Why Quit

Why You Should Quit Smoking. Reasons & Benefits

 Addiction to cigarettes is real. It’s been proven to be one of the strongest substance addictions and similarly hard to break. But why is this? The culprit is nicotine, an alkaloid derived from tobacco leaves. This seemingly harmful substance provides a ‘feel good’ affect on the smoker, however the results are detrimental. By only absorbing a small amount of nicotine, the heart rate and blood pressure immediately increase. While there is 1 milligram of absorbed nicotine found in cigarette smoke, a smoker is sure to provoke such side effects in their body. The sooner a smoker decides to quit, the faster they will be on track towards rebuilding the body and health.

Nicotine is only one of many chemicals found in cigarette smoke, alongside 70 of which are known cancer causing elements. Cigarette smoke is incredibly addicting and also provokes a multitude of health issues throughout the entire body. While a lot of people may think cigarettes only affect the teeth and lungs, the fact of the matter is that cigarettes actually promote other harmful side effects in the brain, mouth, and other areas of the body; some of which are deadly. Becoming educated on the side effects related to cigarette smoke may help you in your decision to quit smoking.

What are the Effects of Cigarette Smoke?

Cigarettes pose an extensive amount of health risks to those who smoke. These side effects can harm different parts of the entire body, some which may lead to death. Damage from cigarette smoking begins immediately after the first inhalation of a cigarette.

Brain: Nicotine is the major drug found in tobacco smoke. This substance travels incredibly quickly to the brain, giving the smoker a good feeling free of stress. However, tobacco may also make you feel anxious, nervous, depressed, moody, and even more stressed after the cigarette is done. Some users may also have headaches and dizziness upon smoking.

smoker brain

Mouth: Tobacco smoke has been known to cause stains on the teeth and is also a major cause of bad breath. It is also reported that tobacco smoke destroys certain taste buds of the mouth, which may cause food to taste differently. Tobacco damages the voice box which could ruin your voice completely, causing a scratchy tone or making it hard to speak overall. Lastly, tobacco can cause gum disease along with cancer of the mouth or throat.


Heart: Once a user begins smoking, the heart rate and blood pressure rises generously. This is why tobacco smoke is a leading cause of heart disease and heart attacks. It also hinders physical activity as the heart is forced to work twice as hard then it normally would to keep up.

smokers heart

Lungs: Tobacco smoke has been proven to cause damages to the lungs, which may result in trouble breathing and more frequent asthma attacks in those who have asthma. Smoking cigarettes causes an increase oh phlegm build up which may result in coughing. Lastly, tobacco has the potential of causing lung disease and lung cancer.

smokers lungs

Skin: Beside the smell of cigarette smoke sticking to the skin, tobacco is also known to cause dryness of the skin alongside yellowing and increased wrinkles.

smokers skin

Muscles: Those who smoke cigarettes often can cause less blood and oxygen to flow to the muscles. This can result in painful muscles after physical activities.


What are the Effects of Cigarette Smoke While Pregnant?

Smoking during pregnancy may result in detrimental side effects for the unborn baby. Some side effects may be irreversible and others may lead to problems later in life for child.

smoking pregnancy

Overall size: Smoking during pregnancy may result in low birth weight. It is reported that those who smoke one pack a day can reduce baby’s weight by half a pound, and those who smoke two packs a day can reduce baby’s weight up to a full pound. This lower birth weight can cause significant problems in the beginning and later stages of the child’s life.

Lungs: Babies who are born to smoking mothers tend to have underdeveloped lungs which are not able to function properly on their own. Initially, this means baby may have to be hooked up to machines and respirators to help their breathing. Later in life, this could mean asthma or other breathing problems. These same babies are put at risk for sudden infant death syndrome by two-folds.

Heart: A baby who is born to a smoking mother may have heart defects including the following: an obstructed blood flow from the right side of the heart to the lungs or openings along the upper chambers found in the heart.

Brain: A smoking pregnant mother also poses potential brain function problems to their baby. Such brain disfunction such as behavior problems or learning disorders have been reported from mother who smoked throughout pregnancy.

What are the Side Effects Associated With Second Hand Smoke?

second hand smokeWhen you smoke a cigarette around under individuals, you still pose potential health risks to others around you. As the smoke that leaves the burning end of a cigarette is most harmful, those around the cigarette who inhale this type of smoke are at risk for problems. Some of these problems include a greater chance of getting lung cancer, coughing, burning and watering of the eyes, effects on the heart, increased chance of getting a cold, triggering an asthma attack in those who have asthma, and a lingering smell of cigarette smoke on your skin and clothes.

Cigarettes and Society

A majority of individuals look down upon cigarette smokers. In most cases it is seen as a ‘low class’ act of an individual, and others see it as a downright dirty activity. A lot of people do not want to be around an individual who smokes a cigarette as they don’t want to be put at risk of serious side effects and also do not want to put up with the smell.

Cigarettes and Finances
A pack of cigarettes can cost over $5, and in some states even more. If an individual is smoking a pack of day, they are spending on average $150 a month. This money could easily be saved or spent on something that is not destroying one’s health. Those who smoke more than a pack a day can easily spend well over $200 a month on cigarettes. The cost of a nicotine patch, nicotine gum, or another tool to help quit smoking costs much less and will save the individual a lot of money in the future.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking

The benefits of quitting smoking occur as little as 20 minutes after the cigarette is finished. The sooner you quit, the better chance you have at reducing your risk of serious side effects on the body such as cancer and disease. One who decides to quit smoking will be able to feel the positive benefits of quitting within hours of quitting.

20 Minutes: Only 20 minutes after the cigarette is finished, positive side effects occur. After 20 minutes your blood pressure and pulse rate will return back to normal and the normal temperature of your body will be stabilized.

8 Hours: Nicotine in the bloodstream falls to a low of 6.25%.

12 Hours: Blood oxygen levels return to normal, that of a non-smoker which equals to better consumption of oxygen and overall well being of the blood stream. Carbon monoxide levels in the body also reduce back to normal.

48 Hours: Nerve endings that have been damaged from smoking cigarette begin to regrow. Sense of smell and taste have returned to normal.

72 Hours: The body will test 100% free of nicotine. Breathing will become easier and lung function will increase as the lung bronchial tubes and air sacs relax back to normal levels.

10 Days to 2 Weeks: Someone who has quit smoking will likely be free of any withdrawal symptoms. Blood circulation in the gums and teeth have increased and resemble a non-smokers levels.

2 Weeks to 3 Months: Sometime during this timeframe your risk of heart attack is reduced significantly. Lung function is now greatly improved.

3 Weeks to 3 Months: Circulation throughout the entire body has improved greatly. Physical activities should become much easier as lung function has increased and chronic cough should be eliminated. If you still have signs of chronic cough, you may need to be seen by a physician.

8 Weeks: The insulin resistance of smokers should be normalized.

1 to 9 Months: Congestion, shortness of breath, or fatigue caused by smoking cigarettes should be significantly reduced by this time alongside an overall energy increase. The cilia of the lungs have regrown, which means better overall functioning of the lungs along with cleanliness of the lungs.

1 Year: Risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart attack have reduced by half.

5 Years: Risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage is reduced by 59%. For females, risk of diabetes is reduced to that of a non-smoker.

5 to 15 Years: Risk of stroke has been reduced completely to that of a non-smoker.

10 Years: Risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is decreased by 30% to 50%, and risk of other lungs including mouth, throat, pancreas, and esophagus has reduced majorly. Diabetes risk for both men and women has been reduced to that of a non-smoker.

13 Years: At this point your risk of losing teeth in relation to tobacco has been diminished to that of a non-smoker.

15 Years: Risk of coronary heart disease and pancreatic cancer has been completely reduced to match a non-smokers.

As you can see, the health benefits of quitting smoking are overwhelmingly positive. It is important to begin the quitting process as soon as possible to ensure your body can begin the recovery process.

Thinking About Quitting?

Quitting as soon as possible can surely help your body and health. If you have made the decision to quit smoking, refer to the “how to quit smoking” article to find out the different procedures associated with cessation of smoking and what you can do to make the process easier. There’s no better time to quit then right now. Make the decision to stop smoking and see the positive results for yourself.

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