Why should you quit smoking?
No. 1: Facial wrinkles
Forget 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 true picture.
Fact: 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 Dysfunction
Fact: 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.
No. 3: Stained teeth, bad breath
Fact: Particles 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.
No. 4: The smell
Fact: 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: They smell.
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 smoking.
No. 7: Crummy role model
Children emulate adults. Every time you light up, you tell kids around you that smoking is OK.
Fact: 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.
No. 8: Fire!
Fact: 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.
No. 9: Poor circulation Drooling, paralysis, loss of speech … There’s nothing pretty about becoming the victim of a stroke.
Fact: 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.
No 10. It costs money.
Fact: Cigarette smoking takes a bite out of your paycheck every week.
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