Five Key Reasons to Quit Smoking
If You Don't Have Your Health, Nothing Else Matters
Every smoker knows they face an increased risk for serious health problems from inhaling cigarette smoke. We know it causes heart disease, lung cancer and emphysema. None of this is earth-shattering news.
As smokers though, we learn to effectively tune out the particulars in the damage reports about smoking-related disease. Looking too closely can cause a head on collision with realities of the damage we’re inflicting on our bodies and turns smoking ‘enjoyment’ into a guilty, fearful experience.
All smokers harbor the secret hope that they will be spared the disease and death that follows nicotine addiction. We tell ourselves we’ll quit in time and somehow dodge the bullet that smoking is. But with four million people dying every year due to tobacco use around the world, the odds aren’t in our favor.
Put another way, a smoking-related death occurs somewhere in the world, every 8 seconds, 365 days a year. The sooner we remove the blinders and look carefully at nicotine addiction and the damage it causes, the sooner we can begin pull away from its lies.
5 Reasons to Quit Smoking
1. Heart DiseaseCoronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of death caused by smoking. The toxins in cigarette smoke cause plaques to form in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis, otherwise known as hardening of the arteries. Smoking is hard on the heart.
According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting upwards of 700,000 people each year. For smokers, the risk of stroke is nearly 2 1/2 times that of nonsmokers.
Are You at Risk for a Stroke?
3. Lung Cancer
An estimated 174,470 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed, and 162,460 deaths will occur during 2006 from lung cancer in the United States alone.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. And with 87% of all lung cancer cases involving tobacco, it is one form of cancer that is preventable, by and large.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of COPD and quitting smoking is considered the best way to halt further damage. It’s estimated that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from COPD, with possibly as many as 14 million others who have it but have not been diagnosed. In the United States, it was the 4th leading cause of death in 2000 and projections put it at the 3rd leading cause by the year 2020.
5. Oral Cancer
Oral Cancer (mouth cancer) is included in a specific group of cancers called oral and head and neck cancer (OHNC). It's estimated that between 70 - 80 percent of all cases of OHNC are due to tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption.
Oral Cancer Overview
There's No Time Like The Present...
If you’re thinking about quitting, a good place to start is exactly where you avoided going in the past. Delve into the facts and figures about how destructive tobacco is. Learn exactly what you risk when you light up, day after day, year after year. Look at this addiction head on - it will help you shift your attitude away from smoking as a buddy and allow you to see it for death trap it is.
1. “What are the Key Statistics About Lung Cancer?.” 25 October 2006. American Cancer Society. Accessed: 14 Nov 2006 .
2. "Facts About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease." 2004. U.S. COPD Coalition. Accessed: 14 Nov 2006