Why give up smoking?

Smoking is commonly associated with socialising and having a good time; yet, the real implications of cigarettes are anything but. According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking causes “cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis” and increases your risk of “tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.”

As such knowledge comes increasingly to light, smoking trends are indicating a decline. Studies show that current smoking has declined from 20.9% in 2005 to roughly 14% in 2019, with the number of smokers who have quit increasing. With this decrease has come an increase in support and resources for those looking to make a change, a change that will reap benefits mentally and physically.

Is Giving Up Smoking Good For My Health?

An addiction to smoking impacts both your health and the health of those around you. Besides the ramifications it has on your lungs, oral health, and risk of cancer, smoking will expose your partner to toxins that can cause everything from lung cancer to a stroke. By quitting, you will eliminate the health risks to both you and your loved ones. The implications on your mental health are just as prevalent, with an addiction to smoking often resulting in increased risk of depression and intense mood swings. Instead of allowing your relationships to be overtaken by sadness, stress, and anxiety, quitting your addiction can push you towards a path of deep emotional connection, more positive thoughts, and happiness.

How Does Smoking Impact My Skin?

The greatest impact of smoking on your skin is premature ageing. When you smoke, you deprive the skin of the necessary oxygen and nutrients. This results in paler skin, often uneven in colour, as well as a greater likelihood of age spots and decreased strength and elasticity. Your skin will begin to sag and wrinkles will be more prominent. Additionally, smoking increases your chances of developing skin cancer as smoking frequently suppresses the immune system and allows cancer cells to develop. 

How Will Quitting Smoking Impact My Finances?

It is undeniable that having an addiction empties your wallet faster than you can say ___ – the more you smoke, the more you hurt your bank account. In long-term relationships, this can take a huge toll on the expenses of both you and your partner, especially with joint accounts. Quitting your addiction means that you not only have more money to spend elsewhere, perhaps to take a new online course or sign up for a gym membership, but also one less thing to challenge your communication and relationship with a partner.

How Will Giving Up Smoking Impact My Relationships?

For many nonsmokers, the smell of cigarette smoke in the bedroom can lower sex drive. While showering and brushing your teeth beforehand can eliminate some of the odour, the smell of cigarettes often continues to stick onto clothing and furniture. Breaking the addiction will divert your energy from constantly worrying about whether your hair, breath, or body smells like cigarettes to showing your partner greater love and attention. Additionally, smoking can lead to sexual health issues, most commonly erectile dysfunction in men. Cigarettes prevent blood from properly circulating and increase the chances of developing ED, a condition that can easily impact your experiences in the bedroom. In women, a smoking addiction leads to shortness of breath which makes intercourse more taxing and less enjoyable. Shifting to a cigarette-free lifestyle can solve these issues and alleviate the unnecessary worries.

How Does Quitting Smoking Make You Feel?

When you quit smoking, your body will need to adjust to your new lifestyle. The longer it’s been addicted to cigarettes, the harder it will be for you to wean yourself off. Typical symptoms include cravings, restlessness, trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping, as well as increased irritability, anxiety and shifts in your appetite and weight. Your symptoms, however, will be most severe in the first two to four weeks and once you’re able to overcome that initial challenge, the journey to full abstinence will be less rocky. 

How Does Quitting Smoking Improve Your Cholesterol Levels?

As soon as you smoke your last cigarette, your body begins the process of healing. One of the ways in which your body will heal is your heart. Every time you inhale the smoke of a cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure experience a momentary increase, placing extra stress on your body. Research from Dr. James Beckerman of Providence Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR shows that smoking clogs your arteries and increases clotting (the result of too much cholesterol in the body). Once you quit smoking, your body will be able to readjust and improve its cholesterol levels, allowing your heart to return to a normal and healthy state. 

Will Quitting Smoking Affect Snoring?

One of the less discussed effects of smoking on the body is in the relationship between smoking and snoring. The smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco can cause inflammation in the airway. This often results in disrupted airflow and subsequently, increased snoring. In a study conducted on 811 adults for the CHEST Journal’s Reviews in Sleep Medicine, the risk of snoring was 2.3 times higher in current smokers – more than double that of those who did not smoke. When you quit smoking, it will take time for your body to readjust; however, within a few weeks you’ll start noticing shifts in breathing and a decrease in snoring. 

How Does Smoking Affect Pregnancy?

The effects of smoking on your pregnancy are drastic and life-altering. While it can be difficult to quit smoking during your pregnancy, doing so will protect your child. Tobacco is deadly for the foetus as harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, and other damaging chemicals can result in stillbirth, premature birth, and increased risk of sudden infant death (SIDS).