Smoking is the leading cause of avoidable deaths in Canada. It kills more than 37,000 Canadians each year, including 10,400 in Québec. Still not sure you should quit? Here are 10 reasons that will—we hope—convince you to butt out for good!
Smoking increases the risk of...
1. … cancers
Smoking causes 30% of all cancer-related deaths in Canada. It is the direct cause of 85% of lung cancers. And smoking increases the risk of other cancers, including mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, bladder, kidney, colon and cervix.
2. ... heart disease
Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease and smokers are two to three times more likely to suffer from heart disease than non-smokers. Smoking also almost doubles the risk of stroke and is also linked to aortic aneurysms and angina.
3. … lung diseases
Smoking is the leading cause of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Smoking can also cause lung infections and complications due to asthma.
4. ... complications during pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy causes multiple risks to the pregnancy itself and to foetal development. Women who smoke are at greater risk of ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages and premature births than non-smokers. Cigarette smoke is also linked to lower birth weight, sudden infant death syndrome and birth defects like cleft palette. It can also affect the child’s development.
5. ... osteoporosis
Smoking is a risk factor for osteoporosis and smokers are at higher risk than non-smokers. While this disease can have mild symptoms at the beginning, it quickly leads to an increased risk of fractures that can be debilitating.
6. ... dental and mouth problems
It’s a little known fact that smoking can severely impact the health of your mouth. In fact, smoking puts you at risk for gum disease (gingivitis). It also causes tooth discoloration, cavities, increased build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, irreversible root exposure and bad breath. It also affects taste and smell. Plus, smoking is the leading cause of mouth and pharynx cancer.
7. … digestive problems
Smoking can also affect your digestive system. Nicotine increases the risk of stomach ulcers and duodenum. In addition, smoking leads to the development of heartburn.
8. ... impotence
It’s true! Smokers can experience erectile dysfunction. Impotence, or erectile dysfunction, is twice as likely to occur in smokers than non-smokers. Smoking constricts the blood vessels of the penis, reducing blood flow and inhibiting a proper erection.
9. ... infections
You may be surprised to learn that smoking increases the risk of infections by weakening the immune system. Smokers are more susceptible to colds, the flu, pneumonias and tuberculosis.
10. … insomnia
Unfortunately smoking and sleeping do not go very well together. Smokers have been observed to suffer from problems falling and staying asleep. Smoking also leads to snoring and sleep apnea which can both greatly affect the quality of sleep. For more information or help in order to quit smoking, don’t hesitate to talk to your pharmacist.
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