At the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we always advocate for what’s in the best interest of your health, which is why it’s time to revisit our long list of reasons to kick the smoking habit once and for all. Smoking is particularly harmful for women. In fact, female smokers have a 25 to 32 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer.
Though most of us have heard the popular (and worthy) reasons to quit smoking—such as it causes cancer and emphysema and is an expensive habit, to boot—we decided to look at the more obvious ways smoking effects the body, both mentally and physically. Without further adieu, here are a few lesser-known reasons to inspire you or a loved one to give up cigarettes for good:
- Get fresh: Cigarette toxins change your face’s oil secretions, which causes breakouts. To add insult to injury, according to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist and author of The Perricone Prescription, when we inhale just one puff of cigarette smoke, more than a trillion free radicals are produced in our lungs, which then trigger an inflammatory response that circulates throughout the body. No thanks!
- Stay sharp: Ex-smokers have better memories and reasoning skills than smokers do. Quitting smoking is an easy way to keep your wits in fighting condition! Not to mention, the logical move to stop smoking is contagious. Studies found that if you kick cigarettes, your spouse is 67 percent more likely to quit also, and friends are 36 percent more apt to quit, too.
- Forever young: Puffers are four times more likely to go gray early, and the average smoker has ten times more wrinkles than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking causes the microscopic muscle fibers in the walls of the blood vessels to contract, causing smokers to have pale skin. In fact, a single cigarette can reduce the blood supply to the skin for more than an hour. Giving up smoking will improve the blood supply to the skin and give previously pale skin a more glowing and youthful appearance.
- Your figure will thank you: As if maintaining an enviable figure wasn’t hard enough, smoking can create an imbalance in women’s hormone levels, which can lead to changes in body shape. Smoking affects the endocrinal system, or the glands that secrete hormones, and changes the body shape by increasing the waist-to-hip ratio and altering the way the body stores fat.
- Build your self-esteem: Quitting is hard—if you can do it, you’ll feel more confident to take on other goals in your life! You’ll also have more energy to accomplish those goals. So go ahead and sign up for that 5K you’ve been thinking about, or take that yoga class, and watch your achievements continue to climb!
Have you ever quit smoking? If so, what made you decide to make the change?