It’s amazing how much you can get away with doing that is unhealthy in your 20s and still feel perfectly fine. But even if you feel fine right now, if you are smoking, you’re damaging your health in many ways – some unseen and some that may not show up for many years.
The Dangers of Smoking – Even in Your 20s
If you smoke, you’re probably getting sick more often than a non-smoker. It may be simple, like more coughing and more clods, but it can get more serious than that and make you more susceptible to pneumonia and even emphysema. Smoking is so bad for you that it causes more than 80 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
In addition to the commonly known illnesses that smoking causes, it also increases the risk of blindness, type 2 diabetes, erectile dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, hip fractures, colon cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cleft lip and cleft palate, fertility issues, and gum disease. In other words, it’s bad for you.
In some ways, people in their 20s are super-protected from any immediate signs of these illnesses due to youth. But they’re happening, and as each day progresses, you become more at risk as a smoker.
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Having said that, you can quit. Quitting smoking is one of the most consequential actions that you can take to improve and protect your health. Not only that – if you stop smoking before you have kids, you reduce the chances that they’ll smoke too.
To quit smoking, you’ll want to follow expert recommendations that have been developed from years of study.
- Go Cold Turkey – Even though this may seem hard, it’s the most successful way to quit. Just stop smoking and don’t let any amount of desire let you pick it up. The addictive chemicals will be gone within 48 hours; the rest is entirely behavioral.
- Know Why You Need to Quit – Knowing why you need to quit is going to help you keep avoiding smoking. When you know and accept the science behind why smoking makes you ill, it’s hard to avoid it.
- Talk to Your Doctor – Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication to help you with the withdrawal, but some studies show that medications like Chantix don’t really increase your chances of stopping for good and may in fact delay it. But if you’ve tried on your own and failed, it might help you.
- Know What Will Happen – Knowing how your body recovers from smoking, and the side effects of quitting that you may experience at first when you stop, is going to be helpful in avoiding any surprises. If you expect to feel nervous and anxious, you may be able to mitigate it by distracting yourself with a nice massage or other activity.
Finally, if you really want to quit smoking, get help. Surround yourself with others who don’t smoke and who want to be healthy too. Act like you’re a non-smoker by filling your time with things non-smokers do. You will never regret quitting smoking.