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Quit Smoking:
The Effects of Smoking on Your Health


“If beetroot and rhubarb, just for instance, were found not only to cause cancer in 10% of their heavy consumers, but eventually to bring 25% to an early , no-one would consume them, and the government would long ago have legislated against growing them. Sadly,” says Dr. Warwick Carter in his book The Complete Family Medical Guide, “this is just what cigarette smoking does, but the sale of cigarettes is permitted, cigarettes have been heavily promoted by advertising, and large profits are made from their sales.

“Over the centuries, since the introduction of tobacco to Europe in the 1590s, more and more people have become addicted to nicotine. Women started smoking in public only during the First World War, and the habit reached a peak during Second World War when 75% of the adult population of most western countries were smokers. When today’s grandparents were children, they were warned against smoking because ‘it stunts the growth’ (something it only does to the babies of smoking mothers), but generally it was not regarded as harmful, at least for adults. Cigarettes, cigars, lighters, pipes, ashtrays, etc., were standard gifts at Christmas and birthday for a generation. Vast factories poured out billions of cigarettes that were made, packed, wrapped and boxed untouched by human hands. Multinational tobacco corporations gained enormous profits, and became powerful friends of government as taxpayers and revenue earners. Governments even subsidized the growth of tobacco in some areas.

“Then came the crunch. It was found that smoking tobacco people. There is a long delay, and more than half the smokers escape, but there was little doubt about it — for many people smoking was lethal.”

Yet millions of people continue to ignite 20, 40 or more paper tubes stuffed with shreds of tobacco every day of their lives. They will skim-read sections of books or articles that deal with health risks, because they don’t want to get too scared. “So maybe I’ll live a couple of years less but at least I'll enjoy myself in the meantime,” they’ll say.

The problem is that it’s not just a case of you dying at the age of seventy rather than seventy-five. The problem is that smokers die long drawn-out, messy, painful s. Smokers don’t tend to remain active into their eighties, then die peacefully in their sleep. One of the following scenarios is far more likely, says Gill Paul in her book Stop Smoking, published by HarperCollins:

  • “Did you know that lung cancer is incredibly painful, as tumors eat away the inside of your chest? In the final weeks, sufferers are hunched over, fighting for every breath, and in such acute pain that ever-increasing doses of morphine can’t quell it.

  • “Have you ever seen an emphysema sufferer trying to climb a few stairs? It’s hard for them to exhale; they feel as though they’re trying to walk around with a huge, fully inflated beach ball inside their chest and they’re squeezing hard against it to allow even a painful amount of oxygen into their lungs.

  • “Did you know that smoking is by far the biggest cause of amputations in the UK? After the first leg goes, they will fit you with a prosthetic one, but after the second one (usually required about three years later) you’ll probably be in a wheelchair.

  • “Have you ever seen someone with throat cancer breathing through a tracheostomy tube in their throat, pouring liquid food into a stomach port inserted through their skin and writing notes to friends and family on a pad of paper because they can’t talk anymore?

  • “Can you imagine living with heart disease and feeling as though there’s a time bomb in your chest that could go off at any time? You wake up in bed in the morning feeling anxious and your heart begins to beat so rapidly that it feels as though it’s about to leap out of your chest, and you don’t know whether this is going to be The Big One or not.”

The fact is, says Gill Paul, half of all smokers will die of smoke-related diseases, and the other 50% will suffer some symptoms and illnesses caused by their habit.

Smokers are at increased risk of:

Asthma is more severe
Back pain
Brain hemorrhage
Cervical cancer
Chronic obstructive lung disease
Circulatory disease
Colds are more severe
Chron’s disease (inflamed bowel)
Diabetes (type 2)
Duodenal ulcers
Early menopause
Erection problems
Gum disease (causes loss of teeth)
Hearing loss
Heart disease
Heart attacks
Immune system works less efficiently
Intestinal polyps
Kidney and bladder cancers
Ligament and muscle injuries
Lip, mouth, tongue and throat cancers
Liver cancer
Lung and respiratory cancers
Macular degeneration (causes eyesight loss)
Neck pain
Optic neuropathy (causes eyesight loss)
Pancreatic cancer
Panic attacks
Peripheral vascular disease
Premature aging of the skin
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sperm count reduced
Stomach cancer
Wounds take longer to heal

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