Why You Must Quit Smoking: A Comprehensive Update on Health Risks

You must quit smoking if you want better health, longevity, and wellbeing. We present evidence for the great dangers that smokers face

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Habits formed in early life often become deeply ingrained, posing significant challenges to break. Cigarette smoking exemplifies one such perilous habit, which borders on addiction. In this article we aim to shed light on the dangers of smoking while updating information to reflect the latest studies and findings.

10 reasons why you should quit smoking right away

1. Death & Disease

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable diseases and deaths globally. Numerous studies corroborate the link between smoking and various health issues, including cancer of the mouth, throat, and lungs, as well as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, high blood pressure, elevated LDL cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke [1]. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, with approximately 60 identified or suspected carcinogens [2].

2. Difficulty in Breathing

Smoking leads to the accumulation of tar in the lungs, impeding oxygen flow and causing chronic respiratory issues. However, quitting smoking allows your lungs to recover, gradually reducing tar build-up and improving respiratory function [3].

3. Depression

Recent research underscores a significant association between smoking and an increased risk of depression. When you quit smoking, it not only enhances your physical health but also positively impacts your mental health, providing you with a sense of control over your life.[4]

4. Bad Influence for Your Kids

Children of smokers are more likely to view smoking as “cool” and are at an increased risk of taking up the habit themselves. The negative impact extends to reduced physical activity and potential health risks like atherosclerosis and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)[5].

5. Nutritional Defects

Children of smokers often experience poor nutrition and awareness. When parents quit smoking, it allows them to become positive role models, influencing not only their own children but also others in the community [6].

6. Second-hand Danger

Secondhand smoke exposes non-smokers to increased risks of lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems, emphasizing the importance of creating smoke-free environments [7].

7. Pregnancy Complications

Smoking during pregnancy is linked to ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight, birth defects, and an increased risk of premature delivery. Expectant mothers should quit smoking for maternal and fetal health [8].

Related » Pregnant smokers care less about their unborn baby

8. Reduced Sperm Count

Male smokers may experience lower sperm count and genetic mutations in sperm, leading to infertility and impotence [9]. If you are having trouble conceiving, try to quit smoking.

9. Premature wrinkles

When you quit smoking, you age more slowly. There is scientific merit to the claim that smoking can lead to premature skin aging and the development of wrinkles. Smoking has been linked to accelerated skin aging, and several studies support this association. [10,11]

10. Bad Breath and Unpleasant Body Odor

Lastly, smoking not only affects the appearance of your skin but also leaves an enduring mark on your breath and overall body odor. The chemicals present in tobacco smoke can lead to persistent bad breath, commonly known as halitosis. Additionally, the unpleasant odor of cigarettes tends to cling to smokers’ hair, clothes, and surroundings, creating an undesirable aura. This double impact on personal hygiene can be socially off-putting, affecting not only the smoker’s self-perception but also how they are perceived by others. Quitting smoking not only improves oral and overall hygiene but also contributes to a more pleasant and inviting presence.

Summing up

Smoking not only adversely affects individual health but also has far-reaching consequences for family, society, and future generations. Quitting smoking is a vital step towards better health, longevity, and overall wellbeing. The evidence presented highlights the urgency and importance of addressing this pervasive issue.


[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). Smoking and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General.

[2] International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2004). Tobacco Smoke and Involuntary Smoking. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, 83.

[3] Anthonisen, N. R., Skeans, M. A., Wise, R. A., Manfreda, J., Kanner, R. E., Connett, J. E., & Lung Health Study Research Group. (2005). The Effects of a Smoking Cessation Intervention on 14.5-Year Mortality. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142(4), 233–239.

[4] Pasco, J. A., Williams, L. J., Jacka, F. N., Ng, F., Henry, M. J., Nicholson, G. C., Kotowicz, M. A., & Berk, M. (2008). Tobacco Smoking as a Risk Factor for Major Depressive Disorder: Population-Based Study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 193(4), 322–326.

[5] American Heart Association. (2019). Children and Secondhand Smoke.

[6] Orton, S., Jones, L. L., Cooper, S., Lewis, S., & Coleman, T. (2012). Predictors of Children’s Secondhand Smoke Exposure at Home: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis of the Evidence. PLOS ONE, 7(12), e51900.

[7] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.

[8] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). Women and Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General.

[9] Sharma, R., Harlev, A., Agarwal, A., & Esteves, S. C. (2016). Cigarette Smoking and Semen Quality: A New Meta-analysis Examining the Effect of the 2010 World Health Organization Laboratory Methods for the Examination of Human Semen. European Urology, 70(4), 635–645.

[10] Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2002 investigated the impact of smoking on facial wrinkles. The researchers found a significant association between smoking and the development of wrinkles, particularly around the mouth and eyes.

[11] Ernster, V. L., Grady, D., Miike, R., Black, D., Selby, J., & Kerlikowske, K. (2002). Facial wrinkling in men and women, by smoking status. American Journal of Public Health, 92(2), 288-293.

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