Why should you quit smoking?

If you or a loved one needs more incentive to quit smoking, here are some reasons you may not be aware of that are very valid reasons to make the decision.

It is well known that smoking causes lung cancer, pulmonary emphysema and heart disease, yet millions of people continue to smoke. Here, we’ve compiled a list of little-known reasons why your life could be in danger if you don’t kick the habit.


From an increased risk of blindness to a more rapid decline in mental function, here are compelling – and surprising – reasons to keep your commitment.



1.-Alzheimer’s disease – Affects mental function.


In the elderly, the rate of mental decline is up to five times faster in smokers than in nonsmokers, according to a study of 9,200 men and women over age 65. Participants took standardized tests for mental impairment when they entered the study and again two years later. Higher rates of mental decline were found in men and women, and in people with or without a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers reported in an issue of Neurology.


Smoking likely triggers a vicious cycle of arterial damage, clotting, and increased risk of stroke, causing mental deterioration, writes researcher A. Ott, MD, a medical microbiologist at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands.


The bottom line: the study provides substantial evidence that chronic tobacco use is harmful to the brain and accelerates the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.



2.-Lupus – Smoking increases the risk of contracting autoimmune diseases.


Cigarette smoking increases the risk of developing lupus, but quitting smoking reduces that risk, an analysis of nine studies shows.


Systemic lupus erythematosus, known as lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation, pain, and tissue damage throughout the body. Although some people with lupus have mild symptoms, it can become quite severe.


For the analysis, the Harvard researchers reviewed studies that examined the link between smoking and lupus. Among current smokers, there was “a small but significant increased risk” for developing lupus, they report. Former smokers did not have this increased risk, according to the study.



3.-Risk during pregnancy or for young children


Smoking increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, a European analysis shows.


The researchers matched 745 cases of SIDS to more than 2,400 live babies for comparison and concluded that nearly half of all deaths were due to babies sleeping on their stomachs or sides. Approximately 16% of SIDS deaths were related to bed sharing, but for unknown reasons, bed sharing was particularly risky when the mother smoked. The risk was very small when mothers did not smoke during pregnancy, the researchers say.


Maternal smoking alone was associated with a doubling of the risk of SIDS. However, the risk was 17 times higher for infants who shared a bed and had mothers who smoked.



4.-Possible erectile dysfunction


Men concerned about their performance in the bedroom should quit smoking, suggests a study that linked smoking to a man’s ability to have an erection. The study of nearly 5,000 Chinese men showed that men who smoked more than a pack a day were 60% more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction, compared to men who never smoked cigarettes.



5.-Blindness – Smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration.


Smokers are four times more likely to go blind from age-related macular degeneration than those who have never smoked. But quitting smoking can reduce that risk, according to other research.


Age-related macular degeneration is a serious, progressive condition that results in the loss of central vision. It results in blindness due to the inability to use the part of the retina that allows “direct” activities such as reading, sewing, and even driving a car. While not all risk factors are fully understood, research has pointed to smoking as an important and modifiable cause.



6.- Rheumatoid arthritis


People whose genes make them more susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis are even more likely to get the disease if they smoke, Swedish researchers say.


In fact, certain genetically vulnerable smokers may be nearly 16 times more likely to develop the disease than nonsmokers without the same genetic profile, according to the study published in an issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.


Swedish researchers asked participants about their smoking habits and tested their blood for a gene-encoding protein sequence called the shared epitope (SE), which is the main genetic risk factor currently linked to rheumatoid arthritis. Compared to people who had never smoked and lacked SE genes, current smokers with SE genes were 7.5 times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.



7.-Dysphonia (hoarseness)


Smoking – or living with a smoker – can cause snoring, according to a study of more than 15,000 men and women.


Habitual snoring, defined as loud and disturbing snoring at least three nights a week, affected 24% of smokers, 20% of former smokers and almost 14% of never smokers. The more people smoked, the more common snoring became, researchers reported in the October issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.



8.-Stomach reflux


People who smoke for more than 20 years are 70 percent more likely to have acid reflux disease than nonsmokers, researchers reported in the November issue of the journal Gut.



9.-Breast cancer


Other research conducted in 2004 shows that active smoking may play a much larger role in increasing breast cancer risk than previously thought.


The prevalence of breast cancer among current smokers was 30% higher than among women who had never smoked, regardless of whether nonsmokers had been exposed to secondhand or passive smoke.



If these reasons weren’t enough to motivate you to quit smoking, keep this in mind:


Smoking is linked to certain colon cancers.

Smoking may increase the risk of depression in young people,

Some studies have linked smoking to thyroid disease.



Now that you know this, what do you think about smoking? Do you consider it a healthy habit?