Almost everyone knows that smoking affect our healt; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more;and that the habit can cost a smoker thousands of dollars a year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in a word, is addiction.
Once You Start, It's Hard to Stop
Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive.
People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their familymembers or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco users start before they're 18 years old.
How Smoking Affects Your Health
There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn't need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. And many of the chemicals in cigarettes are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.
The body is smart. It goes onthe defense when it's being poisoned. First-time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.
The consequences of this poisoning happen gradually. Over the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems like heart disease, stroke, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), and many types ofcancer — including lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer. People who smoke also have an increased risk of infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. Each time someone lights up, that single cigarette takes about 5 to 20 minutes off the person's life.
Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-basedmethods of birth control increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.
teen smokers experience many problems like :
* Bad skin. Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy.
* Bad breath. Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition calledhalitosis, or persistent bad breath.
* Bad-smelling. not just on people's clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it's often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
* Reduced athletic performance. because the physical effects of smoking impair sports performance.
* Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen, socommon sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.
Kicking Butts and Staying Smoke Free
The only thing that really helps a person avoid the problems associated with smoking is staying smoke free. This isn't always easy, especially if everyone around you is smoking and offering you cigarettes. It may help to have your reasons for notsmoking ready for times you may feel the pressure, such as "I just don't like it" or "I want to stay in shape for soccer" (or football, basketball, or other sport).
If you do smoke and want to quit, you have lots of information and support available. Different approaches to quitting work for different people. For some, quitting cold turkey is best. Others find that a slower approach is the way togo. Some people find that it helps to go to a support group especially for teens. These are sometimes sponsored by local hospitals or organizations. The Internet offers a number of good resources to help people quit smoking.
When quitting, it can be helpful to realize that the first few days are the hardest. So don't give up. Some people find they have a few relapses before they manage to quit...