For My Health

Which statements ring true?

  • I feel tired and lousy a lot of the time.

    Cigarettes decrease the amount of oxygen that gets into your blood stream, which is one of the major reasons why smokers often feel much more tired than their non-smoking counterparts. Inhaled tobacco smoke can make its way to the smallest parts of the lung and thereby interfere with normal gas exchange.

  • I have trouble breathing and it's hard to catch my breath.

    Similar to the above, the tar and toxins that get stuck in your lungs inhibit your body's ability to absorb oxygen, which makes breathing and catching your breath much more difficult.

  • I wish I wasn't addicted to nicotine.

    Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, in part because it is so quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, which gives you an adrenaline rush and a bit of a 'buzz'. However, don't forget that as the buzz fades away, feelings of tiredness and apathy begin to reappear.

  • I want to be more active.

    Smoking greatly affects your ability to lead an active lifestyle. Whether you want to be able to cycle up and down a mountain or just go for nice long walks in the park, quitting smoking is the first step to feeling better in your own skin and being able to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

  • I think smoking makes me look and smell bad.

    Although many smokers aren't aware of how prevalent this is, cigarette smoke clings to your clothes and your hair. What's more, the smoke from a cigarette can linger in your lungs for as much as a few hours! The chemicals in cigarettes also often stay in your mouth and can cause bad breath that way as well. With changing attitudes about smoking, quitting can help you avoid this severe social stigma.

  • I'm worried about having a heart attack or a stroke.

    Smoking alone increases your chances of having severe health issues, two of which are a heart attack or stroke. Did you know that within just 20 minutes of quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure start to drop? If you stick with it, after 5 years of having quit you can reduce your risk of stroke to that of a non-smoker.

  • I want to live a long life.

    Smoking leads to an earlier death – plain and simple. In fact, smoking reduces your life expectancy by about ten years! But quitting can change this: even after just one year of having quit, your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke will drop to less than half that of a smoker.

Activity

If any of these statements sound familiar, create a list of reasons why you want to quit and add them to it. Post your list where you can see it every day so you're reminded why quitting is important to you. Take a look at your list when the going gets tough and use it to find your inspiration again.