Nowadays, smoking is considered a major epidemic because of the ill-effects it brings to millions of people who use tobacco. Smoking affects many parts of the body and may contribute to the development of many ailments including cancer, respiratory ailments, and cardiovascular diseases. Smokers are also more likely to develop hardening of the arteries, bronchitis, shortness of breath, or emphysema. In addition, smokers are twice as likely to experience heart attack compared to a non-smoker. Because of these health effects many health drives are focused on the need to quit smoking. However, despite the ill-effects of smoking many individuals are still engaged in this dreaded habit.

In 2005, more than 20% of adults in the United States smoke, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). While smoking rates among high school students have been on a decline since 1997, the rate of teenagers who smoke is equal to, and in some cases, higher than that of adults. The younger that a person starts smoking, the more likely will that person become a smoker as an adult. Studies show that smoking addiction immediately takes place after an individual tries smoking. This addiction is traced to nicotine, one of the active component of cigarettes. When people smoke, nicotine enters the body along with other chemicals and heads to the brain. As these chemicals enter the brain, they activate the pleasure cells and activate mood altering effects that give short-term pleasure. The earlier one starts smoking, the more likely they will develop into a continuing nicotine addiction which can lead to the development of many illnesses.

The nicotine and other poisonous chemicals in tobacco are also responsible for the development diseases like heart problems and some forms of cancer. Individuals who smoke may hurt their lungs each time they light a cigarette. Smoking may also hamper blood circulation and make it more difficult for blood to move around the body. This is the reason why many smokers tend to feel tired and fatigued. The longer an individual smokes the more the damage these substances may do to the body.

Here are other health problems that can be encountered by people who frequently smoke:

* bad breath

* stained teeth and gums

* smelly clothes

* difficulty keeping up with friends with sports activities

* high blood pressure

* increased risk of developing cataracts

* fertility problems

* acid taste in the mouth

* ulcer

* paler skin and more wrinkles

There are many other reasons to quit smoking-not just for smokers themselves but also for the people around them. Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy have heightened risks to be born prematurely and with low birth weight. Children whose parents smoke may have twice the risk of developing getting asthma, asthmatic bronchitis, and allergies. Quiting smoking may improve the health of smokers and the people around them.

There are many scientifically proven “quit smoking” products that are out in the market. However, these products cannot do all the work. Needless to say, a person who wants to quit smoking must have determination, discipline, and commitment to stop the habit permanently. Using these products can help a smoker cut the habit by making them more comfortable during the process of switching to a life without cigarettes. Many quit smoking products are available over the counter but it is still best to seek the prior approval of health professionals. A person needs to know the possible side effects and drug interactions that may be developed while under medication. With the right tools and attitude, quitting smoking can be easier than others think.

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