Serious—but Often Overlooked—Reasons to Kick Your Smoking Habit

Everyone knows that cigarettes are dangerous to your health. Every pack comes with a warning–some of them even show graphic images of what smoking does to the organs. It’s the most preventable cause of death in the U.S., affecting smokers and non-smokers alike. Still, despite knowing that smoking causes emphysema, heart disease, and certain cancers, some people still can’t help but light up. To that end, here are a few more compelling reasons why you should seriously consider kicking the habit now (with vapes with no nicotine, perhaps?), if you know what’s good for you:

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Increases your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that primarily affects an individual’s central vision. In this disease, aging damages the macula–the part of your eye that is responsible for seeing what’s in front of you. Those who suffer from it, therefore, often find themselves unable to see things that are in front of them. They may also have a harder time seeing and recognizing faces, reading, or doing detail-oriented tasks. This degeneration of their central vision can also impair their ability to navigate their surroundings.

It is the leading cause of blindness in older individuals, and your risk for it heightens when you smoke. Studies show that, specifically, you become four times more likely to develop this disease–and become blind, as a result–than those who have never picked up a cigarette in their lives.

Increases your risk of developing mentally degenerative diseases
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the more serious brain disorders that has been linked to smoking. It is the most common type of dementia, and is a progressive disease: what first begins as mild memory loss can lead to a serious decline in cognitive abilities, such as continuing conversations or responding to what’s going on around you, which can significantly interfere with daily activities. People with dementia sometimes forget people they’ve known all their lives, as well as conversations they’ve just had. They often require round-the-clock assistance from a caregiver.

The rate of mental decline in smokers can be up to five times faster in smokers than in those who do not smoke. This is because smoking causes damage to the arteries and increases your risk of developing blood clots that can lead to a stroke, which is one of the main reasons for mental degeneration.

Makes you more susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes painful swelling, mainly in the joints. It is chronic and progressive; those who suffer from it report stiffness in their joints and generally feeling unwell. Over time, those who have rheumatoid arthritis often see deformities in the affected joints, which can affect mobility and function. They may find it difficult to grasp things or move around.

Those who are already genetically predisposed to having rheumatoid arthritis increase their risk of developing it if they smoke, according to research. They can be up to 16 times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than nonsmokers who share the same genetic profile, in fact.

Negatively affects your ability to have children
Smoking affects men and women differently, but one thing is for sure: the habit can make it harder to conceive and have children.

Research shows that, in men, smoking affects the shape or the morphology of the sperm. When sperm is oddly-shaped, it is less motile, which can make it more difficult to get to the egg, as well as initiate fertilization. Furthermore, smoking can reduce sperm concentration in men by up to 23%. Finally, studies show that sperm collected from smokers have increased DNA fragmentation, again causing issues when fertilizing an egg. Smoking has also been linked to erectile dysfunction, thus affecting a man’s ability to sexually perform.

Meanwhile, in women, smoking alters the composition of the mucus in the cervix, which makes it less receptive to sperm. The habit also decreases ovulatory response, making it harder to fertilize and implant a zygote. In addition, the toxic chemicals that enter the bloodstream when a pregnant woman smokes cigarettes increases the chances of premature birth, low birth weight, or the child being born with a birth defect.

Has various negative effects on children
Babies from smoking mothers are also at higher risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They are also more likely to contract various communicable infections, such as the common cold. Children born from women who smoke–and continued to do so while they were pregnant–also have a higher risk of having respiratory problems.

Smoking around a baby and exposing them to tobacco smoke also increases their risk of colic–frequent, prolonged, and intense crying.

Vapes with no nicotine, such as those offered by Cyclone Pods, are a great way to stop smoking now. They offer a wide variety of vapes with no nicotine products, from rechargeable vapes to disposable ones.

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