If you want to quit smoking but can’t seem to find the motivation, there are plenty of reasons to give up. And if you can’t draw any inspiration from the social and financial issues, just take a look at the physical effects of smoking;
1) Life Span
If you smoke, you’ll reduce your life expectancy by an estimated seven to eight years. That may not sound too serious, especially if you happen to be under 30, but if we break it down further, every cigarette you smoke will shorten your life by approximately 10 minutes.
And if you want a truly shocking figure, try this; Every day, more people under the age of 70 die from smoking related diseases than the combined total of deaths through road traffic accidents, drug addiction, breast cancer and AIDS.
2) General Health
It’s no secret that the general health of smokers is much lower than that of non-smokers.
Medical studies have shown that smokers are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. And it’s not just older people who are affected. Many of these studies have questioned smokers in their twenties and thirties.
But that’s not all. People who smoke are likely to have poor quality skin. Due to the lower level of oxygen that reaches their skin they develop a pale, sallow complexion. And then there’s the issue with wrinkles. If you smoke, any wrinkles that you develop will be up to ten times worse than those developed by non smokers of your age.
In fact, it has been shown that smokers with noticeable wrinkles are much more likely to suffer from chronic conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema.
3) Major Illnesses
Smoking also increases your chances of developing a whole host of major illnesses. This includes;
a) Conditions that affect the respiratory system; asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
b) Cancers, especially of the mouth, throat and lungs.
c) High blood pressure and high cholesterol which leads to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease. In fact, smokers are two to three times more likely to die from a heart attack than non-smokers.
Recent research has shown that due to the effect of smoking on the immune system, smokers have a higher chance of becoming infected with HIV.
If you smoke you’re at greater risk of respiratory infections because the smoke that you draw into your nose and throat damages that beneficial bacteria that lives in your respiratory system. This allows disease causing bacteria to enter your body.
Smoking causes lower infertility levels in both men and women. Male smokers tend to have a lower sperm count, and may suffer from various mutations to their sperm. And due to the gradual blocking of arteries male smokers are more likely to become impotent.
Women who smoke are also less likely to conceive. And women who smoke during their pregnancy are more likely to experience a range of problems, including ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage, premature birth, lower birth weight and birth defects.
7) Mental Health
Studies have shown that smokers are twice as likely to suffer from depression than non-smokers.