Quitting Smoking: 10 Reasons That Have Nothing To Do With Your Lungs

It’s no secret that smoking raises the risk of a whole gamut of health problems, from cancer, to lung disease, to early death. And that’s why we at Healthy Living are glad that quitting smoking is one of the top New Year’s resolutions people make.

In fact, a recent study conducted by Legacy, a quit-smoking advocacy organization, shows that resolving to quit smoking is becoming more in vogue — twice as many people reported making quitting smoking a resolution this year, compared with last, MyHealthNewsDaily reported.  But aside from lowering your risk of scary conditions, there’s a whole other list of reasons why it’s good for you — and everyone around you — to toss away those cigarettes.

You’ll Be Less Anxious

Even though smokers may believe taking a long drag on a cigarette can help to calm nerves, a British study published earlier this year suggests that quitting can actually decrease anxiety more over the long-term.  “People who achieve abstinence experience a marked reduction in anxiety whereas those who fail to quit experience a modest increase in the long term,” researchers wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry study, as reported by CBC News.  Similarly, a 2010 study in the journal Addiction showed that perceived stress decreased for people who quit smoking for a year after hospitalization for heart disease, Reuters reported.

Your Mouth Will Thank You

Quitting the habit could dramatically decrease your risk of dental problems like cavities and gum disease, and even more dangerous conditions like oral cancer, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   HealthDay reported that compared with former smokers, smokers have a 1.5-times higher risk of developing at least three oral health conditions.

Your Love Life Will Be Better

Here’s a bedroom-related reason to quit smoking: studies have suggested a link between smoking and decreased sex drives for both men and women. Studies published in 2008 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that nicotine can affect even nonsmoking men’s and women’s arousal.

You’ll Save Your Skin

If you want your skin to be at its best, then you’re better off quitting cigarettes. WebMD points out that smoking affects skin tone, promotes sagginess and, of course, causes those wrinkles around the lip area.  However, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes that just a month-and-a-half after quitting smoking, your skin will already begin to look better.

You’ll Have More Locks

If you love your hair, maybe it’s time to put the cigarettes down. Research has linked smoking with an increased risk of male pattern baldness.  BBC News reported in 2007 on a Archives of Dermatology study, showing even after taking into account other hair-loss risk factors like age and race, heavy smoking (at least 20 cigarettes daily) raised the risk of baldness.  And a 2011 study showed that smoking, stress, drinking and genes were all risk factors for baldness, WebMD reported.

Your Mood Will Improve

Here’s a pretty good benefit: Stopping smoking could make you a happier person, according to research from Brown University.

Researchers there found that smokers were never happier than when they were quitting smoking, even if they went back to smoking afterward.

You’ll Have More Birthdays

Stopping smoking may help women live a decade longer than they would have if they had continued lighting up, according to a 2012 study in The Lancet.  Researchers also found that the more the women smoked, the higher their risk of premature death, with even “light” smokers (those who smoked just one to nine cigarettes a day) having a doubled risk of death compared with non-smokers.

“If women smoke like men, they die like men — but, whether they are men or women, smokers who stop before reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra ten years of life,” study researcher Professor Sir Richard Peto, of the University of Oxford, said in a statement.

You’ll Improve Your Pregnancy Chances

If you’re trying to conceive, one of the best things you can do is to quit smoking, research shows. NBC News reported that women smokers have a 60 percent higher chance of being infertile, compared with nonsmokers. Smoking is also linked to more spontaneous miscarriages, according to NBC News.

You’ll Enjoy Food More

If you don’t like bland food, then don’t smoke, research suggests. A small 2009 study of Greek soldiers shows an association between smoking and “fewer and flatter” taste buds, according to a statement on the research.

Your Colds Won’t Be As Bad

Mild cold symptoms could take on a more serious form for smokers, according to a study from Yale University researchers. The findings, published in 2008 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed an overreaction of the immune systems of cigarette smoke-exposed mice when exposed to a virus similar to the flu.  “The anti-viral responses in the cigarette smoke exposed mice were not only not defective, but were hyperactive,” study researcher Dr. Jack A. Elias, M.D., said in a statement. “These findings suggest that smokers do not get in trouble because they can’t clear or fight off the virus; they get in trouble because they overreact to it.”

source; Huffington Post – Healthy Living

 

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