Friday, August 3, 2007

QUIT SMOKING....copied & pasted from friend's blog

Stop Smoking Now and Live Longer, Healthier Lives ( from Mohamed Al Reedy blog )
One of the best things that you can do for your overall health and well-being is to stop smoking. Learning how to stop smoking is easier now than it has ever been. There are all kinds of aids available, from nicotine gum to support groups. It may take some time and patience to find the right program or the right combination of aids, but it is well worth the effort.Why is it worth the effort? Over 400,000 people die each year from diseases that could have been prevented, if only they would have quit smoking. If you stop smoking now, no matter how old you are, you decrease your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. You also decrease your risk of dying from a heart attack. People who smoke are twice as likely to die from their first heart attack as people who do not. If you stop smoking now, your risk of lung cancer will be reduced by as much as 5% for every two years that you do not smoke. That means that after 10 years of being "smoke-free", your risk of developing lung cancer will be as much as 50% less than your friends who continued to smoke.Knowing these facts, you may begin to see why it is so important to learn how to stop smoking, but there's more. People who smoke have an increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and larynx (voice box). They are more likely to have acid reflux or gastrointestinal reflux disease, which if uncontrolled can lead to cancer of the esophagus.Cancers of the intestines, bladder, kidneys and pancreas are found more frequently in people who smoke than those who do not. If you stop smoking now, your risk of developing one of the types of cancer to which smoking is linked gradually declines. Still need more reasons?People, who smoke, have more colds, are more likely to develop pneumonia and are more susceptible to influenza viruses. Cigarette smoke numbs the tiny hairs that line the nose and throat. These tiny hairs called "cilia" would normally filter some of the bacteria and viruses that you breathe in. If you smoke, they do not function properly. Other reasons to stop smoking involve the health of your gums and teeth. Other than the obvious side effects of smoking, like bad breath and yellow teeth, people who smoke are more likely to develop gum disease and twice as likely to lose teeth as they age. Emphysema is almost always linked to cigarette smoking or exposure to second hand smoke. In emphysema, your lungs become less flexible and exhaling requires great effort. Men who stop smoking are less likely to develop erectile dysfunction. Women who stop smoking have an easier time becoming pregnant, have fewer problem pregnancies and less likely to have children that are underweight at birth.In general, smokers have shorter life spans because of all the diseases that are aggravated or caused by the addiction. That is the primary reason that it is so important to learn how to stop smoking, if you want to live a long and healthy life; if you do not want to be burdened with excessive medical bills as you age; if you don't want to spend the last years of your life tied to an oxygen tank; if you don't want to become a burden to your family.

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