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Effects of Smoking, Benefits of Quitting Cigarettes

January 20, 2015
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Nicotine-AnonymousOnce upon a time it might have “looked cool” to smoke cigarettes, but with age comes wisdom. Smoking cigarettes affects a person’s physical appearance and overall health (not to mention his or her bank account, too). After years of smoking, a person with an addiction to nicotine doesn’t look so cool.

If you have been smoking for some time, you might have experienced first-hand the impact cigarettes have on your body. Has feeling lousy encouraged you to consider quitting? If so, this blog is for you. Our goal is to affirm you by sharing the benefits you can achieve by not smoking. In fact, you may be able to reverse damage already done to your body.

The Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

Over 4,000 chemicals exist in tobacco-filled cigarettes. This means it may be more lethal than was once thought. For years, it has been known that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. According to Prevention.com, lung cancer is currently “the leading cause of cancer death in women.” Battling cancer can be a long and hard process. It is best to avoid cancer altogether by taking preventative measures.

Besides the obvious first step- stop smoking- there are additional ways smokers can prevent cancers and diseases that are affiliated with smoking.

The Benefits of Abstaining from Cigarettes

It is not totally your fault if you smoke cigarettes. The notoriously dubbed “cancer sticks” are made with ingredients that are highly addictive. But breaking free from this addiction is important for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.

For some, this is a hard pill to swallow, but there is a silver lining: the benefits of not smoking kick in almost immediately. Sharonne Hayes, MD, director of Women’s Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota U.S.A. says, “Within 24 hours of stopping smoking, there is improvement in the function of the blood vessels.” If you can stay away from cigarettes for an entire year, she goes onto say, you will be 50 per cent less likely to have a heart attack than you would if you continued to smoke. Being a non-smoker for ten years means you have the same chance of developing lung cancer as a nonsmoker. And after 15 years, you decrease your chances of heart disease to that of a nonsmoker.

This means that the consequences of smoking can be forgiven. But don’t put off quitting because you hope your health will return to normal. Shelena C. Lalji, MD, founder of a Wellness and Medical Spa in Houston says, “Research shows that people who quit smoking when they’re in their 30s and 40s have a much lower risk of emphysema, stroke, hypertension and cardiac disease.”

The chemicals and habits that come with cigarettes are hard to break away from. It is best to quit now and begin working on an exercise and diet plan that will return you to optimum health.

Return to Optimum Health with a Diet Plan

People who monitor their diets are smart. For those who want to decrease chances of developing cancer, especially former smokers, it is helpful to eat whole grains and green leafy vegetables for the folate, as well as products that have B12 nutrients, like meat and dairy products. This combination may lessen some of the cancer-causing damage that has been done to the cells. In addition, incorporating fruit into your diet is beneficial, too. In 2010 a study found that having a daily helping of strawberries and raspberries can lead to the prevention of esophageal cancer.

Also, Hayes reports that “Thirty minutes of exercise a day will speed the return of your heart functions.” And Dr. Lalji says, “Increasing exercise both during the transition from smoker to nonsmoker and afterward will help you keep the commitment to yourself while improving circulation, gaining lung capacity and reducing cardiac-related problems.”

It is not easy to quit smoking. Sometimes, it is not even desirable. But abstaining from cigarettes is necessary for those who want to live healthy lives.

The benefits of quitting will start tomorrow if you quit today.

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