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#FitnessFacts: SMOKING

November 30, 2013 2 min read

-The reason cigarettes are so addictive is because of one ingredient in the tobacco, called nicotine.

-Within 10 seconds of a puff, nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine (the “feel good” chemical) in the brain. This is the “high” some people feel during smoking, & the reason smoking can become addictive.

-Nicotine blocks insulin from extracting excess sugar from the bloodstream. This potentially type-2 diabetes-causing trait is the same reason some people lose their appetite after smoking.

-There are over 600 ingredients added to cigarettes in addition to tobacco! When burned, they create more than 4,000 chemicals. At least 50 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.

-Inhalation of any type of smoke is bad for the body, especially the lungs. The burnt particles can form tar, which can stick to the lungs and cause all types of lung disorders & diseases, including asthma, emphysema, & cancer.

-Smoking raises the levels of free radicals in the body as well- these are the little bastards that age the body, including the skin (wrinkles!). They also increase cholesterol which can lead to heart disease.

-Smoking increases the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood, which decreases the amount of oxygen that can flow to the brain, heart, and muscles. Extended consumption can cause bones to weaken & muscles to break down.

-Smoking cigarettes can cause many other negative side effects, including a decreased immune system, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, gum disease, tooth decay, decreased fertility in both men & women, inability to obtain an erection for men, & early menopause for women.

-If you’re going to smoke, a healthier option would be organic tobacco since there are no added chemicals or ingredients. Electronic cigarettes can be healthier than smoking, but there has been evidence that some can have negative side effects as well.

-The healthiest choice would be to cut the nicotine intake or addiction completely! You alone are responsible for taking care of your body. Don’t let a drug make you feel powerless - take control of your actions & your life.

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