It is a known fact that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death. If people continue to smoke at the rates they are now, an estimated eight million lives around the world will be lost to tobacco use, annually, by 2030. It is important for smokers to quit smoking in order to save their and lengthen their life.
Smoking negatively affects a person’s health and leads to disease and disability that can harm almost every organ of the body. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Quick facts about women and smoking: 1 in 8 women in the US is a smoker. According to the American Lung Association, smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease in middle-aged women, and almost doubles the risk of ischemic stroke; 43% of all female deaths in the US are directly attributable to smoking; 44% of all cancer deaths in women in the US are related to smoking.
Quick facts about men and smoking: Men tend to smoke more than women. In 2017, 15.8% of men currently smoked cigarettes daily compared to 12.2% of Women. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking increases the risk of men developing lung cancer by 25 times. Men who smoke increase their risk of dying from bronchitis and emphysema by 17 times; from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus by more than 23 times. Smoking increases the risk of dying from coronary heart disease among middle-aged men by almost four times.
The best way to avoid these smoking related ailments, is to quit smoking. By quitting smoking, an individual can reduce their risk of dying from smoking related disease by 90%. Quitting smoking is good for one’s health (and bank account - the cost of smoking a pack a day will cost an individual $130,000 over the course of 10 years )!
See below for tips to help you quit:
- Make changes to your normal routine where smoking is included, so the absence of the cigarette is not tempting (i.e. morning coffee and a smoke).
- All urges and cravings will pass within 3-5 minutes, whether you smoke or not. Do something to distract yourself until the urge goes away.
- Increase your physical activity, if possible.
- You can get support from the on-line quit smoking community on the American Lung Association's website lung.org
- Make a list of the reasons you're quitting smoking and refer to it often when temptation strikes.
- Keep telling yourself that you're a non-smoker!!!! Get rid of any negative thinking that you can't do it.
- Have patience
- Ask for help: call the quitline at 1.800.QUITNOW, or join a Freedom from Smoking session offered at ECHN’s John A. Dequattro Center