Why Quit Smoking?

Well, simply because you can! Yes, you can quit smoking. Millions of people have stopped after they have realised the ill effects of smoking and seriously deciding to put an end to that self harming habit.

I have compiled the following facts and information about smoking, hoping that by reading it YOU will consider making the life changing decision to stop the self harming habit of smoking.

Your Health:

The threat of cancer alone should be motivating enough to stop smoking! Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK, accounting for more than 1 in 5 deaths. Smoking causes almost 90% of lung cancer deaths.

The link between tobacco and cancer was established more than 50 years ago, but unfortunately it’s 2010 and smokers still don’t get it.

As well as lung cancer, smoking can cause cancer of the throat, oesophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), bladder, kidney, stomach, and pancreas. Smoking can also cause myeloid leukaemia, which is a form of cancer that affects the white blood cells that help to fight infection.

Smoking increases the risk of developing a number of other problems and diseases like heart disease, sexual problems, facial aging, fertility etc which may not be fatal, but can cause years of unpleasant symptoms and sufferings.

Poisons in Cigarettes:

When the harmless looking tobacco leaves, covered in classic white paper, burns, it releases about 4,000 chemicals that can be carried throughout the body via your blood vessels, including at least 80 cancer-causing chemicals such as:

Tar - a mixture of dangerous chemicals

Arsenic - used in wood preservatives

Benzene - an industrial solvent, refined from crude oil

Cadmium - used in batteries

Formaldehyde - used in paint manufacturing

Polonium-210 - a highly radioactive element

Chromium - used to manufacture dye, paints and alloys

1,3-Butadiene - used in rubber manufacturing

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - a group of dangerous DNA-damaging chemicals

Nitrosamines - another group of DNA-damaging chemicals

Acrolein - formerly used in chemical weapons

And many more . . .

There are also poisons in Cigarette Smoke, such as:

Hydrogen cyanide - used as an industrial pesticide

This chemical affects the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. In particular, in pregnant women who smoke, this causes a reduced amount of oxygen to get to the growing baby. This is thought to be the most important cause for the bad effects of smoking on the growing baby.

Carbon monoxide - found in car exhausts and used in chemicals manufacturing

Nitrogen oxides - a major component of smog

Ammonia - used to make fertilisers and explosives

And many more . . .

Cigarette smoke also contains the following:


Nicotine is a drug that stimulates the brain. If you are a regular smoker, when the blood level of nicotine falls you usually develop withdrawal symptoms such as craving, anxiety, restlessness, headaches, irritability, hunger, difficulty with concentration, or just feeling awful. These symptoms are relieved by the next cigarette.

This means most smokers need to smoke regularly to feel ‘normal’ and to prevent nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

Tar which contains many other chemicals:

These deposit in the lungs and can get into the blood vessels and be carried to other parts of the body.

Carbon monoxide:

Smoking in Pregnancy Increases the Risk of:

Miscarriage - Complications of pregnancy like premature birth, bleeding during pregnancy, detachment of the placenta, and ectopic pregnancy.

Low birth weight - Premature and low birth weight babies are more prone to illness and infections.

Congenital defects in the baby - such as cleft palate.

Stillbirth or death within the first week of life - the risk is increased by about one-third.

Poorer long-term growth, development, and health of the child.

Risks of Passive Smoking:

When you smoke, it is not just your health that is put at risk, but the health of anyone who breathes in your cigarette smoke.

Passive smoking increases a non-smoker's risk of lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Second-hand smoke makes children twice as much at risk of chest illnesses, including pneumonia, croup (swollen airways in the lungs) and bronchitis, and of more ear infections, wheezing and asthma. They also have three times the risk of getting lung cancer in later life compared with children who live with non-smokers.

Other Problems with Smoking:

Your breath, clothes, hair, skin, and home smell of stale tobacco. You do not notice the smell if you smoke, but to non-smokers the smell is obvious and unpleasant.

Life insurance is more expensive.

Finding a job may be more difficult as employers know that smokers are more likely to have sick leave than non-smokers. More than 34 million working days (1% of total) are lost each year because of smoking-related sick leave.

Potential friendships and romances may be at risk. (Smoking is not the attractive thing that cigarette advertisers portray.)

The Rewards of Quitting:

Longer Life

Half of all long-term smokers die early from smoking-related diseases, including heart disease, lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Men who quit smoking by 30 add 10 years to their life. People who kick the habit at 60 add three years to their life. In other words, it’s never too late to benefit from stopping. Quitting not only adds years to your life, but it also greatly improves the chance of a disease-free, mobile, happier old age.

Fuller Pocket

Smoking not only damages your health but also your wallet. By quitting you’ll save over £1800 per year, if you smoked 20 a day.

Less Stress:

Yes! it does say less stress! Scientific studies show that peoples’ stress levels are actually lower after they stop smoking. Nicotine addiction makes smokers stressed from the ‘withdrawal’ between cigarettes. The pleasant feeling of satisfying that craving is only temporary and is not a real cure for stress. Also, the improved levels of oxygen in the body mean that ex-smokers can concentrate better and have increased mental wellbeing.

Improved Senses:

Kicking the smoking habit gives your sense of smell and taste a boost. The body recovers from being dulled by the hundreds of toxic chemicals found in cigarettes.

More Energy:

Within weeks of stopping smoking the circulation improves. This makes all physical activity, including walking and running, much easier. Quitting boosts the immune system, making it easier to fight off colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body makes ex-smokers less tired and less likely to have headaches.

Better Sex:

Stopping smoking improves the body’s blood flow, so improves sensitivity. Men who stop smoking may get better erections. Women may find that their orgasms improve and they become aroused more easily. It’s also been found that non-smokers are three times more appealing to the opposite sex than smokers (one of the advantages, perhaps, of smelling fresh).

Improved Fertility:

Non-smokers find it easier to get pregnant. Quitting smoking improves the lining of the womb and can make men’s sperm more potent. Becoming a non-smoker increases the possibility of conceiving through IVF and reduces the likelihood of having a miscarriage. Most importantly, it improves the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Younger Looking Skin:

Stopping smoking has been found to slow facial ageing and delay the appearance of wrinkles. The skin of a non-smoker gets more nutrients, including oxygen, and can reverse the sallow, lined complexion that smokers often have.

Whiter Teeth:

Giving up tobacco stops teeth becoming stained, and you'll have fresher breath. Ex-smokers are less likely than smokers to get gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely.

Better Breathing:

People breathe more easily and cough less when they give up smoking because their lung capacity improves by up to 10% within nine months.

Healthier Loved Ones:

By stopping smoking you'll be protecting the health of your non-smoking friends and family.

Quitting is good for their health as well as yours.

Stopping smoking is not easy but it can be done. To be successful you have to really want to stop and you have to be ready. You’ll improve your odds of success if you get help. The NHS has a range of free services on offer but if you are ready and want to quit smoking as soon as possible, then hypnotherapy is an effective way to stop the smoking addiction. You can be free of the habit after a single session of therapy with a competent hypnotherapist.

Now that you know the facts about smoking, the decision is up to you. Do you still want to carry on smoking or is this the time for YOU to stop?

Humaira Ansari



NHS. (2010). 10 health benefits of stopping smoking. Available: nhs.uk/Livewell/smoking/Pages/Betterlives.aspx. Last accessed 2nd Dec 2010.

Cancer Research UK. (2010). Smoking and Cancer. Available: info.cancerresearchuk.org/healthyliving/smokingandtobacco/. Last accessed 1st Dec 2010.

Patient UK. (2010). The Benefits of Stopping Smoking. Available: patient.co.uk/health/Smoking-The-Benefits-of-Stopping.htm. Last accessed 25th Nov 2010.

Various Factsheets. (2010). Stop Smoking. Available: ash.org.uk/stopping-smoking. Last accessed 29th Nov 2010.

Hypnotherapy Manchester with Leading UK Master Hypnotherapist Humaira Ansari.

Author's Bio: 

A fully-qualified, registered and award-winning hypnotherapist, hypno-psychologist, NLP practitioner and life coach, Humaira takes a holistic approach to helping her clients, combining different therapeutic methods where appropriate to answer their individual requirements.