The benefits of quitting smoking are pretty intuitive, but the American Cancer Society would like you to be aware of just how many benefits there are. And while scientific research technically can’t prove that smoking causes cancer and overall bad health, everybody knows that it’s true because it’s a matter of common sense and more than just mere coincidence that smoking is strongly associated with developing cancer. But even if we know that it’s better to quit smoking, that doesn’t mean that it’s so easy to.
The reason it’s so hard to quit smoking is because of the addictive properties of nicotine. People can develop a physical or a psychological addiction to a drug, and with tobacco, they find themselves craving nicotine and developing an emotional dependence on it. At first, smoking gives people a high as the brain responds to the nicotine, but over time the body becomes accustomed to it and it needs higher and higher levels to achieve the same high that it used to at a lower level. They may also experience negative effects of withdrawal like headaches, shaking and insomnia, so smokers start to increase the amount that they smoke and it eventually becomes an addiction. The consequences of nicotine addiction are an increased risk of developing cancer, but there are many other consequences that are subtle but significant. You might find it harder to breathe, the smell of smoke surrounding you and pervading everywhere you go, your teeth becoming stained, impaired ability to think, less stamina, more anxiety, and less money due to spending it on cigarettes. And as you smoke, you’re also putting the people around you at risk, because other people can inhale the carcinogens and it can also be passed to an infant during pregnancy. Thus some of the benefits of quitting smoking are less risk of developing cancer, being able to breathe fresh air, your teeth looking whiter, the ability to think more clearly, more stamina, less anxiety, and money saved. When you stop abusing nicotine, you’ll realize that the benefits of quitting smoking extend to all areas of life, in terms of health, intelligence, social life and economics.
You can learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking by taking the Great American Smokeout Challenge, an event organized by the American Cancer Society which takes place on the 3rd Thursday of November. During this day, smokers quit smoking for 24 hours and participate in many activities like bonfires, rallies, athletic events, and talking with other people who are trying to quit smoking. It’s a time during which smokers can receive support and know that they’re not alone in trying to kick nicotine addiction.