The Dangers of Smoking + 6 Tips to Quit | Revere Health

Most people are aware that smoking has a negative effect on lung health, but the effects on your mental health, vision and wallet may not be as noticeable. Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition itself, and like many other chronic conditions, it can be dangerous if left untreated.

What are the other health effects of smoking?

Smoking increases your risk of lung cancer and other conditions:

  • Pregnancy complications: Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to miscarry or have an ectopic pregnancy, and their babies are more likely to have a low birth weight and other congenital disabilities (problems present at birth).
  • Other cancers: Smoking increases your risk of lung and other cancers including those of the liver, cervix, stomach, pancreas, colon, etc.
  • Chronic conditions: Smoking harms many organs in your body, which can lead to chronic conditions like heart disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and diabetes.
  • Vision problems: In severe cases, smoking can cause blindness. Smoking is also known to cause cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Delayed healing: People who smoke have a more difficult time recovering after surgery and delay the healing of wounds.

But smoking doesn’t just affect your health, it affects your finances too. A study conducted by the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society found the economic impact of smoking cost $1.4 trillion in 2012. Imagine the cost savings if just 10% of people were able to quit smoking.

How do I quit?

Smoking cessation (the process of quitting smoking) is not an easy feat, and many people are not able to quit on their first try. But that’s okay! The key is to keep trying. Use these tips to help successfully complete your smoking cessation journey:

#1. Don’t overestimate your willpower

Willpower absolutely has a place in the smoking cessation process, but it is not effective to rely on willpower alone. Roughly 95% of people who attempt to quit “cold turkey” without treatment do not succeed. This has nothing to do with someone’s level of self-discipline. The addictive nature of smoking impairs the brain’s ability to control impulses, which is why medical treatments are often helpful.

#2. Get a doctor’s help

Many people don’t realize that aids to quit smoking are covered by insurance, including medications and counseling. Your healthcare provider can help guide you through the process and find a treatment that works best for you. Your doctor can also be a part of your support team.

#3. Change up your routine

Do you have a smoke break scheduled into your daily routine? You’re not alone. When you begin to quit smoking, you may experience intense cravings during the times you normally had set aside for smoking. Adjusting the order or time frame in which you perform your daily tasks can help you better curb those cravings.

#4. Know your triggers

Triggers are people, places, emotions, etc. that make people want to smoke. Knowing what your craving triggers are can help you avoid and overcome them. If your triggers are emotional, they can be hard to avoid. The National Cancer Institute offers these tips for coping (that don’t involve smoking).

#5. Prepare for mood changes

The withdrawal process can cause changes in mood. Increased sadness, irritability and restlessness are common, but these emotions usually last only a week or two. If it lasts longer, it’s important to talk to your doctor as there may be an underlying problem such as depression. Exercising, being around people and keeping busy can help you combat these mood changes.

#6. Reward yourself

The journey to quit smoking is not an easy one, so don’t be afraid to reward yourself along the way. With all the money you’ll save from not buying tobacco products, you could go on a vacation, take yourself on a shopping spree or pay off debt. The possibilities are endless. Use this free calculator tool to see how much you could save with a smoking-free lifestyle.

Our physicians are specialized in a variety of respiratory illnesses and work with your primary care physician to customize your treatment plan. Our specialists understand the connection between the lungs and other areas of medicine including cardiology and endocrinology.

Sources:

“Tobacco Use and Pregnancy.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/tobaccousepregnancy/index.htm

“10 of the Worst Diseases Smoking Causes.” American Lung Association.

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/reports-resources/sotc/by-the-numbers/10-worst-diseases-smoking-causes.html

“Diseases Linked to Smoking Cost the World $422 Billion in Health-related Expenses.” The American Cancer Society.

https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/diseases-linked-to-smoking-cost-the-world-422-billion-in-health-related-expenses.html

“Read This Before Trying to Quit Smoking ‘Cold Turkey.’” The Truth Initiative.

https://truthinitiative.org/news/read-trying-quit-smoking-cold-turkey

“Want to Quit Tobacco – Treatments to Help You are Covered in Health Insurance.” American Lung Association.

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/cessation-and-prevention/want-to-quit-tobacco-treatments-covered.html

“Smoking and Depression.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/guide/depression-and-smoking.html

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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