From reducing your chances of losing your hearing to having a higher sex drive, here are ten of the most overlooked issues linked to smoking:
1. Decrease your risk of hearing loss
Smokers are more than 14.1% likely to develop hearing loss later in life than non-smokers. Experts say that the toxins in tobacco products and the damage smoking does to blood vessels both have a negative impact on ear health!
2. Your hands and feet won’t feel cold in the winter months
Smokers often complain about having cold hands and feet during the winter, and for good reason. Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels, which increases your chance of developing circulation problems. If you quit, you’ll improve the flow of blood to your extremities and enjoy toastier hands and feet in the chillier months.
3. You’ll have a higher sex drive
It’s well known that smoking is a major cause of impotence and male smokers are more likely to have problems achieving and maintaining erections. However, studies show that smoking reduces libido and sexual arousal in both men and women. Quit today and see an improvement in the bedroom.
4. Wounds will heal quicker
Cuts and bruises take longer to heal as you get older, and smoking makes the whole healing process even slower. Smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to the tissues and makes your blood ‘sticky’ which hinders healing. It’s no wonder surgeons ask patients to give up the habit pre- and post op.
5. You’ll get less acid reflux
Smoking often increases heartburn symptoms. The nicotine in cigarettes relaxes the sphincter muscle in the lower oesophagus, allowing stomach acid to back up. Smokers also have an increased amount of stomach acid, which reduces saliva production and damages the lining of the oesophagus!
6. You’ll reduce your chances of developing AMD, cataracts and blindness
To properly look after your eyes, you’ll need to quit smoking! According to RNIB, smoking doubles your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness. Smokers also have a higher chance of getting cataracts compared to non-smokers.
7. You’ll have stronger bones
Smoking is linked with low bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. This weakening of the bones puts smokers at a higher risk of fracture, including fractures of the wrist, ankles and hips. Quit for your bones sake!
8. You’ll think more clearly
Smoking can worsen memory problems in older people, and can even heighten the risk of dementia. It’s been found to thin the cerebral cortex of the brain and several studies have shown that smokers are more prone to cognitive decline than non-smokers or quitters. Thankfully, much of the damage can be repaired if you stop smoking in time.
9. You’ll be less likely to snore
Smoking irritates the nasal passages causing inflammation and congestion, making it harder to breathe through the nose, increasing the likelihood of snoring.
10. You can make a difference to your children
If you’re a new mother there’s a higher risk that your baby could develop asthma in childhood, especially if you smoked during pregnancy. Babies and children who are raised in a household where there’s smoking have more ear infections, colds, bronchitis and other lung and breathing problems compared to children raised in non-smoking families.