Ditching habits is hard, and ditching addictive habits is probably the most challenging of them all. Nevertheless, there are certain addictive habits that are well worth the effort it takes to ditch them for the simple fact that they’re, well, deadly. Smoking is one of those habits (yeah, we know, this is hardly breaking news).
So, if you’re a smoker and you’ve been contemplating taking the steps to abandon the habit, here are eleven reasons to help convince you to pull the trigger. Some of them may surprise you.
Smoking causes cancer. Okay, so this is a no-brainer, but still. It’s worth a mention just as a gentle reminder.
Smoking changes nearly every organ in your body. And no, not in a positive way. Smoking ultimately has a negative impact on just about every organ you have, leading to the deterioration of your health and life in multiple ways.
Smoking is deadlier on an annual basis than AIDS/HIV. This is true for numerous reasons, namely because it can cause cancer and lung disease, but it also puts you at risk of heart disease and diabetes, among other things.
Smoking causes cognitive decline. Regardless of your age, smoking can significantly accelerate cognitive decline. Research indicates this being most evident in executive functions such as multitasking, attention span, problem-solving, and memory in addition to other functions.
Smoking can contribute to type-2 diabetes. Not only does smoking contribute to type-2 diabetes, but it increases the risk of complications resulting from the disease, like poor blood flow to the legs and feet. This can lead to infection and, of course, amputation in extreme cases.
Smoking can cause erectile dysfunction. Yep, smoking can lead to male sexual dysfunction because it causes blood vessels to narrow all over your body, including those that supply blood to, you guessed it, your penis. The good news? Quitting can make a big difference in a pretty short period of time.
Smoking reduces bone density. Scientists have known for over twenty years now that smoking puts one at risk of osteoporosis, but a more recent study indicates that it weakens the bones in general. Research in this study uncovered that smokers produce unusually large amounts of two proteins that ultimately lead to the breakdown of old bone.
Smoking may cause ALS. It’s been a popular hypothesis that smoking causes Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. This was confirmed in a 2009 study ALS is a neurological illness that affects nerves in the spinal cord and brain leading to a loss in muscle control. Regular smokers have a greater risk of developing it, and people who’ve been smoking for over 33 years have an increased chance of developing it later in life.
Smoking can lead to macular degeneration. For those of you that don’t know, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults over 65, and smoking significantly increases your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Smoking can lead to colorectal cancer. As far as cancer goes, most people associate smoking with lung cancer, but it’s also commonly linked to colorectal cancer. This type of cancer forms in your intestines and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
Smoking commonly leads to gum disease. Smoking frequently causes periodontitis which is a gum infection that destroys the bone supporting your teeth. It’s a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Okay — cancer, limb loss, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, blindness, cognitive decline, tooth loss?
In all honesty, the above list only scratches the surface in terms of how smoking can impact your life. In short, it’s one of the deadliest habits in the world. And, while it can be one of the most difficult addictions to kick for many people, it can also be one of the most life-saving things to give up. Finally, your lungs can begin to improve after just two weeks which is really encouraging news. While it might seem daunting, please remember that it’s never too late to begin working on reversing the damage of smoking.
Start by making a list of reasons to quit, then take it one day at a time. You’ve got this!
Kembali Recovery Center can help
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction of any kind, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more. Remember, you never have to do this alone.