Health Effects of Tobacco

Why should I quit smoking?

There are lots of great reasons to kick tobacco to the curb. Your health, wallet, appearance, and family and friends will thank you. But quitting isn’t easy, so think about your reasons for quitting — maybe you can find them below — and remember them when you’re having a rough day.

Quit for your health:

  • Smoking poisons your body: There are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, from butane, ammonia, and pesticides, to acetone, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. Quitting smoking keeps this poison out of your body.
  • Smoking can make you sick: Smoking increases your chances of developing cancer. You are more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack if you smoke. Smokers also have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, hearing loss and dementia or memory loss.
  • There’s hope after you quit! If you stay smoke-free, your body will start repairing itself over time. As the years go by, your risk of dying from lung cancer will decrease by 50% and your risk of dying from stroke and heart attack will be the same as someone who has never smoked.

Quit for your wallet:

  • Smoking is one expensive habit: A pack of cigarettes costs more than $20 in the NWT. If you smoke a pack a day, that adds up to nearly $600 a month or $7,000 a year! Think of the sunny vacation you could take or the outdoor toys you could buy if you stopped smoking.

Quit for your appearance:

  • Those bags under the eyes: Thanks to nightly nicotine withdrawal, smokers toss and turn through the night and are four times more likely than non-smokers to wake up feeling unrested.
  • Smoking causes wrinkles: Sure, everyone gets a few wrinkles as they age, but smokers get them a lot sooner. Smoking cuts off the blood supply that keeps skin looking rosy and healthy.
  • Hair damage: Smoking leads to thin, brittle and dull hair. Male smokers are twice as likely to lose their hair as non-smokers.
  • Yellow teeth and bad breath: Nicotine stains teeth to a yellowish tinge and causes bad breath, as well as a higher risk of gum disease.

Quit for your family and friends:

  • Second-hand smoke: Family and friends are put at risk due to your second-hand smoke. In babies, second-hand smoke can lead to ear infections, asthma attacks, breathing problems, lung infections, and low birth weight. For adults, regular second-hand smoke exposure can lead to higher chances of lung cancer, stroke, heart attack, lung infections, breast cancer, hearing loss and dementia.
  • Staying present: Tired of being the person who’s always stepping outside or trying to hide a quick smoke break? You have the power to quit today! You can do it!

Registered nurses trained to help you quit smoking are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 811 or 1-844-259-1793.