Smoking is a preventable cause of death and disease and quitting will save and improve health.
- Based on World Health Organization data, tobacco use is currently responsible for the death of about 6 million people each year. This includes about 600,000 deaths from the effects of second-hand smoke. Based on current trends, deaths will increase to 8 million annually by year 2030
- Tobacco smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, 250 of which are known to be harmful to both smokers and non-smokers, of these 69 can cause cancer.
- The harmful chemicals from tobacco is carried by the blood to all parts of the body and causes damage to the cells that can lead to cancer, clotting in blood vessels that lead to heart attack and strokes, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and erectile dysfunction in males. It increases the risk for tuberculosis, certain eye disease, and problems of the immune system including rheumatoid arthritis
- Nicotine, a drug that is naturally present in the tobacco plant, is primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products. Nicotine addiction keeps people smoking even when they want to quit.
Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking
Within 20 minutes after the last cigarette, the body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
- 20 minutes after quitting, the heart rate and blood pressure drops.
- 12 hours after quitting, carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. (Carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.)
- After 2 weeks to 3 months, heart attack risk begins to drop and lung function begins to improve.
- After 1 to 9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decreases.
- 1 year after quitting, the added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of smoker’s
- 5 to 15 years after quitting, risk of stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker
- 10 years after quitting, lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Risk of cancer of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
- 15 years after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a non-smoker.
- http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa1211128 http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/50th-anniversary/pdfs/wynk-smoking.pdf
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