Copyright 2006 Danna Schneider
There are a lot of reasons to quit smoking. We all know the life threatening reasons, but we don’t necessarily understand the the full impact that smoking has on our bodies and minds, and possibly even on others around us.
Women especially are susceptible to some of the more hidden dangers of smoking, and may actually benefit in different ways than men when it comes to smoking cessation.
For example, many women probably do not even know this, but lung cancer is now killing more women every year than breast cancer. That’s right, lung cancer is actually more deadly to a woman than breast cancer, which is by far more talked about in women’s health than lung cancer.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer since nearly 90% of all cases are traced directly to smoking, so it’s important that women really understand the health benefits of quitting smoking.
There are actually a lot more health issues that a woman needs to think about if she is a smoker as well. For example, most contraceptive pills carry warnings on them that the patient should not take the contraceptive birth control pill if she is a smoker.
Her risk of developing heart problems is greatly increased if she is smoking while on the pill, since smoking increases blood pressure, and the pill is known to also increase blood pressure. This creates a double hazard for heart issues.
Another concern may be for a woman’s children. Children many times can develop asthma and other types of breathing problems if the child is exposed to cigarette smoke at a young age. This is also a concern for men, since they are not exempt from this rule either!
There are also a myriad of other health problems, inconveniences and even just “cosmetic” reasons that a woman may want to consider smoking cessation in order that she may be her “best self”.
These don’t necessarily fall into the category of life threatening or imminent dangers, but they certainly can affect your quality of life, as well as your appearance, which is held in high regard in today’s aesthetically concerned society. These additional health and well being benefits to smoking cessation are as follows :
1.) Your skin is greatly affected by smoking, and not in a good way as you can probably imagine. As we age, our skin cell turnover tends to slow down. Smoking actually speeds the process of this slower turnover up, making us essentially age faster.
Add to this the fact that smoking essentially robs our body of oxygen and creates more free radicals, which are skin’s number one enemy and aging’s number one comrade, and you have a recipe for accelerated aging, and sagging, colorless skin.
Most women see a marked improvement in the tone, clarity and firmness of their skin just a few weeks after they quit smoking, especially if they were a heavy smoker.
2.) Your teeth and mouth will thank you. Smoking not only gives you bad breath, but it also turns your teeth yellow, or sometimes even brown from nicotine residue and tabacco staining.
3.) Quitting smoking can greatly help with your mental state. What do I mean? I mean that smoking may seem at first like it is a relaxant, since it tends to immediately feel like it is relieving tension and anxiety once the cigarette is in your mouth and you begin to inhale. Contrary to this belief that cigarettes “calm” you, studies have shown that in the long run smoking actually increases anxiety.
We all know that depression and anxiety tend to go hand in hand, so quitting smoking may also greatly benefit a woman’s psyche.
4.) No more coughing, weezing, and possibly even a reduction in allergies. If you quit smoking, chances are you will breathe a lot easier.
It takes a lot less time for your lungs to heal than you think. Studies have shown that even the most blackened smoker’s lungs have made full recoveries within just a few months after they have quit smoking.