7 Red Flags That Tells You It’s Time to Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

Dr. Howell
  1. You’re suffering from ulcer. Like most people, you may not be aware that smoking increases your chance of developing ulcer. Normally, food is passed from the mouth down to the esophagus, then to the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach to help digest the food. When you smoke, the digestion process is slowed down. This means hydrochloric acid stays longer in your stomach which could result to the thinning of your stomach lining. This can ultimately lead to ulcer. Also, smoking slows down the healing of an existing ulcer.
  2. You often experiences heartburn. Smoking causes your lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax. The lower esophageal sphincter muscle separates your esophagus to the stomach which is also the one responsible in keeping the hydrochloric acid from entering your esophageal tract. Now, when you smoke, this muscle relaxes and when this happens, hydrochloric acid goes into your esophageal tract and causes a burning sensation. This painful phenomenon is now called heartburn or acid influx.
  3. You often complain of sore throat. Pharyngitis, sore throat, or throat inflammation they are all the same – the inflammation of your throat. Smoking destroys your mucus lining, which protects your throat from the dangerous smoke or any foreign agent that gets in. Without this mucus there is nothing to protect your throat making it vulnerable to infection. When this happens you’ll now experience a burning and scratchy feeling down your throat.
  4. Your asthma got worst. A person with Asthma, in the first place, must not smoke! Smoking is more likely to cause severe and frequent “flare ups.” If your Asthma was never been that worst, it is about time to quit smoking as soon as you can.
  5. You are now a chain smoker. Most smokers know what this means, but it seems that it does not matter for most smoker and they still do it. If you find yourself lighting up one after another and it is becoming more frequent, then you’re more likely to be a chain smoker. This is an ultimate sign that your addiction to smoking is getting worst. If you’re in this category, you need to stop smoking today.
  6. Shortness of breath is part of your daily existence. Emphysema is a progressive lung disease. This disease destroys the walls of your lungs together with the blood vessels. When this happens, the transfer of carbon dioxide and oxygen becomes limited. What smoking does is that it triggers the enzymes called protease, which attacks and destroys your lung tissue. Shortness of breath is a sign that emphysema is already in its progressive stage.
  7. It is not just a cough – you’re experiencing smoker’s cough. Smoker’s cough is characterized by dark green or black-colored phlegm that follows a persistent and severe cough. This kind of cough is unique to smokers. Normally, foreign objects are removed by the cilia found in your throat and esophagus. Smoking paralyzes the cilia, so the only way to remove the phlegm is through coughing. If you’re experiencing smoker’s cough more often, definitely, you need to stop smoking now while you still have the time.

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