Smoking cigarettes is a habit many people find difficult to break. This is because of the physical and emotional addiction smoking causes. There are addictive chemicals in cigarettes, so it is possible for the body to grow dependent, just as it would on any drug. There are also emotional issues related to smoking. The activity offers comfort to many and is as much a social past-time as it is a bad habit. Unfortunately, smoking is a habit that can lead to premature death. The National Cancer Institute estimates cigarette estimates 443,000 deaths each year are caused by smoking.

If you are still smoking, it is important to quit as soon as possible. Everyday you smoke takes time off your life. It creates an increased risk for health problems and damages your body. The sooner you quit the sooner your body can begin repairing itself. Why is it important to stop smoking as soon as possible?

Quitting Reduces Your Risk of Developing Lung Cancer
Perhaps the most common danger associated with smoking is lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80% of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking. When you smoke, you inhale the smoke into your lungs. It is filled with carcinogens that stick around after you exhale. These carcinogens have a destructive effect on your bodys cells and damage the tissue in the lungs. Over time, damaged tissue can develop into cancer.

Quitting Reduces Your Risk for Other Diseases
As if reducing your risk for lung cancer were not enough, quitting also means you are less likely to develop other diseases. Smokers suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis. They can also develop gum disease and vision problems. Smoking can also cause heart disease and stroke. An increased risk for mouth and tongue cancer is also attributed to smoking.

Quitting Lowers the Risk of Developing Secondary Cancers
The majority of health professionals agree that smoking is a direct cause for many types of cancer. However, there are also a number of other cancers that are indirectly affected. For instance, there is no proof that smoking causes mesothelioma, but smokers with asbestos exposure (the primary cause of mesothelioma) have an 80% higher risk of developing this type of cancer. Smoking also exacerbates the spread of other cancers, so if you have been diagnosed with a cancer that is not smoking related, you still need to quit.

Quitting Reduces Health Risks for Those around You
If improving your own health is not enough to motivate you to quit, consider the health of your loved ones. Second hand smoke can create serious health problems and is estimated to be the cause of approximately 49,000 deaths per year. If you smoke and your spouse or children are exposed, you are harming their health.

Quitting Improves Your Overall Health
People have a tendency to put off serious concerns about their health until the future, when it might be too late. If developing serious health problems from smoking seems light years away, consider how quitting can help you right now. By quitting, you will improve your breathing and endurance, not to mention what it does for your social life!