A lmost everyone is aware of the dangers of smoking – causes cancer, emphysema, and heart disease; it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that it is an extremely bad habit that can cost a smoker thousands of rands a year… Yet there are millions of people around the world who continue to smoke.

Once you get start smoking, it’s very hard to stop

Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Smoking is a bad and dangerous habit that not only harms you (the smoker), but those around you, the environment and the economy as well. Below we’ll highlight the dangers os smoking focusing on three sections.

Dangers of smoking with Nicotine

One of the main dangers of smoking is due to Nicotine. It is both physically and psychologically addictive, and it causes those who use it to want to smoke one cigarette after another. Nicotine raises both the heart rate and blood pressure. The smoker quickly feels more alert and relaxed. In less than 30 minutes, however, about half of the nicotine has left the bloodstream, and the smoker starts feeling less alert, more edgy.

Dangers of smoking with Tar

There are other dangers of smoking as well. The tar from tobacco smoke starts to accumulate on the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs. The hot smoke burns the tiny hairlike projections (called cilia) that trap harmful particles before they enter the lungs.

Carbon Monoxide

One more of the dangers of smoking are Carbon monoxide. Smoking also increases the level of carbon monoxide in the lungs. This poisonous gas is quickly absorbed into the blood, reducing its capacity to carry oxygen.

As a result, the smoker has to exert more physical effort to attain a given task than does a nonsmoker. The heart in particular must work harder, especially during rigorous exercise. Increased levels of carbon monoxide in the blood can impair vision, perception of time, and coordination.

Easy tips to help you quit

1. Believe in yourself and believe that you can quit.
2. After reading this list of tips, sit down create your own plan for quitting.
3. Write down why you want to quit – for example, live longer, for your family, to save money, smell better, to be healthy.
4. Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit and to stand by you during your difficult time.
5. Decide what day you will destroy your cigarettes for good. Set the date and write it down.
6. Begin an exercise program and do some deep breathing each day.
7. Cut back on cigarettes gradually, for example if your smoke six cigarettes a day, cut down to four.
8. Find another smoker who is trying to quit, and help each other with encouragement and by lending an ear when things become difficult.
9. Drink lots of water. It will help flush the nicotine and other harmful chemicals out of your body.
10. Identify what triggers your desire for a cigarette and avoid them. Triggers include stress, the end of a meal, arrival at a party etc.
11. Whenever you have a craving for a cigarette, instead of lighting one, write down your whatever is on your mind.

What really happens to your body if you quit smoking?

  • In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
  • In 8 hours the carbon monoxide levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal.
  • In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased.
  • In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
  • In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
  • In three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
  • In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
  • In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
  • In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.

So what are you waiting for? Quit now!

Sources – Wanderings and Stop Smoking Tips

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