The Top Reasons to Quit Smoking, According to the World Health Organization
In honor of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, Quit and Stay Quit Monday is sharing the reasons why Monday should be the day you commit to quit – for yourself and for our planet.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is a leading global authority on health and disease. The international organization identifies public health risks, and offers solutions and information to curb their detrimental effects.
As COVID-19 continues to be a primary focus for public health institutions, many of the other chronic diseases and sources of premature death have received less attention. But smoking remains one of the deadliest habits on the planet, responsible for eight million deaths each year. To reinforce the dangerous of tobacco use, the WHO has released 100 reasons to quit smoking cigarettes.
This Monday, to help motivate your friends, family, or yourself to quit smoking, take a look at our WHO-inspired list of reasons to quit all forms of tobacco products. A quick scan will remind you of the importance of staying tobacco-free. Remember, you can always use Monday as your day to recommit to your quit.
Smokers have a greater risk of developing a severe case and dying from COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc across the globe, but it has hit smokers particularly hard. Evidence has emerged that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers.
Smoking affects your appearance
If you want to preserve your youthful appearance, ditch the cigarettes. Smoking accelerates the natural aging process of your skin, leading to premature facial wrinkling in both men and women. It can also hurt your smile, causing discoloration of the teeth, bad breath, and gum disease.
Smoking impacts the health of your family and friends
Secondhand smoke kills more than 42,000 nonsmokers each year. That’s right — 42,000 nonsmokers; and this number doesn’t include the millions of people who are exposed to the harmful effects of secondhand smoke each year. When a person smokes, fumes escape into the air around them, creating a potential hazard to those nearby—children, grandparents, friends and even pets.
Smoking and vaping around children compromises their health and safety
Secondhand and third-hand smoke is dangerous to everyone, but it’s especially hazardous to the health of children. Smokers’ children suffer reduced lung function, which continues to affect them in the form of chronic respiratory disorders in adulthood. Secondhand smoke can also lead to asthma, hearing loss, and ear infections.
Smoking eats up a lot of cash
Smoking is an expensive habit, with one study finding that smokers burn through an average of $1.4 million in personal costs, includes spending on cigarettes, medical costs and lower wages brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Smokers are also more likely to miss work, and that means less money in their pocket.
Smoking reduces fertility
If you’re looking to start a family, consider quitting smoking. It’s well documented that smokers are more likely to experience infertility, as well as erectile dysfunction and a reduced sperm count. Quitting smoking makes it easier to get pregnant, while reducing the risk of premature birth and miscarriage.
Vaping and E-cigarettes are harmful and not a safe alternative to cigarettes
If you vape, you’re still a smoker. That’s because many of the harmful effects of cigarettes carry over to vaping, as well. Besides increasing your risk of lung and respiratory disease, vaping is a gateway for younger smokers who are drawn in by the tasty flavored oils and fun names.
Smoking tobacco will take your breath away
Smoking tobacco damages the lungs, making smokers 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer in their lifetime compared to non-smokers. The good news is that as soon as you quit you give your lungs a chance to recover.
Smoking will break your heart
The chemicals found in tobacco smoke contaminate the blood cells and interfere with the heart’s ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, leading to a number of dangerous health conditions such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, and aneurysms as well as a buildup of plaque — a waxy substance comprised of cholesterol, scar tissue, fat, and other materials — that can lead to stroke or even death.
Tobacco causes over 20 types of cancer
Smokers are at a significantly higher risk of developing a variety of cancers. Smoking and smokeless tobacco use can lead to oral cancer, cancers of the lips, throat (pharynx and larynx) and esophagus. Quit smoking to begin the body’s healing process and reduce your risk.
Smoking hurts your vision and hearing
Smoking impacts your whole body, including your senses. Smokers have a higher risk of developing cataracts and suffering from eye disease and age-related muscular degeneration compared to non-smokers. Adults who smoke are also more likely to suffer from hearing loss.
Tobacco destroys the environment
Smoking destroys your body, but it also wreaks havoc on the environment. A single tobacco smoker can contribute over 24,000 metric tons of methane or 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to the planet per year. And all of those cigarette butts tossed on the ground? They happen to be the most commonly discarded piece of waste around the world.