Cigarettes have been around for centuries. Initially associated with style, cigarettes were first deemed hazardous by the State of Massachusetts in 1963 because of the concern for fire safety versus health.
The Surgeon General warns cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a poison that when inhaled keeps the oxygen in the bloodstream from reaching the lungs, which in turn, poisons the red blood cells. If enough oxygen is not being feed into the body, the body will stop functioning.
According to reports by the Surgeon General “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality in the United States.” Statistics show that more people die from smoking cigarettes than alcohol or car accidents.
What Causes Smoking Addiction
It is a fact that smoking is hazardous to a person’s health, but it is not easy to quit because the addiction has control.
Studies show that cigarette smoking usually begins during adolescents and develops into severe smoking as age progresses. Studies also show that being addicted to tobacco is similar to being addicted to any other drug.
It can be difficult to have that first cup of coffee without a cigarette? Or handle a stress filled day at work without breaking for a cigarette? The habit turns in to addiction. Once nicotine is inhaled, the body reacts right away, increasing the blood pressure, heart rate and thinning of the arteries.
Tips to Quit Smoking
To quit smoking can be a challenge, but knowing the facts can be a motivator to quit. As with any addiction, admitting that there is a problem is the first step. According to the American Heart Association, the withdrawal process is mental and physical and will cause people to experience:
- mood swings
- low heart rate
- increased appetite
- weight gain
Some can quit smoking ‘cold turkey’ and others may need help. Discuss the desire to quit smoking with a health professional to map out a plan that will work best.
The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
When experiencing the withdrawal process, it can appear that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. A person will not feel better right away, but reports claim that the body will start to see improvement within 12 hours after smoking the last cigarette. Following is not a complete list of the benefits, but an indication of what can occur over a period of time after quitting:
- Blood pressure will decrease
- Carbon monoxide level drops
- The risk of a heart attack will decrease
- Improved circulation
- Sense of taste and smell are restored
- Decreased risk of lung cancer
- Regain energy
There is a warning on cigarette packs and literature available to advise people of the danger s of smoking, but when the body is controlled by a substance it can be difficult to heed the advice.
Try documenting the number of cigarettes being smoked in a day, analyze the time and why. Place notes on the refrigerator as a reminder of the affects and the effect to take control of the smoking addiction.