Facts and Myths about Smoking

Even smokers who really want to quit sometimes rationalise their habit by embracing misconceptions about smoking. If you are still rationalising you are not ready to quit. You need to accept the facts and myths about smoking and realise that every cigarette you smoke is taking you closer to ill health in one form or another. Examine each of the facts and myths about smoking and accept the truth about your habit.

Myths about Smoking

  1. Smoking helps me handle stress.

    Many people smoke when they are stressed because they believe the smoking helps calm their nerves. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nicotine is a stimulant that will never make you feel calm. It is your belief that the cigarette calms you that has the effect. By smoking you are able to overcome the stressful situation as well as the stimulation from the nicotine in the smoke. So the cigarette hasn't helped the situation except to make you realise you had the inner strength to overcome the stress in the first place. Without the cigarette, if you had as much belief in yourself as you have in the smoke you would have handled the situation yourself.

  2. I only smoke occasionally so I am probably OK.

    There is no safe level of smoking - every cigarette you smoke is doing your body harm. Tobacco contains over 4000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. 40 of them are known to cause cancer. Smoking is the direct cause of many diseases. This year 18,000 Australian smokers will die from a disease caused by their smoking. That's 1,500 a month! And one cigarette a day may be all that it takes.

  3. My father smoked all his life and he didn't get cancer but my neighbour didn't ever smoke and she got cancer.

    Smoking is not the only cause of cancer, or heart disease or chronic bronchitis or emphysema or even stillborn babies but it is implicated in 18,000 deaths in Australia each year. All of them probably thought it would never happen to them. Don't play Russian Roulette with smoking - your chances of losing are too high. Six out of ten smokers will suffer death or disease from something related to cigarette smoke and not one of these is a pleasant way to live or die.

  4. I smoke low-tar cigarettes so I will be OK

    Quite simply, there are no "safe" low-tar cigarettes. If cigarettes in any form were to come onto the market for the first time today they would be immediately banned for health reasons. A person aged 30 who has smoked twenty cigarettes a day since starting to smoke at 16 has taken in a kilogram of tar. Seems a stupid thing to do when you need your lungs to breath with.

  5. I have the will power to stop any time I want to. In fact I have given up many times.

    You may have temporarily stopped using cigarettes but you have never become a non-smoker. 80% of smokers who quit and think it is OK to have just one or two return to full-time smoking. This is partly because they still considered themselves as smokers (only non-smokers don't smoke) and partly because habits resist being changed by the use of will power. Don't be fooled - you can only quit smoking when you have become a non-smoker, and that requires a change of attitude that will produce a change in behaviour.

Facts about Smoking

Cigarette packs carry warnings about the dangers of smoking. In 2012 all advertising on cigarette packs was banned and they arel all the same dull shade of green. The links between smoking and disease have been researched more than any other cause of disease in history. Over 57,000 reports from around the world have centred on this study. It is one of the single most preventable causes of disease and death in Australia today, along with obesity.
  1. 20% of Australians are regular smokers. 80% of them have tried to quit at least once.

  2. In Australia, tobacco causes around 50 smokers to die each day. That's 350 each week, 1,500 a month - around 18,000 each year!

  3. The present lung cancer epidemic would not exist were it not for cigarette smoking. It is an extremely rare disease in non-smokers and the risk is greatly reduced by quitting.

  4. Smokers are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers. Smokers have more narrowing and plugging of their arteries than non-smokers. These conditions can lead to fatal heart attacks.

  5. Smokers have far more bronchitis than non-smokers. Bronchitis gives smokers their smoker's cough and shortness of breath. It also can lead to pneumonia. Giving up brings relief from bronchitis.

  6. Non-smokers rarely get emphysema but it is common in heavy smokers. It results from a rotting of the lungs and breathing blowing holes in them. Breathing becomes difficult and painful. This disease is incurable and sometimes results in loss of limbs.

  7. Smokers are less fit than they should be. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke displaces oxygen in the blood, so muscles don't get enough oxygen to work properly. Even more serious is the fact that the brain and the heart are staved of oxygen. Is it any wonder smokers are less fit than they should be.

  8. Male smokers produce less sperm and their sperm is more prone to abnormalities.

  9. Women who smoke are more prone to miscarriage. Babies born to smoking mothers are more likely to be still-born (born dead). Their babies are more likely to be underweight and more likely to die soon after birth.

  10. Women who smoke while on the pill increase their risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases by about ten times.

Smokers typically suffer from shortness of breath, a persistent cough, poor fitness and a reduced sense of taste.

Smoking lowers blood pressure and decreases the flow of blood to the extremities. It causes cancer of the lung, throat, mouth, bladder, stomach, pancreas and cervix. But all is not lost!

There is good news! Quitting can reverse many of the risks caused by smoking. The body can rid itself of nicotine and carbon monoxide within 12 hours and the by-products of nicotine within a few days of quitting. Blood flow to the limbs improves in two months and in three months the lungs regain their capacity to clean themselves. If you are serious about quitting, you will find all of the good news here.

Check it out now.

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