Smoking inhibits player performance

By Kellie Belmonte
October 7, 2004

Shane Evans

As college students, many are aware that smoking cigarettes is very common among peers. It is seen just how common it is while walking through the extreme filth of cigarettes to class. But athletes beware! Smoking cigarettes does have a poor effect and can do damage to your overall performance in sports.

“Even professional athletes and weekend warriors can damage their performance by social smoking,” Lewis G. Maharam, sports medicine specialist in New York City and the president of New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, said.

“I used to be a swimmer, and before I began smoking I did so well. I almost never lost a meet, and used to win the races all the time. But after I began smoking, I found that I didn’t have the same kind of strength that I did before and my performance suffered greatly,” Allie Stack, sophomore, said. “I know that if I had never started smoking, my performance wouldn’t have suffered so much. But once you get addicted, it’s very hard to stop.”

Most young adults find that since they have began smoking, they didn’t feel as though they have as much energy and even find themselves breathless after a short walk.

“Every cigarette you put in your mouth and inhale sets you up for the risks of lung disease. And athletes, above all, need good lung performance to get enough oxygen to perform at their peak. Any decrease in lung performance will decrease overall performance,” Maharan said.

As a non-smoker who is very into working out, being healthy and just general fitness, Andy Blecha, junior, feels as though smoking is on the complete opposite spectrum of health, fitness and sports. “Smoking defeats the whole purpose of staying in shape and being fit. It only leads to negative effects in terms of health,” Blecha said.

So whether or not you’re an athlete or are just into fitness and working out, you should remember that smoking cigarettes will have an effect on you and it will be negative. “It’s cumulative, so each cigarette you take builds on the one before. Over time, your performance will be affected,” Lewis Maharam said.

Posted to the web by Shane Evans

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Kellie Belmonte

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