Top 5 Reasons to Quit Smoking (Lung Doctor Explains) | Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Doctor Mike Hansen
Published at : 16 Nov 2020
Top 5 Reasons to Quit Smoking | Benefits of Quitting Smoking
⏩ Timestamps, click to skip ahead!
00:00 - Introduction
00:11 - Bad for your Health
06:32 - It Affects the way you look & the way you smell
06:47 - Smoking Affects the Health of others
08:35 - Smoking Costs a lot of Money
09:01 - Benefits of Quitting Smoking
10:04 - What Happens to your body when you quit Smoking
10:27 - Why is it so hard to quit smoking cigarettes
14:00 - Quitting Smoking with vaping is helpful?
The BIGGEST reason to quit smoking is the most obvious one - smoking is extremely bad for your health. Tobacco smoke contains over 7000 chemicals including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer, meaning they are carcinogenic.
There are 3 chemicals that are especially dangerous; that is tar, nicotine, & carbon monoxide. Tar is a substance that becomes sticky in the lungs & tar itself is actually made up of a bunch of chemicals that are known to be carcinogens. Carbon monoxide is a colorless & odorless gas that binds to the hemoglobin in your blood & therefore allows less oxygen to bind to the hemoglobin in your blood & ultimately results in less oxygen being able to be delivered to the tissues in your body. Nicotine is an addictive chemical that gets into the bloodstream and travels to all parts of the body including the brain. When someone smokes cigarettes, the nicotine that they inhale gets absorbed by the blood that is in the capillaries in the lungs and it then gets delivered to different parts of the body when the heart pumps it in the arteries. But what about if someone is not smoking and instead you will say they are chewing tobacco or snuffing? Well, that nicotine gets absorbed mainly through the mucous membranes of the mouth and ultimately still makes its way to the brain but this is a slower process, but because it is constantly being absorbed, it has a steady-state in the bloodstream and therefore has a steady effect on the brain. So, it is a more consistent effect of the nicotine on the brain. Either way, whenever nicotine is in your bloodstream and ultimately makes its way to the brain, it activates receptors in the brain’s reward and motivation center.
This nicotine gives pleasurable feelings but over time, the brain needs more and more of the nicotine to get more and more of those pleasurable feelings. When the body eventually breaks down the nicotine in your system, you have less and less nicotine in the body and when that nicotine goes away, that is when the withdrawal symptoms develop and that is when the cravings develop. So, the withdrawal symptoms include difficulty concentrating, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, it can cause sleep problems, it can cause headaches, dizziness, and increased appetite. Of course, this only makes people want to smoke to get that nicotine in their bodies. Nicotine comes in different forms but ultimately all forms of nicotine are not good for your health. When it comes to smoking, whether from cigarettes, water pipes, or cigars - tobacco puts you at higher risk for all sorts of diseases. Inhalation of tobacco smoke entails inhaling toxic gases and particles of tar, and eventually damages the lungs. Not only can it cause damage in the lungs so that people develop inflammation of the airways - meaning bronchitis, but they can also develop different forms of pneumonia, in addition to COPD and emphysema. It can also contribute towards other types of lung disease, something we call interstitial lung disease.
It includes things like pulmonary fibrosis where you have scarring of the lungs. It can cause noninfectious types of pneumonia such as acute eosinophilic pneumonia, in addition to desquamative interstitial lung disease, and RB-ILD. Smokers are more likely to get respiratory viruses like cold, flu, and COVID 19. Smoking also dramatically raises the risk of having coronary artery disease including raising the risk of having a heart attack but also raises the risk of disease affecting blood vessels in other parts of the body such as blood vessels in the brain and that is why, it raises the risk of stroke, also raises the risk of peripheral artery disease where you have constriction of the arteries in the legs making it painful to walk. When it comes to smoking and cancer, it is interesting to note that women are more likely to develop lung cancer than men. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, it actually claims more women’s lives than breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer combined. Also, women who smoke have a harder time getting pregnant compared to women who don’t smoke. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have an underweight baby, which is defined as less than 5-1/2 pounds. Low birth weight babies are much more likely to die during the first month of life compared to babies who are of normal weight.
Doctor Mike Hansen
Internal Medicine | Pulmonary Disease | Critical Care Medicine
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