According to the latest federal data, only about 42 million Americans (or 18 percent of the adult population) smoke cigarettes.1 I say only because this is actually the lowest percentage since the US government began tracking such data in 1965.2
If you smoke, quitting is absolutely essential to get your health on track. But I do strongly recommend that you get your diet under control first, as the health implications of poor diet (including obesity) may actually outweigh those from smoking.
And since many ex-smokers turn to food for comfort in lieu of cigarettes, it’s important that you’re eating right before (and while) you attempt to quit. That being said, smoking cigarettes is clearly not a healthy choice.
You’re probably aware that it’s linked to chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and stroke, but you may not know that it influences far more than this. Your bones, muscles, brain, teeth, eyes and even your fertility can all be damaged by smoking.
New Campaign Warns Cigarettes ‘Rot’ Your Body
If you live in or travel to the UK, you may see billboards and digital ads featuring cigarettes full of rotting human flesh. They’re part of Public Health England’s (PHE) new campaign to highlight “how smoking damages the body and causes a slow and steady decline in a process similar to rotting.”3
Indeed, smoking one or two cigarettes probably won’t cause you much lasting harm. It’s the ongoing exposure to the toxins within that begin to trigger breakdowns in your body.
Many people don’t begin to feel the most serious effects of smoking until years (and many packs of cigarettes) later, and once you begin to feel the symptoms, you know damage has already been done (similar to the effects of a poor diet). PHE’s new report details the many ways that cigarettes cause slow, accumulating “rot” in your body.