3,980 Reasons to Quit Smoking. Ok. Not Quite. But Still a Lot.
Posted Jul 21 2008 10:04am
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times”- Mark Twain Perhaps the most amazing thing about tobacco is that people are still smoking it. As long ago as 1604, England’s King James I was writing a rather elegant, if oddly spelled, attack on the stinking weed calling smoking “a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”
Not much has changed since then, other than the fact that millions of people have died because of tobacco use, and that tobacco companies have grown rich on the backs of all the pain, suffering and addiction that smoking cigarettes and cigars brings.
Now if you don’t know by now that smoking causes lung cancer – 85% of all cases of lung cancer in the U.S. are attributed to smoking – then you simply haven’t been paying attention. Ironically that may be due to smoking as well; a study by researchers at the University of Michigan found that regular tobacco use dims the speed and accuracy of a person’s thinking ability and brings down their IQ.
You may even know that smoking is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, as well as cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas and cervix. If that is not enough to get you to quit, then maybe you should consider these charming side effects of smoking.
#1 - I don’t have the stomach to quit! You soon won’t. Smoking increases acid secretion and puts you at increased risk of peptic ulcers. It also slows down the processes your body uses to heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers. So if you enjoy a good stomach ache, don’t mind feeling pain while you eat, or even vomiting after you eat, then by all means light up
#2 - I’d rather turn a blind eye to it! You will soon be able to. Smoking increases your risk for developing cataracts of the eye. Smokers are also twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness. Your Seeing Eye dog will not help you find your ciggies when you have lost your eyes.
#3 – I’m too old to quit now! You are not that old, you just look that way. Smokers look older than nonsmokers. They develop heavily lined, deeply wrinkled, leathery faces as they age. Now if you don’t mind having a face that looks as smooth as an elephant’s butt, then just carry on doing what you are doing.
#4 – I’ll quit when I have kids If you don’t quit, you may never have kids. Women who smoke are at much greater risk of infertility than women who don’t smoke. The women at highest risk of having trouble getting pregnant are those who smoke a pack or more per day, or those who started smoking before age 18. Of course that may simply be because most men who don’t smoke won’t want to get anywhere near you because cigarettes have left your teeth yellow, your breath bad, and your hair and clothes reeking of smoke.
#5 – I like the taste and the way it makes me feel. Good point. Must be all those yummy chemicals in it. Smoke from burning tobacco has more than 4,000 chemicals in it, including at least 40 that are known to cause cancer. These include: • Carbon monoxide. That’s the same poisonous gas found in your car exhaust. So if you run out of cigarettes why not stick your mouth over your car’s exhaust pipe and get your fix. • Nicotine. This charming ingredient is a deadly poison which makes it a favorite among pesticide manufacturers. It’s not only delicious, it’s highly addictive, even more so than heroin and cocaine. • Tar. This lovely sticky, gooey, substance is actually a blend of dozens of different chemicals. It’s not quite the same as the tar work crews pour on the road to make it smooth, this version stains your teeth and fingers, and it works its way into your lungs where it clogs them up and makes it hard to breathe. • Sulphur dioxide. Normally this is used to preserve food and stop it going off. But in your case, it is more likely to help reduce your shelf life. • Hydrogen sulphide. Ever smelled rotten eggs? That’s hydrogen sulfide. Now you know why no one wants to stand next to you, or sit next to, or even talk to you. • Acetone. Once you have finished inhaling it, you can use it to clean off your nail polish because it’s the same chemical. • Ammonia. You know this one. You use it to clean your toilet floor. Maybe you even use it to clean your toilet. No wonder you are so keen to put it in your mouth. • Cadmium. This helps get you started. It should. When not used in cigarettes it is an essential element in car battery fluid. • DDT. This used to be one of the most widely used insecticides in the world and it’s easy to see why, it was very effective at killing things. Those pesky spoilsports in the environmental movement got it banned in the US. But don’t worry, you can still get it in your cigarette smoke. It’s no wonder people say there are no flies on you… they are all dead. • Arsenic. Anyone who has ever read a murder mystery knows this one. The only mystery now is why anyone would knowingly smoke something that contains arsenic!
Now, I could go on and on about the other 3,980 or so chemicals in cigarette smoke, but what would be the point. If you have got this far and still are not convinced, it is clear the tobacco has already lowered your IQ to the point where it may already be too late.
But if you are ready to quit, or at least try, then go to this page http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm
You’ll find all the information you need to help you kick the habit. It won’t be easy. The only thing that is harder is not quitting.