According to the World Health Organization, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death worldwide. The addictive properties of the main ingredient in tobacco known as nicotine, is the cause of tolerance and dependence. 
Tobacco is processed from the leaves of the plant from the genus nicotiana. It is often used as a pesticide and used in some medicines in the form of nicotine tartrate. It is consumed in a number of different ways such as chewing, snuffing, or dipping. However, tobacco is most commonly known around the world for its use in smoking as a recreational drug.
Smoking has a tremendous impact, primarily negative, on health both in the short-term and long-term. Both first- and second-hand smoking can have a negative impact. Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at higher risk of dying from coronary heart disease or lung cancer. Second-hand smoke exposure also increases the risk of other cancers and respiratory diseases in non-smokers.
- Cigarette smoke is also known to deplete body of nutrients such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene which are important to fight cancerous changes.
There are very few potential benefits to smoking.
- Stress Reduction Smoking is often used as a means to reduce stress. But keep in mind, the withdrawal symptoms of smoking can cause stress and lead to dependence.
Smoking can influence one’s health in a number of ways:
- Osteoporosis. Studies have found decreased serum calcium and vitamin D levels in people who smoke.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. Smoking increases the risk of RA., 
- Decreased Muscle Strength. Smoking has been found to reduce skeletal muscle strength in healthy adults.
- Oral Melanin Pigmentation Smoking tobacco can cause oral melanin pigmentation, more so during the first year of smoking.
- Decreased Height. The long-term influence of chronic smoking is associated with the acceleration of periodontal bone height reduction.
- Cancer. Tobacco usage has been linked to various forms of cancer including lung cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, cancer of the larynx, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and stomach cancer.
- Heart attacks or strokes. A number of ingredients in tobacco have been found to cause narrowing of blood vessels, leading to the likelihood of blockage and resulting in a heart attack or stroke.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Tobacco is the most frequent cause of respiratory diseases and is responsible for 80-90% of deaths by COPD.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD). Tobacco has been known to accelerate atherosclerosis, causing vessels to narrow and blood flow to diminish, which can lead to peripheral vascular disease. Similarly, tobacco can increase the risk of Type II Diabetes, which in turn can also cause damage to blood vessels by accelerating atherosclerosis.
- Hypertension Smoking increases the risk of hypertension by 2 to 3 times. It increases the risk of vascular damage by increasing sympathetic tone, platelet stickiness, free radical production, damage to endothelium, and surges in arterial pressure.
- Optic Neuropathy. Tobacco is the leading cause of toxic optic neuropathy, a disease of visual impairment due to optic nerve damage. Deficiency of B Vitamins caused by tobacco smoking can also lead to nutritional optic neuropathy.
- Cataracts Smoking has been found to lead to cataracts.
- Nutrient Deficiencies. Smoking leads to the depletion of Vitamin A, B Vitamins, C, vitamin E and glutathione.
- Pregnancy complications: Smoking during pregnancy can cause harm to both the mother and unborn child and lead to a number of diseases including decreased fetal growth, low birth weight, placental abruption, premature birth, miscarriage, still births, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Impotence Smoking causes arterial narrowing, leading to impotence and erectile dysfunction in men.
A number of different naturopathic therapies are available to help quit smoking:
- Naturopathic Therapies
- Acupuncture is commonly used to help people quit smoking as well as in between sessions to help reduce cravings by applying pressure on specific acupuncture points.
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