You all are aware of the harmful effects of smoking. But, coming out of it becomes a hard task for most of you. Smoking, as you know is harmful and no matter whether you smoke cigarette, pipe or hookah, the effect is bad.
No matter how you smoke, tobacco is injurious to your health. Its harmful effects are not just limited to the lungs but the entire body. The substances you inhale range from acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide which have long-term effects on your body that are harmful. Tobacco comprises three most-dangerous toxic substances – Nicotine, Tar & Carbon Monoxide.
As said, effects of smoking can result in long-term complications, however, some effects are quite immediate.
Let’s discuss below the overall effect of smoking on your body:
Central nervous system
Tobacco has a mood-altering drug called nicotine which is very addictive. For a time, it makes you happy and energised. But after that it makes you feel tired. Nicotine is extremely habit-forming and that’s why it is difficult to quit smoking. Withdrawal from smoking can lead to headaches and you may feel depressed and anxious.
Smoking affects the entire cardiovascular system. Nicotine causes the blood vessel to tighten which restricts the flow of blood. The narrowing of the blood vessel may also cause peripheral artery disease (PAD). Smoking increases blood clots, which raise blood pressure and you can face the risk of stroke.
If you have any heart disease, smoking can worsen the situation. Thus, it’s better to stay away from smoking and lead a healthy life.
Chances of cancer in mouth, throat, larynx and oesophagus increase with smoking. Smoking triggers the rate of happening of pancreatic cancer, too. It might happen that you smoke but do not inhale. Still there’s a chance of mouth cancer that can be caused due to smoking.
There is a chance of developing insulin resistance with smoking. This may lead to type 2 diabetes. Smoking may also result in loss of apetite.
It’s a common thing that smoking affects lungs. But few may know that it can lead to many other problems. There is a higher risk of non-reversible lung conditions associated with smoking such as:
4.Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
If you withdraw from tobacco products for a time, you can feel discomfort in your lungs but it would show some healing signs, also. An increase in mucus production is a sign of recovery when you stop smoking.
If you are a parent who smokes, it may affect your children. Because of passive smoking, your children have a higher risk of asthma attacks, along with coughing and wheezing. It can also cause diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
Rise in cholesterol levels
If you are in habit of regular smoking, it lowers your HDL –good cholesterol and increases LDL, the bad cholesterol. Tobacco also increases the levels of triglycerides (fats) in the blood.
Integumentary system (skin, hair, and nails)
Some of the most common signs of smoking which you get are changes in skin texture. Tobacco had components which increase the chances of squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
Sometimes it can also lead to fungal nail infections. You can also face hair-related issues like hair loss and balding if you are into the habit of smoking.
Nicotine harms the genital areas of men and women. This can lead to decrease in sexual performance. It also lowers the sex hormones which results in decreased sexual desire.
Remember, these ill-effects of smoking are not only restricted to active smokers but passive smokers are at risks, too, if they get a regular exposure to smoking.
Tips to stop smoking
We have so far discussed the problems associated with smoking. It is important to get over the habit of smoking to eliminate the problems associated with it. If you are a smoker, you may know that the urge for smoking lasts for more or less 5 minutes. If you can control it at that time you are one step closer to your goal of quitting smoking. Below we will discuss some healthy ways of quitting smoking:
There is an urge behind the habit of smoking, called trigger. The trigger could be stress. It could also be some places like bars or clubs where other people are smoking. When you see other people smoking, you feel an urge! And have a tendency to join them. It is best for you to see what the trigger is for you. You need to devise plans to avoid those triggers. And you’d be successful to give up smoking.
Suppose you cannot control the urge of smoking, then what would you do? Delay it.
Try to wait for 10 minutes. During that time distract yourself or get outside the smoking zone. This will help in stopping the craving for a cigarette. These tricks would help you quit smoking, slowly.
You can chew something to resist the tobacco craving. It could be nuts or a chewing gum or anything of your choice. This will control the urge of smoking.
Physical activity is beneficial in stopping the habit of smoking. You can start with running and walking. Physical activity such as squats, push-ups or yoga can help you to quitting smoking
Try out activities like meditation and deep breathing. Listening to soft music also helps in relaxing. These activities help to reduce stress. Mediation can help in developing self-control. Research shows that mind and body practices have helped many people in quitting the habit.
Quitting smoking is not easy and it does take a lot of discipline. But when you break it down to one day at a time, the whole journey seems less intimidating. It’s better to start with your journey to stop smoking than waiting for a perfect day. With continuous effort, you can succeed in quitting this harmful habit.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.