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  • Writer's pictureCandi Severson

The Dangers of Smoking: A Call to Quit



Smoking is one of the most significant public health threats the world faces today. It is a major cause of several diseases, including heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, and various cancers. Quitting smoking can lead to substantial health benefits, and it's never too late to stop.


Health Risks Associated with Smoking

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person’s overall health in several ways:

  • Lung damage: Smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

  • Heart disease: It increases the risk of heart disease by damaging blood vessels and increasing blood pressure.

  • Cancer: Smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancer cases and also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and more.

  • Weakened immune system: Smoking deteriorates the immune system, making it harder to fight off diseases.


Benefits of Quitting

Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits:

  • Within 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

  • After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

  • In the following months, circulation improves, and lung function increases.

  • After a year, the risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's.


Steps to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is challenging but achievable with the right strategy:

  • Set a quit date and stick to it.

  • Identify triggers and avoid them.

  • Use cessation aids such as nicotine patches, gum, or prescription medications.

  • Seek support from family, friends, and quit-smoking programs.


Conclusion

Smoking cessation is crucial for enhancing both the quality and length of your life. It's about making a commitment to live healthier. Every attempt to quit takes you closer to stopping for good.


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