Step 4. It's official, I am a quitter!

Sooooo here's the thing... I smoke. Well I did anyway. After a month in Argentina with my family for the holidays, I have snuffed out the cigs for good! 

I was the worst kind of smoker. The social smoker! The one that doesn't believe it's really an issue because they're not a 'real smoker', they only do it every now and then, and only ever with friends!

I mean I had been a full time smoker for a brief period in my early 20s, but after a number of years 'quit' - I just liked to have a couple of cigarettes and a glass of wine with friends, in any and all social settings.

And here I was trying to turn my unhealthful life around, one habit at a time, accept I was doing the MOST unhealthful thing possible. Social Smoking. 

Then I saw this YouTube campaign...

And I realised I was a social farter... AND an ear wax picker!

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Then I saw what smoking really does to you body. We've all seen these hilarious memes on Facebook and across social media (right).

About the horrific damage Meth can cause on your body. Being that I have never, and would never, even consider using Meth, these shocking images don't really shock me. It is a hardcore, illegal substance after all. What did they think was going to happen?

But have you seen the damage just a few cigarettes can do to your physical appearance? Did you know cigarettes can even make you fat? Especially if your not a heavy smoker. Every time you smoke you interfere with your metabolism and cause long term damage. So there goes the old 'I smoke to stay skinny' excuse. Unless you completely replace food with cigarettes, you will never lose any weight while smoking. 

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Pretty nasty right. I had no idea that smoking actually made you fat! However for me it all comes down to my skin. If you are trying to clear a skin condition like psoriasis anything that you do is for nothing if you smoke. 

According to WebMD Health News a new study in to the connection between heavy tobacco use and severe psoriasis found that cigarette smoking may exacerbate existing psoriasis, and highlights the need for people with the skin condition to quit smoking. 

Numerous other studies have concluded that smoking cigarettes not only increases the severity of the condition but can also decrease rates of recovery in smokers. An article in Psoriasis Advance cites a study by Luigi Naldi, MD that identified startling correlations between smoking and psoriasis. 

Dr Naldi found that smoking just about doubles a persons risk of developing psoriasis; the risk then increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, and is higher in women than in men. The risk for women who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day is about 2.5 times greater than the rate of nonsmokers, and in men the risk is about 1.7 times greater"

Dr Naldi claims that nicotine has internal effects on the immune system and skin cell rejuvenation. Which makes sense considering how rapidly smoking can age you, and contribute to a higher risk of developing cancer. 

So on my quest to better health I have been officially quit from my nasty 'social farting' habit for just over 60 days today! 

On the down side travelling South America, celebrating Christmas, going through a break up and quitting smoking have all ever so slightly taken their toll and I have stacked on much of the weight I had lost on LCHF last year.

That being said, it would be impossible for me to become the lean, mean, fighting Psoriasis machine that I am focused on becoming if I was to continue social smoking. So step forward, two steps back as they say. Adding a few kilos now is a hell of a lot better than cancer later.