Smoking is old news. It’s not like back in the ’60s when smoking was not only considered to be a cool habit, but it was also prescribed by doctors to cure a list of ailments, such as digestion issues and stress. We all know better now, and then some.
Smoking seemed to be taking a back seat even before coronavirus gave 1 million smokers an impressive push to quit. But, why? Is the scare of lung cancer finally enough for people to put the packet down? Is it the grotesque images offering threats of losing a toe (but not before it turns a very dark shade of green), which are now mandatory on cigarette packaging? Is it that Brits are finally tired of having to stand out in the rain, storm, giant hail or whatever other weather is going to happen this year, huddled into the designated smoking area, daydreaming about the ‘good old days’ where you could sit inside and chain smoke to your heart’s content like you belong in Mad Men?
Whatever the reason, people are over it, and for those who aren’t quite ready, this piece is for you.
Smoking Affects the Brain
We all know about how smoking affects the lungs and the chest, and they are an extremely important part of our health, but what about other areas that we might not be aware ok? The brain is what makes us uniquely us, and smoking can have some dire effects on it. Not only can smoking increase the risk of a stroke by at least 50% (which can include severe brain damage or even death) it can also affect the brains vascular health, which is directly linked to Alzheimer’s.
Luckily for those who do give up, it takes two years for the risk to reduce by half, and five years for the risk to become that of a non-smoker.
Smoking Depletes the Body of Essential Vitamins and Minerals
No matter how many papayas, avocados, and superfood blueberries get crammed into a smoothie, if you are a smoker, these often greeny-brown health elixirs cannot save you from smoke damage. Smoke causes cellular damage by speeding up the rate at which free radicals are produced in the body. Free radicals are what damage the cells, which then depletes the body of vitamins and minerals; especially vitamin D, which is essential for muscle and bone health.
Smoking Affects the Bones
Unfortunately, bones are yet another part of our body that cannot escape smoke’s destroying capacity. Osteoporosis, a health condition that weakens the bones, can be triggered by smoking. Smoking is said to decrease bone density, which is already bad news for those who are thin, have a lack of physical activity, an excessive alcohol intake, and a low calcium intake.
Not only does smoking make you more prone to a fracture or breakage, but it also slows down healing time significantly in comparison to non-smokers, just in case the injury wasn’t enough. In fact, smoking slows down wound healing full stop, which isn’t great news for those who are particularly adventurous, or clumsy.
Ok… I Want to Give Up Smoking Now – What are My Options?
Worry not! There are plenty of options to help even the most stubborn of smokers begin on a path to tobacco damage redemption. Simple solutions that have been around for a long time include a nicotine-based gum or patch, which helps smokers wean themselves off slowly as to not to shock the body or make them claw at the walls desperate for just one last smoke. However, as the anti-smoking industry continues to grow and thrive, people are looking for more innovative ways to give up their habit, and also to tackle the behavioural side of addiction that comes with smoking. This is where vaping comes in.
Is Vaping Safe?
Vaping is still relatively new, which means little is known about the long-term effects it can have. However, from what studies show in the present, it is already 10 times better for you than smoking is, which is a step in the right direction. That being said, is there anything to know about vaping safely? Absolutely.
Vaping, like many habits, comes with its own set of risks. It is important to know how to use your device properly, including how to store it, and also other details such as where to buy safe vape juice from, what nicotine levels will suit you best, and what to do if vape juice comes into contact with your skin. Knowing all of these before embarking on a vaping journey will ease your mind into a healthier smoke-free transition!