Warning - this article may offend both non-smokers and even more so, the smokers of today.
Almost everywhere we go these days we are constantly reminded that
Smoking is sooo bad for you!!!
Ok, Yes I think we know that by now. Because for "us" smokers we have the privilege of being constantly reminded by people (especially the ones you don't know in the street), by magazines, on the television, from your non-smoking friends, visiting shopping centres, in "those no smoking restaurants" that smoking is socially unacceptable and bad for us. (Oh and don't forget that our passive smoke is going to kill everyone). Even when we go to light up, we are reminded by our little packet of salvation (the cardboard that contains our cigarettes), that smoking kills, that smoking causes lung cancer, currently my packet is causing me heart disease. But for the most important one - smoking will harm your baby; (maybe the tobacco companies know something we are yet to discover - that all women smokers are permanently pregnant and that male smokers can bear children?)
But in all seriousness smoking is a potentially deadly habit. For me, I can shamefully admit I have been trying to beat the nasty addiction for quite a few years with little success. So realistically I probably shouldn't be writing this article. My only claim to fame was a three-month stint where by chewing nicotine gum I successfully became a non-smoker. The worst part was that it wasn't that hard after the first week. I vividly remember going on one of my 4km walks, smiling insanely about how good it felt to be a non-smoker. I had more energy, food tasted better, I didn't have to chew mint flavoured gum to hide the fact that my breath tasted like an ashtray. It was wonderful. So why did I start again? I had a few too many drinks and thought it would be interesting to see what a cigarette tasted like again, stupid wasn't I? So I had one drag. I couldn't believe how disgusting it was, the smell consumed me, I couldn't believe how I must have smelt that whole time I smoked. And the taste? Well it had absolutely no appeal. So one hour later I had to test it again (to see if they really were that bad). It only took one month from that night to become an official smoker again.
So now instead of discussing every smoking related heart and lung disease (because most of us have heard it before, and it hasn't helped many of us). I am going to bring up some issues to do with smoking and sex that should scare the smoking addiction out of you (and me).
1/ Smoking gives terribly bad breath.
Well that's a pretty obvious one. It's while holding your breath while you kiss your date for the first time, that quitting in that moment almost seems plausible (especially if you really like your date).
2/ It is even more dangerous for women to smoke if they are on the pill.
Due to the circulatory problems smoking can cause, the pill can increase the chances of a clot in a woman's legs (called a thrombus, or more commonly known as deep vein thrombosis - which is a blood clot attached to a vein). If this thrombus breaks away from the vein and does not dissolve before entering the lungs, a woman may die from a pulmonary embolism. Which is basically when your lungs fail to work as the clot stops blood supply to the lungs) If it reaches the brain a woman may suffer a stroke.
3/ In men, smoking can decrease sperm count and motility.
Now some of you may be thinking this could be a great new contraceptive device, but really, it's not healthy, and it won't destroy all healthy sperm. And for those wanting to get pregnant, well your chances are reduced which brings us to the next "drawback", especially for both male and female smokers and their sex life.
4/ Smoking can be harmful to both men and women's reproductive organs.
For women, smoking may decrease fertility levels by damaging fallopian tubes. This may mean it might be very difficult for a woman to become pregnant. And if you don't care about this now, I'm sure that in the future you will.
As for men (and the boys are not going to be happy with this one - or the girls!), a study revealed that for male smokers there is a connection between smoking and a difficulty in maintaining an erection. It was also found that because smoking causes damage to the peripheral vascular system, that the penis's vascular supply can also be damaged - these are the small arteries of the penis.
So for the girlfriends of male smokers, I'd highly advise your man to quit smoking immediately based upon that information.
5/ Guys - smoking can increase the risk of cancer of the penis (oh no!)
Need I say more?
6/ Girls - smoking can increase the risk of cancer of the cervix.
Again need I say more?
So to reinforce what we already know, yes smoking can potentially kill us, but destroying our sex life? Well that's just purely and simply unfair! I'm quitting (tomorrow).
- Louise Ganey
Also see article on Natural Quit Smoking Remedies