Quitting smoking now will:
1. Reduce your risk for stroke and heart attack or if you have experienced a heart attack, quitting now will reduce your risk of experiencing a 2nd attack.
Smoking causes coronary heart disease. It also causes the build up of plaque clogs which results in the narrowing and hardening of your arteries (atherosclerosis). Poisons from tobacco smoke also quickly damage blood vessels and make blood more likely to clot. This can reduce or block blood flow and lead to heart attack, stroke or even sudden death. Also, coronary heart disease caused by smoking may contribute to congestive heart failure.
If you quit smoking now, your heart health will improve and after one year of quitting, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply. After 2-5 years, your risk for stroke will be about the same as a non-smoker’s.
2. Improve your control of your blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Smoking was found to increase blood sugar levels so if you are a diabetic, smoking will certainly make it difficult for you to control your blood sugar levels. If you are not diabetic, smoking 16-25 cigarettes a day increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes for three times vs. a non smoker.
3. Reduce your likelihood of having kidney disease, blindness or amputation
If you are diabetic, smoking will not only make it difficult for you to manage your blood sugar, it will also lead to complications. Complications of smoking on diabetes include retinopathy (eye disease), heart disease, stroke, vascular disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and foot problems.
Also, the risk of complications of smoking and diabetes in combination is nearly 14 times nearly the risk of either smoking or diabetes
4. Reduce your risk to cancer
Smoking causes lung cancer. It has also been shown to cause acute myeloid leukemia and cancer of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx (voice box), mouth, pancreas, pharynx (throat), and stomach. Smoking also weakens the cancer-fighting systems of your body and will interfere with your cancer treatment. Quitting now will reduce your chances of getting the disease and if already have developed cancer, quitting will help your body fight the cancer cells.
5. Increase your chance of getting pregnant
Smoking decreases your chance of getting pregnant and increases your risk for infertility. Tobacco smoke can damage the DNA in sperm, cause lower sperm count, reduced sperm vitality and reduced ability to fertilise the egg. Women who smoke can have problems with ovulation, implantation of a fertilised egg in the wall of the uterus and have increased risk for miscarriage.
6. If pregnant, quitting smoking will reduce your baby’s chance of being delivered prematurely or born stillbirth or with low birth weight
7. Reduce your risk for hip fractures
Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked and women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.
8. Reduce your chance of developing lung disease or if you already have lung disease, quitting now will lessen the damage
Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs.
9. Lessen chances of getting ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems
Smoking increases your risk of developing peptic and duodenal ulcers. It has been shown that smoking increases stomach acid production and reduces bicarbonate production (which neutralizes the stomach acid) which leads to ulceration of the stomach or intestinal lining. Also, if you already have peptic or duodenal ulcers, smoking can cause these ulcers to heal longer.
10. Reduce exposure of people around you (second hand smoke) and reduce their risk of getting smoking-related diseases
The health risks you face when smoking are way too real to ignore. It is a fact that smoking can lead to many diseases and can cause harm to your health. Stop ignoring these facts and stop making excuses. Spare yourself and other people from the peril smoking brings. There is no better time to quit but NOW!