Why You Need to Stop Smoking, Right Now!

With every cigarette that you have it’s as if you are pushing yourself  a step backwards and are continuing to harm your body, inside AND out.  Smoking harmfully affects your body and your health in a myriad of ways yet people seem to continue to smoke without even thinking twice, and it even says so on the box.

You will most likely not see these negative effects straight away but for you to reverse the damage done by smoking, you would need to quit as soon as possible.  As the longer and more you smoke, the longer it will take to reverse all these bad effects.

It is a well-known fact that smoking reduces fitness. It does this in a number of ways, chiefly by reducing the amount of oxygen available in the body. Since oxygen plays a major role in energy production, even a minor depletion has an impact on physical performance. [1]

Some of the consequences to smoking are the following:

  • It can cause dry, brittle hair and skin and increases wrinkles.

Smoking has a drying effect and can dry your body from the inside out.  Smoking can cause your skin to age at a much more rapid rate, thus increasing wrinkles and reducing tightness.  This is quite bad as this damage, particularly to your skin is very hard to reverse even after stopping smoking.  So here prevention of this habit will pay a lot more in the long term than giving in to the habit and then trying to stop it later on.

  • It increases your risk of cancer

It increases your risk of cancer including lung cancer, cervical cancer, pancreatic cancer and oesophageal cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that smoking is responsible for 90 percent of all cancer deaths in men and 80 percent of cancer deaths in women. [2]


  • It causes damage to arteries and narrowing of air passages

The tar in cigarettes coats the arteries and builds up with in these arteries and air passages damaging the lining and thus preventing efficient absorption of oxygen into the blood.  Smoking causes long term swelling of mucous membranes in airways which also leads to airway resistance.  All this leads to a shortage of oxygen and shortness of breath which is vital when exercising.  Also due to the high levels of carbon monoxide from smoking, the amount of oxygen absorbed into the blood from the lungs is greatly reduced, as when the level of carbon monoxide in the blood increases, the level of oxygen decreases.[1]

  • It decreases your cardiovascular health and forces your heart to have to work harder than it should

By your blood vessels becoming narrower, your heart has to pump more blood around your body to try to ensure sufficient nutrients reach their rightful places within the body.  This can result in your heart becoming weaker and thus placing yourself at a higher risk for a heart attack, heart disease and a stroke.  This can also lead to elevated blood pressure levels.  When exercising with a weakened heart you may find it very difficult to exercise especially for long periods of time, and may even experience dizziness as well as shortness of breath.  Smoking causes shortness of breath as we have seen in the last point.  This shortness of breath results in you not being able to exercise efficiently or for a good enough amount of time.  And this will cause people to generally not exercise or to reduce their activity level drastically since they do not have the capacity to last.  This in turn can result in weight gain which poses even more health risks in addition to smoking, and decreases your cardiovascular health even more.

  • It reduces lung capacity

The tar in cigarettes coats the lungs, reducing the elasticity of the air sacs and resulting in the absorption of less oxygen into the bloodstream. Oxygen is important for the functioning of all energy systems in the body, so any mechanism which interferes with oxygen transport and uptake interferes with energy production and therefore sports performance. [1]

  • It can stain your teeth and skin

The tar found in cigarettes can actually cause slight yellow stains on your teeth as well as your finger tips.

So please, stop smoking and ensure you treat your body right as well as your environment, and the other people around you.  If smoking helps you relax, rather go for a massage!  And it is never too late to stop.

“Research has found that those who have not smoked for five years exhibit pulmonary health similar to those who have never smoked. This means that it is never too late to quit smoking, as there will likely be significant improvement in your health.” [3]

Stopping smoking can seem like a big task at the moment, especially if you are a frequent smoker but there are many steps that you can take to help the process be as easy and as efficient as possible for you without having to quit cold turkey!


[1] http://www.nsma.org.au/facts/fitness.htm

[2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/367584-the-effects-of-smoking-on-health-fitness/

[3] http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/exercises/how-smoking-negatively-affects-your-overall-health.html

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