Stop Smoking vs Smoking - Health Risks to Consider
If you have ever tried to stop smoking, you know how terribly hard it is to do.
All addictions are tough to quit but the pay-off is well worth the effort if you are successful.
However, did you know that although there are many health benefits for cutting out cigarettes, there are also some risks involved. That's why it's VITAL that you understand what really happens when you give up the cancer sticks for good.
There are very few people that DON’T know that smoking is bad for them. In fact, I doubt anyone starts smoking without being aware of at least some of the dangers. With over 4000 different chemical compounds (and 400 toxic substances) in cigarettes, there’s little doubt that they are many health risks involved.
Health Risks of Smoking
When you light up a cigarette, it burns at over 1110°F at the tip and around 140°F in the core. When the heat inside the cigarette breaks down, it produces various toxins. Residue’s are also concentrated towards the butt of the cigarette.
Most dangerous products in cigarettes are:
Nicotine (can be addictive, increases blood cholesterol levels)
Carbon monoxide (reduces oxygen in the body)
vGas and particulates (cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) (COPD)
The damage caused by smoking is influenced by:
# of cigarettes smoked
Filtered or non-filtered
Preparation of the tobacco
Smoking also affects your life span. People who smoke regularly decrease life expectancy by seven to eight years. In fact, every cigarette smoked reduces a smoker’s life by 11 minutes.
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking and can cause:
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
Thrombosis (blood clots)
Smoking can also lead to many forms of cancer including lung cancer, throat cancer and mouth cancer. In fact, 90 percent of all lung cancers are caused by smoking. One in ten moderate smokers and one in five heavy smokers(more than 15 cigarettes daily) will die of lung cancer. If no one smoked, lung cancer risks would be at a minimum of .5 percent.
How long you've smoked and how many cigarettes you smoke, influence cancer rates. The deeper you inhale also affects the risks.
Other forms of cancer that smoking can cause are bladder, oesophagus, kidney, pancreas, and cervical.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also a health risk for smokers in which blocked airflow makes breathing more difficult. Emphysema (breathlessness caused by damage to lung alveoli) and chronic bronchitis are two types of COPD.
Smoking is the most common cause for 80 percent of all cases of COPD. One single cigarette reduces the blood supply to your skin for more than one hour.
Lung damage from COPD is permanent, but giving up smoking at any time reduces a decline in lung capacity.
In smokers, as lung function declines, breathlessness begins. As the condition worsens, severe breathing problems can require hospitalization. The final stage is an agonizing death from a slow and progressive inability to breathe.
Health Risks When You Stop Smoking
When you stop smoking, it takes 15 years to undo the damage cigarettes have caused. However, there are always health benefits and risks when you stop smoking.
When you smoke, your body is constantly under attack from deadly carcinogens found in most cigarettes. Over time, your body 'learns' how to deal with the chemicals by changing the way it deals with toxins. Although you smoke, your body is able to keep you relatively healthy. However, changes happen quickly at a cellular level when you stop smoking.
When you stop smoking, if you don’t have the right combination of key antioxidants in place, your body will go into ‘toxic shock’. This is because your body has become accustomed to handling the extra carcinogens. When you quit smoking (either over time or cold turkey), you are no longer barraging your cells with toxins but your body is still 'looking for them'. When it can no longer find those toxic substances, your body can be left defenseless. The cells that protected you for so long may start to change or to attack themselves.
Free radicals are cancer-causing cells that enter your body regularly but are normally handled and discarded by your antibodies. (Killer T cells) Antibodies help form your immune system and help keep you free from disease and guard you from harmful bacteria and viruses. At the root of all cancer is genetic damage, which is the result of repeated attacks on the genes in the nucleus of your body’s cells. Cancer is able to form if just ONE CELL in your body loses it’s ability for normal growth. Once affected, it can then metastasize (spread) and multiply in a disorganized and uncontrollable manner. This is called the initiation of cancer.
If you recently stopped smoking, your risk for Cancer is HIGH because of the high levels of carcinogens in your body. That's why it is particularly important for you to maintain high levels of cancer fighting antioxidants.
The best case scenario would be for you to start taking better care of your health before you quit, but it’s never too late to start creating better health!
It's also very clear that a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants lowers your chance for cancer. Unfortunately, most people don't take very good care of themselves. They wander through life and don't pay much attention to their health until something negatively affects it. You however, can help get maximum protection by juicing regularly, eliminating processed foods and getting the right antioxidant protection you need to build up healthy cells.
You’ll also need to provide sufficient liver protection if you stop smoking. You can help support your liver by doing regular cleanses. Key enzymes in your liver help detoxify your body. Individuals vary in their production of these enzymes which in turn, makes you more venerable to some types of Cancer, particularly Cancer of the bladder and lung.
You can’t change your individual genetic DNA, but you can do everything possible to help your liver deal with waste products efficiently and to compensate for normal variations in liver enzymes. To do so, it is particularly important to maintain high levels of glutathione in your body and here's why:
My Father's Story
My father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1995. He had smoked HEAVILY for over 20+ years. He was forced to stop smoking COLD TURKEY when he fell and broke his hip in 1992. Of course, he had to be hospitalized because of the break and had to stay hospitalized for over a week. While he was laid up away from home, my mother threw away all of his cigarettes and lighters. When he got out of the hospital, he went home to 'no cigarettes'. Since he was unable to drive, he was basically 'out of luck'. He stopped smoking because he had to, not because he exactly wanted to.
Three years later, my father started coughing up blood and was diagnosed with lung cancer. His prognosis was three years. During the time that dad went through toxic chemotherapy, I read a small paperback book called Glutathione: The Ultimate Antioxidant, (by Dr. Alan H. Pressman), from cover to cover.
One small part of the book raised my eyebrows. The author talked about the protection you'd need if you had smoked or were trying to stop smoking. He basically said about everything I've covered above. My dad had not taken any extra steps to help his body fight cellular mutations when he was forced to stop smoking. I wondered if cancer could have formed in his lungs because he stopped smoking?
The next time dad had an appointment with his Oncologist, I went with him. I told his doctor what I'd read and asked him about it. He acted like I had personally slapped/offended him by even suggesting that dad had gotten cancer because he quit. (Western medicine at its finest!)
As time passed by, I became increasingly convinced that it was true. My dad never had cancer when he smoked. Its only when he quit that lung cancer formed. I might be crazy for even suggesting it, but I doubt that the two events were unrelated. To say that it’s not even feasible, is like turning a blind eye to what’s right in front of you. 2+2=4, not 5! Coincidence or correlation? I’m not sure, but the likelihood is that these two events are related. I would suggest that you do the math!
The bottom line is that I'm not your doctor. I would never try to intimidate anyone. I leave scare tactics to the politicians instead. I am simply providing information to you that you may not have heard about or might care to know. Please be sure to protect yourself if you plan to stop smoking or have already stopped though. Do everything you can to protect yourself. You are precious!
*Note - A relatively new study published by Duke University Medical Center shows that certain foods can actually enhance the enjoyment one gets out of smoking, while other foods do the reverse. Among the foods and drinks that actually make smoking taste better are coffee, alcohol, red meat, and anything caffeine. Meanwhile, foods that seem to interfere with the taste of smoking include fruits, dairy products, water, and vegetables.
If you’re having a hard time trying to stop smoking, maybe you can control what you eat at certain parts of the day when you feel most susceptible to smoke. The research is preliminary but it sure is something worth checking out. Who knows, it just may work for you.
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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