By reducing oxygen flow and the body’s ability to heal, it is widely known that smoking can lead to a broad range of health risks. The Surgeon General announced last year that smoking and tobacco use have been linked to even more illnesses than what was previously thought. Some of the new additions to this list include: Type 2 Diabetes, cleft palate birth defects and rheumatoid arthritis. Find out more about some of the negative side effects of smoking here:
As less oxygen is able to reach your lungs, smoking can make it much harder to catch your breath during physical activity, especially any type of cardio exercise. Once this type of ongoing breathing trouble starts to occur, it is not uncommon for smokers to start avoiding exercise altogether. For women in particular, smoking can speed up the loss of overall bone density.
A lack of exercise can be detrimental to the entire body, and the spine is no exception. When the spine isn’t able to function properly, the effects can be widespread. One study from John Hopkins University that took place over several decades found a link between smoking and spine degeneration/back pain. One cause of the lumbar back pain was found to be a result of the smokers’ coughing that puts extra stress on the discs.
As the nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to tighten up, blood flow is restricted, which leads to slower healing time when your body has a wound. It’s not only cuts and bruises that heal more slowly though, even a common cold can linger longer than it should if your immune system has been compromised by tobacco use. In short- quitting smoking will help both your immune system and your nervous system to work much more efficiently!
While quitting smoking may be no easy task, having the right support system is often an important factor in giving up any bad habit for good. An accountability partner might just be the extra motivation you need to be successful! You can also find helpful tips online on websites such aswww.smokefree.gov.