Still smoking? Discover 6 unexpected health consequences of this habit

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smoking(NaturalHealth365) Great strides have been taken in the last few decades to fight back against the cleverly marketed billion dollar tobacco industry – and to good effect.  For example, even though around 38 million American adults are still smoking, this number has declined significantly.  And of the people who haven’t quit yet, they seem to be smoking less overall.

Of course, we all know smoking is associated with a wide range of health risks such as, an increased risk for cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and gum disease – to name a few.  But, there are plenty of other lesser known consequences of smoking (and even secondhand smoke) that may surprise you.

The following information may be just the incentive you need to kick the habit once and for all.

6 surprising ways that smoking can damage your health

1. Smoking ages your skin.  For lack of a better term, smoking makes you look old!

Cigarette use can give you wrinkles and make your skin look dull and unhealthy. Plus, it increases your risk for skin infections and makes cuts and wounds take a lot longer to heal.

2. Smoking impairs your eyesight.  People who smoke are at a greater risk for developing cataracts (clouding of the lens inside your eye), a common cause of vision loss.

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3. Smoking robs you of your hearing.  The organ of hearing inside your ear can get starved for oxygen when you smoke – which can increase your risk of partial or complete deafness.

4. Smoking kills off your taste buds.  You just won’t be able to taste much if you smoke because your taste buds get damaged when the smoke impairs blood flow.

5. Smoking triggers body-wide inflammation.  Lighting up a cigarette lights up your body, too – and not in a good way.

This habit is associated with greater levels of chronic inflammation – which is extremely harmful to your immune system and makes your more susceptible to getting sick.

6. Smoking can affect your fertility – making it harder for women to become and stay pregnant.

Plus, to make matters worse, it will increase the risk for pregnancy-related complications and birth defects.  In men, it lowers sperm count and increases the risk for erectile dysfunction.

Don’t forget, it’s not just YOUR health that’s affected.  Secondhand smoke (which is loaded with chemicals and toxins) affects everyone.

In children in particular, it can increase the risk of asthma, respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Quitting is worth it: See how your body will change once you ‘kick the habit’

Every five seconds, someone in the world passes away from a tobacco-related health problem. In fact, cigarette smoke will cut your lifespan by an average of 13 YEARS.

But fortunately, smoking cessation really can improve your health.

Consider what happens to a person who makes the effort to ditch the cigarettes and become a nonsmoker:

  • Decreased blood pressure and heart rate within 20 minutes
  • Decreased levels of carbon monoxide in your body within 12 hours
  • Decreased risk of heart attack within 24 hours (and your risk for heart disease decreases to that of a nonsmoker’s by 15 years after smoking cessation)
  • Improved lung function within 1 to 2 weeks
  • Decreased risk of stroke and many types of cancer (similar to a nonsmoker) within 5 years

No matter what your reason is for quitting (healthier body, longer lifespan, more enjoyment with your loved ones, less smelly clothing, saved money, better tasting food, etc.), trust us – it’s good enough!

Smoking cessation can help you reclaim your life and your health back, and the benefits of doing so begin almost immediately.

So, educate yourself about natural remedies.  Get the support you need and commit to becoming a nonsmoker again.  Your health, your wallet, and your loved ones will thank you!

Sources for this article include:

CDC.gov
Truthinitiative.org
Healthline.com
Verywellmind.com
Cancer.org