14 Facts About Cigarettes That Will Make You Want To Quit Right Now

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It’s been widely proven that nicotine is addictive, meaning that once you start the habit, it can be almost impossible to stop. It may feel like your body wants you to keep smoking, but trust me: It doesn’t. It wants you to quit. To help you on your way, here’s a list of horrifying facts that will make you want to start right away.

1. Cigarette Smoke Contains Over 7,000 Chemicals

According to the American Lung Association, 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. Even though that’s only a small portion of the 7,000 total chemicals, do you really want any cancer-causing chemicals in your body at all?

2. More Than 20 Million Americans Have Died Since 1964 Due To Smoking

And 2.5 million of those people died because they were exposed to secondhand smoke.

3. Smokers Die An Average Of 10 Years Earlier Than Non-Smokers

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that life expectancy for smokers was shortened by more than 10 years; adults who quit smoking at age 25 to 34 gained 10 years of life compared with those who continued to smoke.

4. The Tobacco Industry Spent $8.4 Billion On Advertising In 2011

That works out to almost $23 million a day, according to the CDC. Do you want to be part of a cancer-causing advertising machine?

5. Over $100 Billion Was Spent In Direct Medical Care Related To Smoking In 2011

To be precise, $133 billion.

6. In 2000, Almost Half Of All Smokers With A Smoking-Related Disease Had Bronchitis

According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 49 percent of smokers with “smoking-attributable conditions” suffered from chronic bronchitis, which causes fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain and lots of mucus.

7. Smoking Doesn’t Just Cause Lung And Throat Cancer

It also causes laryngeal cancer, oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, acute leukemia, liver cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, coronary heart disease, acute and chronic respiratory diseases, stroke, cataracts, periodontitis, erectile dysfunction, loss of bone mass and more.

8. It Affects Sperm Count

Tobacco smoke can “reduce the numbers and function of sperm, or may affect male reproductive hormone levels and lead to impairment of spermatogenesis,” according to a 2004 report from the Surgeon General.

9. It Affects Women’s Fertility

“Numerous studies have shown that smoking results in reduced fertility and fecundity for couples with one or both partners who smoke,” says the Surgeon General. Don’t reduce your fecundity!

10. The Nicotine Content In Cigarettes May Be Rising

Between 1997 and 2005, “a statistically significant trend was confirmed in increased nicotine yield… in all major market categories,” according to a study done by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Harvard School of Public Health.

11. Cigarettes Contain Toxic Metals

You may be over the fact that cigarettes contain formaldehyde (a chemical typically used for embalming corpses), but did you know they also contain lead? They do, and people who smoke have shown higher levels of lead in their blood than non-smokers. Lead is considered a health hazard that can cause hypertension, decreased kidney function, reproductive problems, premature birth, and, in children, lower IQ, learning problems, behavioral problems and more.

12. More Than 16 Million People Have A Smoking-Related Disease

Over have of those illnesses are classified as serious, according to BeTobaccoFree.gov.

13. Smoking Weakens The Immune System

Nicotine causes blood vessels to tighten, according to SmokeFree.gov, which means fewer nutrients are supplied to wounds and they take longer to heal. Cigarette smoke also puts the body under constant stress so it produces more white blood cells to fight against the tobacco damage and inflammation. Chronically elevated white blood cell counts have been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer, says SmokeFree.

14. E-Cigarettes Contain Toxic Metals, Too

Research from the University of California has revealed that e-cigarettes contain the toxic metal chromium, which is absent from regular cigarettes; they also contain levels of nickel four times higher than normal cigarettes. While e-cigs do have less nicotine, this new research shows that they may not be the best option unless you’re cool with heavy metals messing up your organs and brain and potentially causing cancer.