I know you have heard it over and over again about how bad smoking
is bad for you but seriously, if you are still smoking then you have not heard
it enough times. Tobacco use, namely cigarette smoking, is the chief cause of
preventable death in globally. Left uncheck, smoking could kill more than a
billion people this century, according to the World Health Organization. That
equals the about seven times the current population of Nigeria. It is estimated that the Nigerian economy loses around $600 million annually to medical conditions related to smoking.
It is not easy to stop smoking, as many of today's smokers
trying to quit the habit are heavily hooked on nicotine. So quitting, for most,
is not merely a matter of willpower. Regardless, the reasons to do so keep piling
up—and they're not all about heart disease, lung cancer, or respiratory
problems. So, if you smoke or hang around people who smoke in your presence
(second hand smoke) here a few things to consider.
1. It clouds the
mind. Smoking may cloud the mind, according to research. An Archives of
Internal Medicine study found that smoking in middle age is linked to memory
problems and to a slide in reasoning abilities, though these risks appeared reduced
for those who'd long quit. This is important because other research has shown
that people with mild cognitive impairment in midlife develop dementia at an
accelerated rate. Elderly smokers face a raised risk of dementia and cognitive
decline, compared with lifelong nonsmokers. And other research has shown that
smoking appeared to hasten cognitive decline in dementia-free elderly smokers,
bringing it on several times faster than their peers who do not smoke.
2. It may bring on
diabetes. Current smokers have a 44 percent greater chance of developing type
2 diabetes than nonsmokers do, and the risk is highest for those with the
heaviest habit, who smoked20 or more cigarettes per day. In some quarters, it
is estimated that 12 percent of all type 2 diabetes cases might be down to
3. It makes you prone
to infections. There is very strong evidence showing that smoking may
damage the respiratory system's protective mucous membranes, making it easier
for infectious organisms to latch on and cause disease. Other research suggests
that smoking may interfere with immunity, compromising people's ability to
fight infections. While another study found that children exposed to secondhand
smoke at home during early infancy (especially those born prematurely or with a
low birth weight) are more prone to a throng of severe illnesses that may land
them in the hospital at some point during childhood. The findings were based on
an analysis of more than 7,000 Chinese children from 1997 to 2005.
4. It may dampen sex
life. If men want to join the Viagra popping gang, mounting evidence
suggests that puffing cigarettes could help them achieve that. Smokers are more
likely to experience erectile dysfunction than nonsmokers, and this risk climbs
as the number of cigarettes smoked increases. Preventing smoking is an
"important approach" for cutting the risk of erectile dysfunction,
the researchers have concluded.
5. It can lead to wrinkles...everywhere.
Not only does smoking contribute to premature facial wrinkles, it may also lead
to wrinkling of skin that rarely sees the light of day—in areas such as the inner
arm and perhaps the buttocks.
6. It may quicken menopause.
Women who smoke face an increased risk of infertility, and they may experience
natural menopause at a younger age than do nonsmokers. Further evidence show
that chemicals in cigarette smoke can hasten menopause by killing off egg cells
made by ovaries, thereby dwindling the egg cell reserve. Since the timing of
menopause is dictated by the size of a woman's egg cell reserve—which is
stocked with about a million eggs at birth and vanishes by menopause—anything
that speeds up its loss could logically lead to a much earlier onset of
fertility troubles. More troubling is that women who smoke during pregnancy may
also be compromising the fertility of their unborn daughters.
7. It may cause eye
disease. Several studies have found a robust link between smoking and eye
disease, specifically age-related macular degeneration, which can permanently
blur vision or cause blindness. Active smokers are estimated to be two to three
times more likely to develop the disease than those who have never smoked.
8. It damages your
bones. Smoking weakens the body's bones and is a serious risk factor for
osteoporosis as it's been shown to reduce bone density in postmenopausal women
and to increase the risk of hip fractures in both men and women. Smokers may
also experience slower healing of broken bones and wounded tissues than do
9. It may damage the
insides. Smoking can rough up the digestive system, leading to heartburn,
peptic ulcers, and possibly gallstones. What's more, current and former smokers
have an elevated risk of developing Crohn's disease, a condition characterized
by inflammation in the digestive tract and causing pain and diarrhea.
10. It may suppress
sleep. A 2008 study in found that smokers are four times more likely to get
non-restorative sleep than those who don't smoke, and researchers deemed
nicotine the likely culprit. They believe that its stimulant properties make it
difficult to fall asleep and also potentially send the body into nicotine
withdrawal during the night. A lack of sleep can also lead to other health
11. It trims
years—and quality—off life. Men who have never smoked live on average 10
years longer than their peers who smoke heavily. Moreover, they enjoy a higher
quality of life throughout those extra years, putting paid to the old smokers'
defense that an early death is a small price to pay for a lifetime of pleasure.
12. It is linked to
lots of cancers. Tobacco use and smoking have been linked to much more than
lung cancer. While lung and bronchial cancer top the list of cancers caused by
smoking, other types that have been linked with smoking include stomach,
pancreatic, kidney, urinary bladder, and cervical cancer.