A cigarette may seem attractive in the hands of screen idols like John Wayne and Humphrey Bogart, but in real life it is more than a curse. Most teenagers think holding a lit cigarette makes them look cool, but they fail to realise it is a very dangerous habit. Quitting smoking is tough, more so because you may gain weight while doing so, but there are several benefits to quitting smoking.
Effects of smoking
Quitting smoking is a difficult commitment to make. But keeping in mind the harmful effects of smoking can strengthen a person’s resolve to quit smoking. Every year millions of Americans lose their lives to smoking addiction. The mortality rates can be reversed if people become aware of the benefits of quitting smoking.
When a person smokes a cigarette, he or she is exposed to over 7,000 chemicals and different types of toxins including nicotine. The chemicals a cigarette contains can damage a person’s overall health. There is no safe alternative to tobacco smoking; swapping a cigarette with a cigar, pipe or hookah isn’t a healthier solution.
Tobacco smoke contains over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals. Some of the effects of smoking are:
– It affects the respiratory system by irritating the windpipe and larynx (voice box).
– It causes breathlessness, due to swelling of the lung airways, reduced lung function and an increased risk of lung infection.
– It damages the immune system, which can lead to severe and longer-lasting illnesses. It also lowers levels of anti-oxidants like vitamin C in the blood.
– Other effects of smokingare that it is detrimental to the sexual organs, can lower sperm count and increase risk of impotence.
The only way to reverse these effects is quitting smoking. You can kick the butt by analyzing the benefits of quitting it.
Benefits of quitting smoking
Breaking the habit may be a difficult task for smokers, but it is the only way forward. Some of the benefits of quitting smoking are:
Improves your lifespan: Smoking alone accounts for millions of deaths every year. It cuts short a person’s life by several years. Research has shown that half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, like lung and throat cancer, heart diseases and chronic bronchitis. If you want to live a long life, quit smoking now and improve your chances of a disease-free life.
Look younger: Regular tobacco intake makes the skin sallow and affects collagen, which provides the skin its elasticity. Kicking the butt will refresh your complexion as your skin will be nourished with oxygen and nutrients.
Energy boost: Your circulation will improve two to 12 weeks after you stop smoking. You will feel physically active, energetic and also find your immune system has improved.
Also Read:Eat Green Healthy
What happens when you quit smoking?
People tend to gain weight when they quit smoking. Cigarettes activate the metabolism; people who smoke a pack a day can burn up to 250 calories. When people quit smoking, your metabolism slows down and you will gain weight.
Various researchers have shown that smoking makes some people unhealthily thin. About 80% smokers put on weight when they quit smoking. The weight gain, after quitting smoking is about 5 kgs in the first year and about 6-7 kgs overall.
If you are worried about gaining weight when you kick the habit, here are some strategies you can follow to beat the odds:
Watch what you eat Many smokers switch to food to satisfy their cravings after quitting smoking. To avoid weight gain after quitting smoking, don’t go for fast or unhealthy foods. Instead choose a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients and low in calories. To avoid weight gain, stick to alternatives like sugar-free gums and candies, and celery or carrot sticks.
Stay active Keep yourself busy doing physical work or exercise. It will help curb your food cravings.
If you gain extra pounds after you quit smoking, don’t worry about it. Kicking the habit is for your well-being and will only add years to your life; the extra weight you may put on is a small price to pay for that. And once you are tobacco-free, you’ll have a plenty of time to get into proper shape and achieve a healthy weight.