I Love Smoking, So Why Should I Stop?
Updated July 30, 2019
In present-day society, it has been pretty established that smoking is not good for you. Despite the hazards which comes along with smoking, there are still many people who engage in this activity for various reasons. Sometimes, it's done for the purpose of fitting into certain crowds. In other cases, people pick up the habit of smoking from being around other smokers. Regardless of the reason which one chooses to smoke, it doesn't change the fact that they are putting themselves at risk.
Health Risks Associated with Smoking
If you are someone who smokes and enjoys doing so, you may question why you should stop. It's important for you to get the answer to this question so that you can protect yourself. First and foremost, there are a plethora of health risks associated with smoking. You may not experience these negative impacts after the first, second, or even fiftieth smoke, but eventually, they will creep up on you.
Increased Likelihood of Earlier Death
If you smoke, you are much likelier to die earlier than your non-smoking counterparts. At this time, smoking retains its position as the leading cause of death which is most preventable. How sad is that? Countless individuals could live longer, healthier lives, if only they chose to abstain from smoking. Right now, smoking is presently responsible for nearly 20% of deaths in America. More annual deaths come from smoking than from alcohol consumption, drug abuse, guns, vehicles, and even HIV.
Smoking is also proven to exacerbate already existing health issues which a person might be dealing with. 90% of deaths which are linked to lung cancer come as a result of smoking. Likewise, 80% of deaths associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) happen due to smoking. The amount of premature deaths due to smoking outweighs the number of individuals who have perished in wars America fought. Imagine how many lives could have been saved. Imagine the potential for advancements in society which were lost due to premature death caused by smoking.
Increased Likelihood of Cancer
If you smoke, you're also more susceptible to developing cancer. Cancer can happen in virtually any part of your body. Whether in the stomach, heart, bladder, or elsewhere, cancer is neither pleasant, nor are the medical bills for healthcare cheap. It goes without saying that cancer often impede people's ability to live their lives and make the most of their time. Experiencing cancer is not fun for the afflicted person, nor is it fun for the loved one who care about them. Granted, there are some individuals who manage to beat cancer, but not everyone is as fortunate. Countless people have died due to cancer; nearly 33% of these deaths could have been prevented if the person did not engage in smoking.
Increased Likelihood of Fertility Issues
If you are a smoker and interested in having children one day, smoking can make this considerably more challenging for you. Women who smoke typically struggle to get pregnant. In cases where a female smoker does manage to conceive a child, her risks for various pregnancy-related issues mounts considerably. These issues include stillbirth, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), low birth weight, premature delivery, orofacial clefts in the baby following birth, and ectopic pregnancies.
Men are not immune from the fertility issues which accompany smoking. Sperm is adversely impacted by smoking which can lead to miscarriage, a lack of fertility, and birth impairments within the baby. It's important to understand that an infant can be harmed if one or both of their parents smoke and the form of this harm can vary, depending upon a series of factors. If you're interested in having healthy children one day, this is certainly a reason to stop smoking.
The Risk of Developing a Smoking Addiction
If you're a smoker, your risk of developing a nicotine addiction is through the roof. Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance which resides in tobacco, pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. When an addiction to smoking nicotine happens, it occurs on both mental and behavioral levels. This means that the smoker internally craves their next smoke and it also become necessary in order for them to manage themselves in certain situations.
The Impacts of this Addiction
Addiction has a way of creeping up on people and gradually worsening. By the time the smoker realizes what's happened, they've already become overwhelmed by something which they once thought was under their control. When someone develops a smoking addiction, they feel as though they absolutely have to get this next hit. Shortly after getting their fix, the smoker may feel good, but this feeling is fleeting, especially when health issues and other problems arise.
If you are someone who comes from a family of smokers or are related to a person who smokes, then you are much more susceptible towards developing an addiction. If you began smoking during your younger years, then this too increases your likelihood of experiencing a nicotine addiction. Combining smoking with drugs, alcohol, or mental illness also makes someone more vulnerable toward developing a smoking addiction.
What to Know if You're Ready to Stop Smoking
Even if you are someone who loves smoking, the health risks are undeniable and not things which you want to expose yourself to. If you feel ready to embark on the journey of quitting, that's an amazing first step. However, you can set yourself up for success on this journey by having some informative details about letting go of smoking for good.
Having a Reason is Extremely Helpful
When you're ready to stop smoking, you'll find that having a reason is mind is very helpful and beneficial. A very specific reason not only serves as motivational, but it furthermore ensures that you have something to keep you on track when the going gets tough. This reason could be your family, the desire to improve your relationship with your significant other, or to become a healthier individual. Nobody can come up with a reason for you; the reason has to be about you and the improvements that you want to make in your life.
Cutting Back on Stress Can Make a Difference
Many people who engage in smoking do so in order to release stress. This isn't healthy and leads to problems later down the line, but this is something to be cognizant of. As you work towards quitting smoking for good, you may find that cutting back on stress is helpful. This may mean taking some time to yourself, reconsidering certain relationships, or making other significant lifestyle changes. No matter what it takes, stress reduction is certainly something which will make letting go of smoking that much easier.
Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Matters
When you have decided that you're no longer going to smoke, you want to be around like-minded individuals. This means having people in your corner who will support you on your journey and encourage you to make healthy decisions. If your group of friends regularly smoke or discourage your mission to stop smoking, it might seriously be time to consider keeping this company. That's not to say that every smoker is a bad person; however, if you are serious about letting go of smoking for good, placing yourself in the company of smokers is not conducive to your success.
You Can Do It!
No matter who you are or how long you've been smoking, it's important to know that you are capable of quitting. This is something which many people have their doubts about along the way, especially during situations which involve withdrawal. The challenges which may arise during this journey is what having the right people in your corner makes a positive difference. Smoking doesn't have to define you and it doesn't have to have a hold on your life. Ultimately, you determine the quality of your health and wellbeing.
Seeking Professional Help
If you are trying to stop smoking and feel tired or overwhelmed, then using online therapy may prove to be beneficial on your journey. Sometimes, people who are working to let go of smoking feel as though they have to do everything on their own. In other cases, there are elements of shame and embarrassment which are involved. What's important to keep in mind is that it's okay to struggle or stumble. This means that you are working to achieve a goal which isn't always easy.
Working with an online therapist can truly prove to be a life-changing and empowering experience. Here at BetterHelp, we are all about ensuring that anyone who comes to us is provided with the best possible support and guidance. This applies whether you're working to let go of smoking or facing an entirely different obstacle. As human beings, we were not meant to tackle each and every obstacle on our own. Online therapy has not only been proven to better the quality of people's lives, but it also allows people to learn more about themselves and have better preparation for any challenges which may await them later down the line.