Reasons to Quit Smoking
You know that smoking is bad for you. Maybe your family has asked you to quit. Or perhaps your doctor has advised you to kick the habit. Although you have been encouraged to stop smoking, here are some good reasons finally to take action.
Reason #1: I want to be healthy.
- Smoking can shorten your life span. In fact, it is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Cancers of the lung, esophagus, mouth, and stomach have all been linked to smoking. Quitting smoking may decrease your chance of getting cancer and increase your chance of living longer.
- Smoking affects every part of the body, causing conditions like:
Quitting will decrease your chances of getting these and other diseases.
You may be thinking that it's too late to quit based on your smoking history, but it is never too late. No matter how long you have been smoking, you will have health benefits by quitting:
- Immediate decreases in your heart rate and blood pressure.
- In a few hours after quitting, carbon monoxide levels start to decrease in your blood. Carbon monoxide prevents your blood from carrying oxygen to parts of your body.
- In a few weeks after quitting, your blood circulation improves, and you will not cough or wheeze so much. You will also have less mucus.
- Several months after quitting, your lung function improves.
- You will also notice that your sense of smell and taste improves.
Reason #2: I want to feel good.
- You will have more energy and focus.
- You will not feel out of breath.
- Your immune system will be healthier, meaning you will have fewer colds or other infections.
- You will feel more in control of your life.
Reason #3: I want to look good.
If you quit smoking you will have better smelling:
- You will have fewer wrinkles.
- You will have whiter teeth and healthier gums.
Reason #4: My family and others around me will be healthier too.
Breathing secondhand smoke is harmful. It can cause cancer in those who inhale it, even if they are nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke can also lead to breathing and heart problems and increase the risk of getting colds and the flu .
Secondhand smoke can harm a pregnant woman:
- A pregnant woman may have a miscarriage.
- The baby may be born too small or die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Secondhand smoke can harm babies and children . It increases their chances of having:
- Makes them cranky, restless, and more likely to get sick
- Makes them more likely to have learning problems
Reason #5: I want to save money.
How much money do you spend on cigarettes? Probably a lot and the price keeps getting higher. Think of all the money you could save by not smoking. Instead, you can use the money to buy necessities like groceries or gas for your car. Perhaps the extra money you save can go toward treating yourself to a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant or right into a college savings account or future investment for a dream vacation or house.
These are just some reasons to quit smoking. Think of others and write them down. Keep them with you, perhaps near your pack of cigarettes. The next time you feel the urge to grab a smoke, you will be reminded of the good reasons not to do so.
- Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
- Reviewed: 04/2017
- Updated: 04/03/2017
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