Your lungs have the important job of breathing in oxygen and transporting that fresh air throughout your entire body. Each inhale is important to your health and well-being! If you inhale something other than oxygen into your lungs, it can have a directly negative impact on your organs and your overall health.
Tobacco smoke is a compound that is incredibly irritating to your body and will increase your risk of certain diseases and physical changes. Quitting this addictive habit will only benefit your health and the health of those around you.
Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Hixson team explains more about the health consequences of smoking and how to take the first steps toward quitting.
What Is Nicotine?
Nicotine is one of the many thousands of chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Nicotine is particularly harmful because it is highly addictive and considered a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemical. Each time you inhale, you are exposing your lungs and other organs to this dangerous chemical. Nicotine is so addictive because it triggers your body to release dopamine.
Dopamine is the hormone that is responsible for your feelings of happiness or satisfaction, so your body can get used to that constant supply of dopamine and will want it all the time. Over time, chronic smoking will lead to sagging, yellow skin, premature wrinkles, yellow teeth and hair loss. It can also affect your senses and increase your risk of developing deadly diseases.
Diseases Triggered by Chronic Smoking
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Lung cancer
- Heart disease
How Can I Quit Smoking on My Own?
Choosing to quit for good is the first step. We know that quitting addictive habits can be really hard, but finding a driving reason why you want to quit can help you stay focused. Your friends, family, your own health or the health of your kids are all great motivators. Find what works for you and stick to it. Nicotine replacement therapy like gum or patches work for some, while therapy and other lifestyle changes like finding a new hobby to focus on can help others.
Quitting takes time and determination every day, so you may have to change up your lifestyle for the moment while you focus on this major achievement. Avoiding places where you normally light up, like bars, parties, gatherings or even your back porch during your morning coffee, can all trigger cravings. The sacrifices now will pay off in a big way later in life.
- Stronger, less-damaged lungs
- Reduced risk for cancer and other diseases
- Improved physical appearance and senses
- Eliminating secondhand smoke at home for your family
We are always here for you. Stop by AFC Urgent Care Hixson any day of the week.