For some people, smoking and tobacco use aid them in losing weight. Reaching for a cigarette certainly poses a number of risks to your health. But for those who are accustomed to smoking, tobacco use gives them a number of benefits that are hard to ignore. Smoking may come with a number of pros, but the cons still outweigh the advantages.
To begin, here's a look at the pros of smoking and tobacco use:
1. It Makes You Alert
Cigarettes and tobacco contain an addictive chemical agent called nicotine. Each cigarette stick contains approximately 10 mg of nicotine, but only 1 to 2 mg is inhaled and absorbed by the body and delivered to the brain. Nicotine then locks into the brain fairly quickly, causing your body to start pumping more blood and producing more glucose. Sugar is then rapidly released throughout the body, making the smoker feel more alert and focused.
2. It Curbs Appetite
Nicotine also triggers the release of dopamine in your brain, stimulating your reward and pleasure neuron receptors. In effect, your brain believes that smoking is highly pleasurable, and this already offsets other comfort-seeking activities such as eating. This oral fixation is also a replacement for eating and constant snacking, which is why smokers tend to be thinner.
3. It Speeds Metabolism
Nicotine also speeds up your body's metabolism, aiding you in burning more calories quicker. This is why habitual smokers are able to maintain a slim figure.
4. Social Bonding
Smoking has been a part of the social scene. Because smokers tend to smoke together, there is a social aspect to this vice. Aside from smoking being a ritualistic activity, smokers tend to bond together over cigarettes.
Here's a closer look at the cons of smoking and tobacco use:
1. It Causes Cancer
There are many health risks that come with lighting up. The number one effect of smoking is lung cancer. Aside from nicotine, cigarettes contain 4,000 other harmful chemicals, such as tar and carbon monoxide. These chemicals damage your tissues and organs, which can lead to cancer.
2. Cardiovascular Effects
Smoking also affects your heart. Your blood pressure shoots up, you increase the chances for developing blood clots and the nicotine also causes your blood vessels to constrict. These increase your chances of getting a stroke or heart attack.
3. Bad Skin
Being constantly exposed to cigarette smoke has harsh effects on your skin. Because nicotine has constrained your blood vessels, nutrients do not get distributed properly. Your skin loses much-needed oxygen and minerals, thus causing premature aging. Nicotine also causes your skin, teeth and fingernails to turn yellow.
4. Reduced Stamina
Aside from the health risks that come with smoking, your overall stamina is also affected. Your lung capacity is weakened, making exercise difficult if not impossible. Smoker's cough is also a common occurrence, and this is also an impediment to any physical activity.
Studies have shown that teenagers who smoke are more likely to develop agoraphobia, or fear of going outside. They are also 15 times more likely to get panic attacks than those who don't smoke. Because nicotine primarily constricts blood vessels and prevents proper breathing, anxiety attacks and depression are more likely to occur among smokers and tobacco users.