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Quit Smoking Before Smoking Quits You!

Nature gives everyone just one pair of lungs. They play a pivotal role in respiration, breathing about 18 times in a minute, every minute of everyday. Respiration rids our body of the toxic gas carbon dioxide, which is formed naturally in the body, and takes in life-giving oxygen. Once respiration is stopped, the body quickly shuts down and dies. Most people take breathing for granted and never think about it because it is done so often, involuntarily. But once a bad chest cold or lung disease develops, we are suddenly realize how precious a healthy set of lungs is. Mistreating your lungs by smoking will result in damage of the vital organs, some of which can never be reversed. By deciding not to smoke, you can protect this most important organ.

Cancer and emphysema are two of the major health risks associated with cigarette smoking. Smoking damages the genetic code of a normal cell and can lead to the development of different types of cancers. These damaged cells begin to quickly reproduce and form clumps of cells called tumors. Nutrients and energy are stolen from the rest of the body by these tumors. Some grow large enough to spread throughout the body and can block vital bodily functions. If a stop is not put to this process, death can soon follow. Contrary to popular belief, lung cancer is not the only cancer caused by smoking. New research indicates that cancers of the mouth, throat, pancreas, cervix, kidneys and bladder are linked to smoking as well.

Emphysema destroys a set of lung's ability to contract and expand, and can also be caused by smoking. It damages little air sacs in the lungs (called alveoli) inside of which oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. This causes a pitted appearance and a charred, blackend gunk develops. This is an example of an effect of smoking that cannot be reversed or fixed. Every breath now is a struggle and the lack of incoming oxygen can cause damage to other organs. This can make even the smallest tasks difficult to complete. Many lives are lost due to emphysema because hearts are overworked and reach a point where they can no longer keep up with the body's demands.

Effects of smoking can be had by not only a smoker, but everyone around him. Contained in secondhand smoke are many of the same toxic substances that are inhaled by the smoker. Secondhand smokers can suffer from the same disease and risks as firsthand smokers. This is just another of many reasons to quit smoking, before smoking quits you!

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