In 2022, the online smoking resource Tobacco Atlas reported that there were around 1.3 billion cigarette smokers worldwide. This prevalence has led to increased awareness surrounding smoking’s adverse effects on health. However, less has been said about its impacts on an individual’s quality of life. Many people neglect that the effects of cigarettes extend beyond health and disrupt other factors of a smoker’s day-to-day living as well. Due to this lack of information, smokers may unknowingly suffer from other cigarette-induced issues.
In order to help, listed below are five ways cigarette smoking may be impacting your life, as well as ways to overcome them.
According to a 2022 study, nearly half of all Americans list their dental hygiene as a primary insecurity. As it is, smoking can play a big role in fostering further self-consciousness as it significantly affects the mouth. Tobacco smoke contains a multitude of chemicals, and many of these become a source of halitosis and discoloration.
One way to combat this is to use smokeless nicotine alternatives instead. There are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products that deliver controlled nicotine doses without the chemicals that affect dental health. This is exhibited by the ZYN wintergreen pouches on Prilla, which are discreet and infused with menthol. By simply tucking one under the lip, users can stave off cigarette cravings without impacting their breath or teeth. For a non-oral alternative, consumers can also opt for GlaxoSmithKline’s Nicoderm patches which are readily available on retailers like Amazon. These release nicotine through the skin and into the bloodstream without ever even coming into contact with the mouth.
Poor sleep quality
Smoking cigarettes can even disrupt sleep schedules as they can induce alertness. In fact, smoking has been linked to increased cases of insomnia and sleep apnea. Cigarettes have also been observed as a cause for shorter sleep durations. Getting sufficient sleep is essential for overall well-being as it can promote sharper cognitive skills, reduce stress, and prevent severe health conditions such as heart disease.
Today, most health experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. To accomplish this, a previous Evoclique article on healthy tips for men suggests establishing a sleep routine. Regardless of gender, this would discourage smoking before bed and help the body get into a sleeping rhythm. Some ways to create a sleep routine include sticking to a set bedtime, preparing your room for rest, and eliminating the use of stimulating gadgets or items after a predetermined time.
Cigarettes can also negatively impact people in professional settings by affecting their productivity. Smokers are more likely to take breaks than their non-smoking coworkers. A 2018 survey even revealed that smoke breaks caused more productivity loss in the workplace than external emergencies. Furthermore, cigarettes are known to target the brain and reduce concentration. It affects the cerebral cortex and weakens memory and learning skills. A healthy way to address both smoking and concentration issues is to do deep breathing exercises. This is a mindful practice that can reduce cigarette cravings and improve a person’s attention span.
A Frontiers study on the correlation between smoking and mental health has discovered that cigarettes increase the risk of depression and anxiety. A dependence on the habit is known to aggravate these mood disorders. In fact, one of smoking’s main withdrawal symptoms is mood and behavioral shifts.
A way to overcome this is to seek help and join a smoking cessation program. Some treatments, such as the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking Program, can offer resources to stop the habit and provide support during challenging moments. The chances of attempting to quit cigarettes alone are notoriously low, but studies have found that having support throughout treatment increased the chances of smokers successfully quitting by 40 to 80%. Some behavioral programs even promote a community approach, in which smokers can find support and motivation to not just quit but uplift their mental health.
Smoking, as a source of many health conditions, can significantly shorten an individual’s lifespan. Regular smokers shorten their lives by about 13 years on average. 1 in 4 heavy smokers never even reach the age of 65. A variety of diseases cause these premature deaths, but all of them are the result of cigarette smoking. As prevention, many experts advise quitting before the age of 40. A method that could help is to set a quitting goal. Commit to a date when you would want to stop the habit. Keep this timeline in mind and avoid any smoking triggers. Studies have proven that goal-setting like this increases the chances of achieving objectives by 25%, which can significantly benefit a smoker who wishes to quit.