It is very hard to quit smoking. That’s because most people who smoke are truly addicted to the nicotine in the tobacco. Nicotine addiction can be as powerful as addiction to heroin or cocaine, and just as hard of a habit to break. But you can stop smoking, and it’s worth it.
Smoking looks sexy
Or at least, that's what the tobacco industry would like you to think. Well, it may look glamorous now, but just wait. Smoking causes deep wrinkles, and yellow teeth are a by-product of years of smoking. Smoking also contributes to osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, which can cause stooped posture and broken bones — not a pretty picture. In fact, women who smoke reach menopause at a younger age than non-smokers. And, as non-smokers can tell you, kissing someone who smokes is not tasty, let alone sexy.
I'll gain weight
You might, but there are a lot less destructive ways to lose the weight. Most people gain no more than 10 pounds. Planning a healthy diet and increasing your activity level will help keep off the pounds. Some of the medications used to help quit smoking can also assist in delaying weight gain.
I'll quit when I'm pregnant
It may be harder to get pregnant if you smoke, because smoking is a major cause of infertility. Women who smoke have an increased chance of miscarriage and complications during pregnancy. Also, it might take you a couple of attempts to actually stop smoking, so your chances of success with quitting are better the earlier you start.
One cigarette won't hurt
Yes, it will. Every cigarette you smoke takes minutes off your life, and keeps you in a nicotine-addicted state. And, if you smoke around other people, you're hurting them, especially if they have asthma, heart disease, allergies, or are very young.
I'm young—I'll quit in the next few years
Nearly all adult women who smoke started as teenagers. Most teenagers who smoke daily don't expect to continue smoking, but most are still smoking five years later.
I smoke light cigarettes, so it's not so bad
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these so-called "light" cigarettes have the same ingredients as regular cigarettes, including lead, ammonia, benzene, DDT, butane gas, carbon monoxide, arsenic, and polonium 210.
Breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women
Nope, it's lung cancer. The increasing number of deaths due to lung cancer is directly linked to increased rates of smoking in women. Also, the number one killer of women is heart disease and a major risk factor for heart disease is smoking.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, June 20, 2013
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