Reasons to Quit Smoking Today



A recent draft law* has put cigarette smokers in the firing line – should this draft legislation be passed, South African smokers could be jailed for up to three months if they are caught smoking in public. Aside from the risk of imprisonment for lighting up, cigarette smoking holds a myriad of health risks including, but not limited to:
  • Smoking damages the entire respiratory system, primarily the lungs and air sacs (known as the alveoli). Long-term smoking can lead to lung disease, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other severe respiratory issues.
  • Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung, mouth and throat cancer.
  • Smoking causes bad breath, stained teeth and can eventually lead to tooth and gum decay.
  • Women who smoke may find it more difficult to get pregnant, as the tar and nicotine in cigarettes increase the risks of premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth. Smoking can also lead to impotence in men.
  • Smoking increases the likelihood of having a stroke by 2 to 4 times, and strokes are very often linked to brain damage and death.
  • Smoking is grievous to the cardiovascular system, with some of the most common illnesses related to cigarette smoking being coronary heart disease, heart attacks (smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack), and heart-related chest pain.
  • Smokers almost always have weaker immune systems that are less resistant to fighting off diseases.
  • In addition to all this, smokers age a lot quicker as their capillaries and blood flow are compromised, leading to wrinkles, premature ageing and dull and lifeless skin.
If you are currently a cigarette smoker, try not to despair too much! There is scientific proof that quitting can help reverse the effects of smoking quite profoundly. Here is an abbreviated timeline of what you can expect after quitting smoking:

Within a week:
  • Your sense of taste and smell may improve.
  • Blood levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C may increase.
  • Your lungs’ natural cleansing mechanisms may be improving, removing mucus, tar and dust out of your lungs more effectively.
  • Your immune system starts to recover, making it easier to fight off infections.
Within 6 months:
  • Your anxiety levels will have improved – you will feel less stressed than when you were a smoker.
  • You will be coughing up less phlegm.
  • Your blood flow will have improved dramatically.
Within 2 to 5 years:
  • There is a significantly large drop in your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and this risk lowers more and more as time goes by.
There are many more ways in which your health will improve if you quit smoking and remember that your secondhand smoke is very dangerous to the people and animals around you too.

Quitting smoking is not easy, but if you understand and respect the risks of smoking and really want to be healthy and live a long life, your determination will go a long way in getting you smoke-free.

Get health insurance from South Africa’s first provider to pay YOU before you have to pay your medical practitioner. Contact Oneplan™ Health Insurance for an obligation-free quote today.



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