You’ve heard it all before – and tried to kick the habit more than once – but here is a timely reminder of why 1st January 2017 is the right time to give up
We are all aware of the link between smoking and lung cancer because the incidence of lung cancer in people who don’t smoke is very small. But smoking is also a big factor behind a whole other range of diseases. Here is a list of smoking-related illnesses which you can avoid by giving up smoking in the New Year.
- Cardiovascular disease (rather than lung cancer) is the highest cause of death in smokers. This is because smoking speeds up the hardening of the arteries and as the vessels get blocked, clots can occur – clots which can cause heart attacks and strokes. FACT: Over 30% of heart attack victims are smokers.
- The risk of lung cancer in smokers is extremely high – an estimated one in five heavy smokers (those smoking over 15 cigarettes a day) will go on to develop this. But smoking is not limited to causing just lung cancer; it is also related to many other types of cancer such as mouth and throat cancer, bladder cancer, cancer of the kidneys, pancreatic cancer, and cancer of the esophagus.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a generic name for a group of conditions including emphysema. Emphysema is a horribly debilitating condition caused by inflammation of the lining of the lungs and is almost always found to some degree or other in smokers. Emphysema results in severe breathlessness in sufferers, which may lead to death in its later stages.
- Also found to a higher degree in smokers is a periodontal disease which affects the gums and causes inflammation and loss of teeth, a side effect of which is severe bad breath – not great for your social or love life. Smoking also causes acid to build up in the mouth which can lead to ulcers.
- Smoking is a well-known cause of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. High blood pressure or ‘hypertension’ occurs when the body starts to pump blood around the body at an increased rate. This is even more of concern in smokers whose arteries may also have narrowed.
The above outlined are just some of the reasons to make giving up smoking your New Year’s Resolution for 2017. We’ve focused on the negatives – what could happen if you don’t give up – but remember to focus on the positives as well – kicking this habit will make you happier, wealthier and healthier.