Why Is It So Hard to Quit Smoking?
By Syeda Zartashia Azmat
Why is it so hard to quit smoking? The short answer is nicotine. The long answer is more complex. First, nicotine is physically addictive and, second,nicotine addiction also causes psychological changes in smokers because they connect its pleasurable feelings to many different aspects of their lives. Cigarette smoking becomes interwoven with their lives, so that when they try to quit smoking, they not only have to beat back an addiction to smoking, they also have to deal with dozens of triggers that can prompt a desire to smoke. The researchers found that the more people smoked, the more likely they were to have skin cancer.
As kids navigate the tricky terrain of their teenage years, they face some inevitable rites of passage: At some point, most teens will be offered cigarettes or alcohol. And while many kids pass these up, there’s a good reason why concern over teen smoking is high — by starting at a young age, smokers develop a deep and long-term nicotine addiction that can plague them for years, well into adulthood. Crucially, studies have also found that if a person doesn’t start smoking during their teen years, chances are they never will.Question is are we winning the war on smoking? The percentage of americans who smoke has been cut by more than half ,but more cigarettes are smoked today than ever before.It seems to be a paradox: The percentage of people who smoke has dropped, but the number of smokers has grown. The explanation is the expanding population. More people are smoking today, because there are more people today.The smoking rates have also fallen worldwide, but not as much. Many countries, especially in Asia, have yet to tackle smoking as a public health issue. In China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Russia, smoking,especially among men, is still widespread.You may be able to improve your appearance by kicking cigarettes to the curb.
It seems that smoking is becoming a fashion in teens as they feel smarter while smoking.
Another kind of smoke is secondhand smoke.Secondhand smoke (SHS) is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). SHS is a mixture of 2 forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco.Second hand smoke linkedto hearing loss in teens,children exposed to it may need screenedfor auditory problems.Exposure to secondhand smoke could affect hearing development in children and increase their risk of hearing loss during adolescence.
If you stop smoking now, the benefits start in 20 minutes.
As anyone who has tried to do so can attest, quitting smoking is tough. In fact, most smokers require multiple attempts before they are finally able to quit for good. With the commitment it takes to kick the habit — not to mention the damage those cigarettes have already done — it may be easy to say, “Why should I stop smoking now?”
But even if it’s tough, the benefits of quitting smoking start right away: Medical experts have found that a person’s health improves within minutes of the last puff from the last cigarette, and continues in the years that follow.
Research has found that people who quit smoking drastically reduce their risk of dying from a smoking-related disease. Those who quit before they turn 51 cut their chances of dying within the next 15 years in half, as compared with people who don’t quit. Even smokers who stop in their sixties increase their life expectancy by one year. When you quit smoking, you live longer and those extra years are spent in better health.
Short-Term Benefits of Stopping Smoking
About 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your body already has begun to respond to your decision to quit smoking:
• Your blood pressure goes down
• Your pulse rate slows
• The temperature of your hands and feet increases
Eight hours after you quit smoking, your blood has begun to recover from the effects of smoking. The levels of both carbon monoxide and oxygen in your bloodstream return to normal. Within 24 hours, your chance of a heart attack has already decreased as your system repairs itself. About 48 hours after you quit smoking, nerve endings deadened by the habit have begun to regenerate and your sense of taste and smell has already improved.
A few weeks after you quit smoking, your circulation has improved and your lungs have begun to function better. Walking and exercising become much easier. Within the first few months, your phlegm production has decreased and you won’t find yourself coughing or wheezing as much.
Long-Term Benefits of Quitting Smoking
The benefits of your decision to quit smoking continue long after the immediate impact. You might not feel these benefits the way you felt the quick improvement in your lung function and overall health, but you’ll still enjoy them:
• 1 year: Your excess risk of suffering coronary heart disease has decreased to half the risk of a continuing smoker.
• 5 years: Your risk of having a stroke has decreased compared to continuing smokers, and will continue to decrease over time.
• 10 years: A decade after you quit smoking, your risk of lung cancer is now half that of people who keep smoking. You’ve also experienced a decrease in your risk of ulcers and other cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder.
• 15 years: Your risk of coronary heart disease is now comparable to that of people who never smoked a single cigarette. Your risk of dying also is nearly back to the same level as that of non-smokers.