavy smoker.
- Cigarette smoking makes you look older. If you are not convinced yet, in which case I don’t know what is going on with you, this may change your mind once and for all. Yes, you read that right. Smoking does make you look old. OLD. Now that’s a buzz word. No one wants to look old, let’s clear that up real quick. Unless you’re a teenage boy who wants to drink legally inside the newly opened fancy bar in downtown. But I digress.
The skin tone starts to get darker, as the skin itself starts to get saggier. And all that is scientifically-backed. Smoking causes less oxygen to reach to the skin, consequently determining a less efficient circulation of blood through the veins and arteries, which finally leads to wrinkled skin.It’s time for a couple hundred dollars worth of skin care creams. Oh, or you can actually quit smoking instead and save yourself.This leads us to the next point.
- It’s a money waster vice. The average cost of a cigarette pack is $7.26 in the United States. That sums up to about $220 a month and $2600 a year for the average smoker. It may not look like a lot, but it adds up real quick when you do the math and it can literally make the difference between affording a really nice vacation once a year or staying at home, smoking. With your smoking friends who cannot afford nice vacations either. All right, I am obviously exaggerating, but we both know what I’m talking about. It’s mathematics, these things don’t lie.
- Smoking cigarettes causes erectile dysfunction. Yes. It is true. I know it hurts, but do you know what would hurt even more? Having a malfunctioning Willy. That would be hurtful.
On a more serious note now, in the (opposite) scenario in which you are trying to become a mom, smoking is probably the worst thing you can do. It has also been shown that smoking during pregnancy causes a series of problems for the baby, like it increases the baby’s heart rate, it raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, it increases the chance that the baby is born prematurely and it makes the baby prone to developing birth defects.
- It affects your ability to smell and taste things. The American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology has showed that smokers do get both their sense of smell and taste damaged during the process of smoking. Allegedly, the sensing nerves are slowly affected, to the point where the consequences are irreversible.Besides the annoying fact that you won’t be able to smell the scent of your favorite fragrance anymore, the damage to the olfactory nerves can become surprisingly and rapidly dangerous. A good example is a gas leakage that would certainly alarm a non-smoker, but not a heavy smoker like you.No, no. You’ll sit there wondering what is going on with the noisy neighbors and asking yourself why they are slamming their front doors and running outside while squealing.
- It makes you smell like a walking cloud of smoke. This applies especially when you are smoking indoors, but not only. Matter of fact, it doesn’t really matter whether you are smoking indoors or outdoors, because you will smell bad, either way.
Moreover, your hair, your breath, your clothes, your fingers – all of these will suddenly become a scented indicator of your smoking. And maybe the most important thing, you should try kissing a smoker as a non-smoker. It is quite an unpleasant experience for most people. Even after consuming an excessive amount of mints.
- It affects your immune system. Cigarettes are known for the health-related issues they lead to, as we have already previously stated. But do they make your immune system to slow down and reduce its efficiency too. One study has shown that cigarette consumption almost doubles the time needed for a wound to completely heal (4).
Besides that, you are more prone to catching a cold, given the fact that you have to go out of the club or bar whenever you feel the desire to smoke, therefore having to put yourself under swift temperature changes. And who wants to catch a cold, right?
- Smoking makes you weaker. It starts with basic things, like climbing the stairs or even having sex. But it truly reflects in every physical activity that implies either resistance or strength. Or both. That is because smoking does make your lung efficiency to collapse. Additionally, it makes your breathing more difficult and it causes your heart rate to increase, due to the mere effects of nicotine (5).
As a result, it doesn’t even matter if you are working out or not, since smoking weakens you physically and you are going to feel it, straight away.
- Smoking dulls your eyes. Not only does it make your eyes age quicker, but it has been shown that smoking is strongly related to blindness as well (6).Age related mascular degeneration, cataract, diabetic Retinopathy just to name a few common eye diseases that may occur due to smoking.
Keep that in mind when you’re smoking your cigarette. It literally might be the last one you see, without a pair of glasses.
- It may interfere with the quality of your sleep. Sleeping has a single powerful purpose: it gives the opportunity to your body to recover and repair itself. A 2013 study (7) has shown that smoking alters the circadian rhythm. As a result, smokers are more prone to experiencing insomnia and they may also suffer from poor quality sleep.
While you may think that sleeping isn’t a big of a deal, keep in mind that sleep deprivation is proved to be strongly related to the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression and diabetes. None of which is joyful, to say at least.
- There is a social stigma about smoking. In the recent years, as the popularity of smoking has gradually decreased, the act of smoking itself evolved into a psychological pressure for heavy smokers in particular. It seems that the wider understanding of the health implications has turned smoking into a social unacceptability.
Think about those friends of yours who are always complaining about you blowing smoke towards them or even smoking in their vicinity. Now multiply that number by the majority of the non-smoking population and by a good part of the smoking population and you will come up with a number even greater than the number of chemical compounds that are present in cigarette smoke. Which, by the way, is 7,357.
- Smoking lowers your productivity. And it does that by taking away your precious time. For each cigarette smoked, you most likely need to take a break from whatever activity you are doing. Let’s say every cigarette is keeping you busy for 2 minutes. Multiply that by 20, the average number of cigarettes found in a pack, and you come up with 40 wasted minutes every single day.If you are in a working environment, or even running your own business, those wasted minutes surely won’t pass unnoticeable.
- Your clothes won’t have burn holes in them anymore. If you do quit smoking, of course.I’m sure it happened to you before. You dress up nicely for a fancy dinner and you notice a burn hole in your favorite dress shirt when you come back home.It’s a terrible sight indeed. And it sometimes affects others as well. You swing your arm in the air once or twice and poof. Your friend’s new jacket is now permanently damaged. What a shame.17. Smoking is bad for your bones. If you’ve started smoking since you were in your teen years, then chances are part of the bone harm has already been done and it is irreversible. But the thing is smoking does continue to do harm, regardless of your age.The bone structure is the first one to be affected. A young adult that has smoked through his teen years, will end up with less bone mass and a smaller skeleton per see in comparison to a non-smoker.
The science behind this is that cigarette smoke releases a massive amount of free radicals that interfere with body’s defense systems. This causes the estrogen levels to drop, resulting in bone erosion (8).
- Smoking is bad for the environment. This works best, in terms of persuasion, if you already have an electric car or you’re planning to buy one. But even if that’s not the case, you still might care about the environment you kids and grand-kids will have to live in, at one point or another.This is a recurrent problem nowadays, especially since it has become a valid certainty, and not just a fearful supposition launched unreasonably by the activists.
The impact on the environment starts with the production itself. There are a number of pesticides involved in the tobacco growing lands in order to maintain the plants clean and healthy. Of course, it’s not that clean and healthy for the soil itself, which gets saturated with the various chemicals that are used. Additionally, a tree is chopped down for every 300 cigarettes that are made. That ratio leads to a lot of chopped trees.
- It makes you eat less. Smoking does this evil thing to you too, which is acting like an appetite suppressant. This means you are going to eat less, because your body is telling you that you should not eat, since the nicotine contained by the cigarettes is technically a central nervous system stimulant.It gives you a very short energy burst, that subdues in a matter of tens of seconds and then all you have left is the crave for more nicotine, thus making it physically addictive. As a consequence, you won’t feel much need for a meal, for extended periods of time. This goes hand in hand with the fact that smoking weakens your body, hence this combo is undeniably ruinous.
- Smoking increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It has been proved that cigarette smoking has an impact on insulin sensitivity (9).Therefore, it is far more likely for a smoker to develop insulin resistance, and, as a result, to become a diabetic. On top of that, smokers do tend to develop complications at a faster rate, when it comes to diabetes.
This is strongly related to the metabolic syndrome. Evidence shows that many smokers display the typical symptoms of this syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is actually a group of features which includes abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and impaired glucose tolerance. All of these are precursors of type 2 diabetes. I can totally relate to you, I am just as worried as you are by now.
- Ultimately, you should not smoke because it alters your life. There are so many things in this list that, one by one, can probably convince any skeptical person out there. But the real battle between yourself and cigarette smoking goes way more profoundly than any of these.You may think that cutting cigarettes down to a reasonable number is helpful, but it truly is not. Quitting means escaping and it tastes like the freedom of being in control of your own life. It has the opposite scent of the bad smelling fingers, hair and clothes and it makes everything look more vibrant, healthier, jollier.Yourself included.
Although it may sound stereo typical, quitting smoking is a lot more beneficial for your life (and others’) than you have ever thought. And I bet you’ve come to realize that, if you reached this point of the article, for which I thank you. You can start changing your life in better any single day, but in this case, the idiom ‘The sooner the better’ is exceptionally appropriate.