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Why Smoking Is a Bad Habit

author image Connie Peete
Connie Peete is a writer specializing in personal finance and health topics. She holds an associate's degree in secretarial science and information processing from the Bryant & Stratton Business Institute.
Why Smoking Is a Bad Habit
It's hard to quit smoking, but it's well worth trying. Photo Credit smokers image by Dmitri MIkitenko from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Smoking is a hard habit for many people to break. A cigarette is perfect with a cup of coffee, tea or alcoholic drink. It eases stress and worry. It provides something to do with your hands when socializing with friends and family. Unfortunately, cigarette smoking is also the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute website. Smoking is responsible for one of out five deaths, and 38,000 deaths are caused by exposure to second-hand smoke. What more can be said about the detrimental effects of smoking?

Health Risks

Lung cancer is the leading cancer death among both men and women in the U.S. Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, alcohol, illegal drug use, car accidents, suicides and murders combined, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention website. Smoking increases the risk of other cancers, such as kidney, bladder, cervix and pancreatic cancer. Smokers are at a higher risk for heart attack than nonsmokers, and smoking contributes to chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis.


Cigarette smoking may look sophisticated and cool, but it leaves you with bad-smelling breath, skin, hair and clothes. People around you also end up smelling like cigarette smoke even if they are nonsmokers. Smoking also stains the teeth, causes gum disease and premature wrinkling of the skin.


According to the Family Doctor website, smoking decreases stamina, raises blood pressure and heart rate, contributes to breathing problems and increases the risk of acid reflux and stomach ulcers. Every puff you take exposes your body to toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke.


According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, smoking causes heart disease. It narrows the blood vessels, impairing circulation and increasing the risk for peripheral vascular disease--obstruction of large arteries in the legs and arms. Smoking also causes abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Other Effects

Smoking can increase the risk of stillbirth, low birth weight, infertility, premature birth and sudden infant death syndrome. Women who smoke have a lower bone density than non-smoking women.


Kicking the smoking habit requires a commitment to a lifestyle change. It will require understanding why you smoke and identifying the stresses that make you reach for a cigarette. Keep a diary of your smoking habits and ask your doctor to work out a plan to deal with situations that make you want to smoke. Your doctor can recommend support groups you can reach out to. Also ask your doctor about nicotine replacement products that reduces nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

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