The largest organ in the human body is skin, and smoking is especially damaging to that organ.

smoking

Most people know that smoking is harmful to your heart and lungs, but don’t realize that smoking causes premature aging, wrinkle development, scarring and darkening of the lips. It also can delay the healing of wounds, increase your chances of developing skin cancer and make your skin dry out and lose its elasticity, according to Insider.

When you smoke, it causes a slow and steady decline of your body, similar to rotting. In addition to causing heart disease and cancer, smoking can damage your bones, eyes, teeth, fertility and brain.

Although cigarette smoking has declined in recent years, sales of — particularly among teens — have risen by an amazing 143 times! It’s believed that the increase is due to those who are trying to quit smoking, or from those who believe those electronic gizmos are a healthier alternative, but e-cigarettes have their own long list of negative health effects.

Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death, responsible for 1 out of every 5 deaths in the U.S. Approximately 130,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year are attributed to smoking. But even if you don’t smoke, you are not immune.

Your body absorbs nicotine from secondhand smoke or clothing that has been exposed to smoke. Children are especially in danger from secondhand smoke.

It’s never too late to quit smoking especially when considering that people ages 50 to 74 saw significant improvements in their health every year after they quit.

If you quit smoking, your risk of dying from heart-related problems could return to that of a nonsmoker within eight years, even if you quit when you’re over 65 years old.

No matter what your age, quitting can be extremely beneficial: If you quit smoking before the age of 40, your chances of living a longer life increase dramatically and if you quit before the age of 30, the benefit is even more dramatic.

If you smoke, quitting is a major move toward improving your health and the health of those around you. It’s wise, however, to get your diet under control beforehand since many smokers in the process of quitting often turn to food to help alleviate their cravings. In addition, find a form of exercise or physical activity you enjoy as well as a preferred method of stress relief — meditation, yoga, deep breathing, etc. — which can be very helpful in kicking the habit.

Once you’ve addressed your diet, exercise routine and preferred methods of stress relief, here are six things to do to quell the urge to smoke:

  1. Chew carrots — A healthy snack can help you beat nicotine cravings and the urge to bring something to your mouth. Any type of fresh veggies will work.
  2. Distract yourself — Surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive of your choice to quit.
  3. “Snap” your cravings away — Wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it if you’re considering giving in to a craving.
  4. Exercise — Exercise helps fight addictions by releasing natural feel-good endorphins and easing stress and anxiety. 
  5. Take a shower — It’s a distraction, but when you feel clean and fresh, you’ll be less likely to light up.
  6. Listen to music — Pick some of your favorite relaxing tunes or try an upbeat tune and dance to celebrate your new “smoke-free” self.

This content was originally published here.

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