As if you really needed a reason, smoking has been linked to various health issues both mental and physical — cancer being the most prominent. If that doesn't make you want to quit, we've come up with more reasons why you should throw your pack away.
1. It Makes You Stupid
Okay, we might be exaggerating a little bit, but research has shown that smoking will cloud your mind. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that that smoking in middle age is linked to memory problems and people with mild cognitive impairment in midlife develop dementia at an accelerated rate. According to the study, there was, "a dramatic increase in the incidence of dementia was found for those individuals who reported smoking two or more packs per day at midlife."
2. It Increases You Chances Of Infection
We know that cigarette smoking has been linked to numerous cancers, but it also decreases the ability of your body to fight infections, it works against your immune system. Research shows that first hand and second hand smoking plays a role in fighting infections. "Cigarette smoking also appears to be a major risk factor for respiratory tract and other systemic infections. Both active and passive cigarette smoke exposure increase the risk of infections,"
3. It's Bad For Your Sex Life
The severity of erectile dysfunction correlated significantly with the level of exposure to smoking. A study followed 118 patients who stopped smoking and 163 who continued. After one year those who stopped smoking had an improvement in their erectile dysfunction. However the older the patients were when they stopped the lower the chance of improvement.
4. It Shortens Your Life
Well, this one is obvious, but many people aren't thinking long-term when they're addicted to the nicotine. It's not only the length of someone's life that cigarette smoking affects, but the quality too. "Smoking is the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the U.S.," says Tim McAfee, a co-author of the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. "We need to do more to educate the American people about these findings."
5. It Gives You Wrinkles
Smoking speeds up the natural aging process; the more you smoke the quick you will age. According to Mayo Clinic, the nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin, slowing down the blood flow to all parts of your body. "With less blood flow, your skin doesn't get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A. Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking," said Dr. Lowell Dale, a contributing writer for the Mayo Clinic.
6. It Can Cause Infertility
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine states that, "cigarette smoking is harmful to a woman's ovaries, and the degree of harm is dependent upon the amount and the period of time a woman smokes. Smoking appears to accelerate the loss of eggs and reproductive function and may advance the time of menopause by several years." The more a woman smokes, the more likely she is to have reproductive issues. Cigarette smoking is also liked to low sperm count in men.
7. It's Linked To A Number Of Cancers
Smoking has been linked to various cancers; the National Cancer Institute counts at least 69 types of cancer caused by smoking. "Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer."
8. It Can Make You Blind
People who smoke are four times more likely to go blind. Many people are unaware of the link between tobacco smoke and macular degeneration, but it is a major cause for concern. Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that causes vision loss in the center of your field of vision. It is estimated that smoking causes or contributes to around 20 percent of new blindness in people over 50 years old." The longer a person smokes increases the risk of developing macular degeneration.
9. It Weakens Your Bones
Smoking has been linked to osteoporosis and it was first identified as a risk factor more than 20 years ago. Women, as compared to men face a greater risk factor for developing osteoporosis. According to the National Institute of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bones Diseases National Resource Center, "Compared with nonsmokers, women who smoke often produce less estrogen and tend to experience menopause earlier, which may lead to increased bone loss."