our Health Index for More Subjects, Conditions and
10 Reasons to Quit Smoking
Why should you
the beautiful women who peer from the
advertising pages of fashion magazines,
tailor-made cigarettes between their fingers.
The first thing smoking will not do is give
you the eyes and lips of a model. It
will give you Crows feet, wrinkled cheeks and
vertical lines around your mouth. That's the
Smoking causes vasoconstriction of facial
capillaries, which reduces the flow of oxygen
and nutrients to skin cells. Say hello to
premature wrinkling that is largely
irreversible (even if you can afford the cash
and handle the pain of cosmetic surgery).
No. 2: Erectile
Smoking reduces peripheral vascular flow. In
other words, the blood flow necessary to
attain an erection may become blocked. As many
as one in two American men older than 40 have
experienced impotence to some degree. The
condition is primarily from physical causes,
smoking among them.
Stained teeth, bad breath
from cigarette smoke stain teeth brown and
yellow, and cause odor-producing bacteria that
become trapped in your mouth. Gum disease and
tooth loss are also common in smokers. Not
attractive. If you need some more oral reasons
to quit, think about vocal-chord growths and
cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus.
Cigarette smoke has an unpleasant odor that
lingers on everything from skin and hair to
clothing and curtains. Ask a non-smoking
friend for an honest answer about the way you,
your car and your home smell. The ugly answer:
No. 5: Brittle bones
Risk factors for the crippling condition of osteoporosis are well-known these days: female, white or Asian, inactive, past menopause, small frame,
calcium deficiency and genetic predisposition all contribute to low bone-mineral density. So does smoking. Numerous studies link smoking and osteoporosis in women and men. It may be because smoking affects the
synthesis of estrogen and other hormones necessary for healthy bones.
Fact: A 1997 study that looked at 4,000 hip fractures in elderly women
concluded that one out of every eight fractures was due to smoking-related
bone loss. Once lost, bone density cannot be fully recovered.
No. 6: Depression
The connection between smoking and depression has been well established. Look at the number of nutrients that get depleted with
Crummy role model
emulate adults. Every time you light up, you
tell kids around you that smoking is OK.
Every day, an estimated 3,000 children in the
United States become addicted to cigarette
smoking. If they keep smoking, 1,000 of them
eventually will die from conditions connected
to their addiction.
Fires caused by lighted tobacco products are a
leading cause of fire deaths in the United
States. During the 1980s, smoking materials
started more than 200,000 fires every year and
killed more than 1,000 people, while injuring
3,000 more and causing more than $300 million
in property damage. If death by fire doesn't
impress you, surely you can recall at least
one time your cigarette burned a hole in your
precious silk suit or cashmere sweater.
Poor circulation Drooling, paralysis, loss of
speech ... There's nothing pretty about becoming
the victim of a stroke.
Hemoglobin cells are designed to carry oxygen
throughout the body. In smokers, oxygen
molecules are displaced by the components of
cigarette smoke, blocking the transfer of
life-giving oxygen. If you've convinced
yourself that stroke is an extreme or unlikely
consequence of your habit, there's always
premature coronary heart disease to slow you
down. If you're lucky, perhaps you'll only
experience some of the inconveniences of poor
circulation, like painful pins and needles or
cold hands and feet.
10. It costs money.
smoking takes a bite out of your paycheck
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