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10 Common Smoking Myths Debunked

Nowadays, the government and the media have made it their mission to inform people of how smoking a cigarette can devastate your health. Smoking puts you at a major health risk, as the nicotine flows through your veins. But, there are many myths and facts on smoking that you aren't aware of. This article will debunk all your smoking-related myths.

While global smoking trends have declined, people still smoke a lot and these smokers aren't aware of the potential harm they are causing to their bodies. Though everyone knows how smoking can be bad for you and hard to quit; there is a lot of misinformation out there.

smoking myths debunked

This misinformation often causes people to take the health risks posed by smoking less or causes people to greatly over exaggerate the damage caused by smoking.

You surely know how smoking is bad for you. But, you still might be surprised at just what it does. Have a look at the smoking myths debunked.

1. Myth: If You've Been Smoking For More Than 5 Years, The Damage Is Already Done

Fact: Long-term smokers often have the perception that the damage has already been done and so there is no real benefit to quitting. However the fact is, the sooner you stop smoking, the better. But no matter how long you've smoked, quitting it will give your heart and lungs a chance to improve. For example, if you have been smoking around for 5 years, stopping it will significantly reduce your chances of having a heart attack. In some cases, after 15 years of not smoking, the risk of having a heart attack is almost the same as someone who has never smoked at all.

2. Myth: Occasional Smoking Is Fine

Fact: Those people who are struggling to quit smoking believe that having an occasional cigarette will not harm their body. However, doctors believe that this is still harmful. Even having small amounts of nicotine inside your body can damage the blood vessels and make your blood more likely to clot.

3. Myth: Smoking Helps Manage The Stress Levels

Fact: Opting for a cigarette is a way of managing stress, which might offer a short-term relief. But in the long run, it could lead to a heavier smoking habit. According to a doctor, the nicotine alters the balance of the two chemicals in the brain - dopamine and noradrenaline. When these levels are altered by nicotine, smokers feel a stress relief and feelings of enjoyment. This changes their mood and the brain adapts quickly to these new levels of nicotine-induced pleasure.

4. Myth: Switching To 'Lights' Can Help You Quit Later

Fact: A common compromise that smokers do is trying to kick the quitting habit by swapping in light cigarettes. In fact, this does little to improve your chances of quitting and the chances are, you won't stop later. The real fact is that light cigarettes contain about the same amount of tar as a regular cigarette does. Lights cigarette actually refers to the taste and flavour of the tobacco and not its tar content.

5. Myth: Nicotine Replacement Products Are As Addictive As Smoking

Fact: Most smokers often believe that nicotine replacements are just as addictive as smoking itself, which makes them a less-than-desirable option. But, this is not the case always. People who use nicotine replacement products do not become dependent on them and that is why people don't use enough of it for long. The nicotine from gum and other things is released into your system much more slowly and in a different way than nicotine from a cigarette.

6. Myth: Quitting Smoking Makes You Gain Weight

Fact: Often, smokers believe that quitting smoking will lead to weight gain. But doctors say that, quitting smoking will lead people to seek out other pleasures such as food. There is increasing evidence to prove that smoking causes a build-up of visceral fat - toxic fatty tissue around the intestines. So, the more you smoke, the more likely you are to store fat in your abdomen rather than the thighs and hips. Quitting smoking and starting exercise can help you get rid of the visceral fat.

7. Myth: E-Cigarettes Aren't Harmless

Fact: A surgeon in the United States found out that the aerosol in e-cigarettes can contain damaging chemicals, including nicotine, flavourings linked to lung disease, heavy metal and ultra-fine particles you can inhale into your lungs. The long-term effects of smoking e-cigarettes are much worse, which smokers aren't even aware of.

8. Myth: Smoking Isn't So Bad If You Have Nutritious Foods

Fact: Smokers believe that working out, eating your fruits and vegetables and taking care of yourself will balance the harmful effects of smoking. But, the fact is, every cigarette that you smoke is doing you damage. Cigarettes are the leading cause of dangerous diseases and death in the country. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body, plus it can lead to stroke, heart disease, and lung disease.

9. Myth: Quitting Smoking Prompts Mood Swings

Fact: It is quite natural to feel a little edgy when you first quit smoking. The body adjusts quickly to not getting nicotine blasted to the brain every 30 minutes. So, the withdrawal feelings are temporary and often go away in a week or two after quitting smoking.

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    Read more about: smoking myths facts
    Story first published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 12:10 [IST]
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