Benefits of Kicking the Habit By Annie Hubka, CNP

March 19th, 2013 · No Comments

This time of year is notorious for resolutions. Whether you vowed to work up a sweat more often or tackle the daunting messy closets, there is one habit everyone should toss out with the trash.  Instead of focusing on what you have to lose, keep your eyes on the prize! We all know kicking the smoking habit has many heart and lung benefits. But did you know it’s basically a total body makeover?

 Prevent premature aging: Smoking releases toxins that increase the breakdown of collagen. Collagen is found in your skin and prevents sagging and wrinkles. Smoking can also lead to destruction of hair follicles, resulting in hair thinning.

 Put your best foot forward: The distinct smell isn’t the only turn off associated with smoking. Smoking causes yellowing of the nails and teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes leads to a decrease in saliva, which puts you at risk for not only bad breath, but gum disease too. Another thing to keep in mind is the growing number of smoke free work campuses. Don’t let smoking keep you from your dream career!

 Breathe Better: Spend your paid time off at work on relaxation and traveling, not using it as sick leave. Smoking impairs the function of your nose and lungs, lending you more susceptible to becoming sick. It also diminishes your sense of smell and taste.  Shortly after quitting smoking, you will notice your lung function, sense of smell and taste begin to return!

 Go Green: Add years to your life and money to your bank account. The cost of smoking one pack per day in 2012, cost approximately $2,000 per year. That’s enough for a tropical get-away each year!

 If you are considering or ready to quit, don’t go at it alone. Studies show people who take part in support groups or counseling are more likely to remain tobacco-free. For more information on quitting smoking contact your physician or one of these organizations:

 http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/cessation/index.htm

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index

http://www.mayoclinic.org/stop-smoking

 Annie is a Certified Nurse Practitioner in Otorhinolaryngology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

This information is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your physician for individual advice.

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Related posts:

  1. Living Tobacco Free: Health benefits of quitting smoking
  2. 2011: A great year to choose to live tobacco-free!
  3. Helping Kids to Quit Smoking

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