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Five Things Every Smoker Should Know

Every smoker needs to become more educated about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking. Every smoker needs to become more educated about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.

Most of us understand that smoking cigarettes is bad for us, and yet smoking is still the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.  Everyone, young ones especially, need to become more educated regarding the harmful effects of smoking and how they can quit successfully.  Here are five things every smoker should know.

Smoking is Not a Habit

Smoking is an addiction.  Nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break because of its intense hold over a person.  Nicotine acts on receptors normally used by one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system, tricking the body into responding to the nicotine as if it were the natural transmitter.  It’s not habit that has you reaching for another cigarette; it’s a mind-altering drug addiction.  Do you really want to give a destructive drug control over your brain?

Smoking is Costing You

The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $4.26. Smoking one pack a day will have cost you at least $1,500 in one year. You could take a Caribbean cruise for less than that!  If you stop smoking now, you will pay less for insurance premiums and also be spared gigantic medical bills.  Do you really want your hard-earned money to go up in smoke?

Smoking Kills

The Center for Disease Control states that 443,000 people die each year as a result of cigarette smoking.  This means more deaths are caused by smoking than by all deaths from the HIV virus, vehicle injuries, alcohol & drug use, suicides and murders combined.  On average, a smoker will die 10 to 15 years earlier than a non-smoker.

It Is Never Too Late to Quit

After one day of quitting smoking, your blood pressure and pulse rate may drop. After two days, the carbon monoxide level in your blood may return to normal. In two to twelve weeks, you will cough and wheeze less, experience better circulation and the condition of your lungs will begin to improve.  Within one year of quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease may be half that of someone who is still smoking.  After ten years, you are 50 to 70% less likely to develop lung cancer. Fifteen years after your last cigarette, your risk of stroke and heart disease may be the same as someone who has never smoked.

You Can’t Quit Alone

Quitting “cold turkey” may sound simple, but only 3 to 5% of smokers who quit on their own are able to stay smoke free for an entire year. So who can help?  First, make a list of everyone you know who has successfully quit smoking. Talk to them individually and get their stories and advice. Keep this list handy for when you start to doubt whether you can really quit. Reminding yourself that others have succeeded will strengthen your resolve.

Experts agree that smokers who quit at any age live longer than those who don’t.  To learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking, call 1-800-QUIT NOW to speak to a counselor.  Your life is well worth whatever effort it takes to quit smoking cigarettes.

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Straight up: some case histories of smokers who want to quit!
Last modified on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 22:48

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