There is a lot of confusion and conflict about the role that smoking plays in the lives of smokers. On one hand, smokers feel their habit is pleasant and relaxing. On the other hand, it would be nearly impossible for a smoker to not know that smoking is a serious health-hazard, both for themselves and for the people around them. That very reason is why 39 states have laws prohibiting or limiting smoking in public places.
The U.S. Surgeon General has called cigarette smoking "the chief preventable cause of death in our society." Most smokers accept the fact that smoking is harmful, but think of this risk as something like a game of roulette. Each time they smoke, they may or may not have a heart attack, lung cancer or develop some other illness. And if they are lucky, they may even avoid the hazardous effects of smoking.
FACT IS: Every cigarette you smoke harms your body!! Lung cancer risk increases 50-100% for each cigarette you smoke per day. Heart disease risk increases 100% for each pack of cigarettes you smoke per day. Smokers spend 27% more time in the hospital and more than twice as much time in Intensive Care Units than nonsmokers. Each cigarette costs a smoker 14 minutes of life. Smokers are at twice the risk of dying before age 65 than nonsmokers. Smokers have increased rates of acute and chronic illnesses than nonsmokers. Lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, mouth cancer, throat cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreas cancer, kidney disease, heart disease, peptic ulcer disease, allergies, decreased immune system, Alzheimer's disease, decreased sperm count, erectile dysfunction, increased miscarriages and still born births are just some of the illness associated with smoking!
Good News! The great majority of negative health effects can be reduced or eliminated by quitting!!
Benefits of quitting:
- 12 hours: the carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal.
- 2-12 weeks: blood circulation and lung function begin to improve.
- 1 year: the increased risk of having a heart attack is reduced by half.
- 5 years: risk of a stroke is reduced to the same risk as a person who never smoked.
- 10 years: the risk of lung cancer is reduced.
- 15 years: the risk of heart disease is that of a nonsmoker.
- Other benefits: Food tastes better, you have more energy, your breath, clothes and hair won’t smell like a dumpster fire, and you save money.
- You can be more in control of your life and actions if you are no longer addicted to cigarettes.