Have you considered quitting smoking? Here’s a little inspiration...
For years, society has accepted that there is a relationship between smoking and lung cancer, but research shows us that smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases. It can also increase your risk for cancer of the bladder, throat and mouth, kidneys, cervix and pancreas.
Look at the facts:
- Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Smoking causes more than one in five deaths in America.
- 90 percent of lung cancer in men and 80 percent of lung cancer in women is directly related to smoking cigarettes.
- About 23 percent of adult men and about 18 percent of adult women smoke.
- The highest percentage of people who smoke are between the ages of 25 and 44.
- According to the American Heart Association, most adult smokers started smoking when they were preteens or teenagers. Unfortunately, many young people don’t fully understand the dangers of smoking.
- About 60 percent of American children ages 4-11 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
- On average, smokers die 13-14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
- Since 1965, more than 45 percent of adults who have ever smoked have quit.
What makes cigarettes so toxic and dangerous?
There are 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes and at least 250 of them are harmful to human health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here are a few examples:
- 1.3 Butadine is a chemical used to manufacture rubber. According to the CDC, “it may increase risk of cancer in the stomach, blood and lymphatic system.”
- Acrolein is a gas linked to lung cancer. It inhibits DNA repair and can destroy the lining in the lungs that protects you from lung disease.
- Arsenic is used to preserve wood. In humans, it can cause heart disease and cancer.
- Benzene is used to manufacture other chemicals. It can cause cancer, particularly leukemia, in humans.
- Cadmium is a metal used to make batteries. Cadmium can interfere with the repair of damaged DNA, as well as damage the kidneys and the lining of the arteries.
- Chromium VI is used to make alloy metals, paint and dyes. It has been proven to be linked to lung cancer.
- Formaldehyde is a chemical used to kill bacteria and preserve human and animal remains. It’s a known cause of cancer, one of the main substances linked to chronic lung disease and a very toxic ingredient in secondhand smoke.
To learn more, please visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/.
The St. Elizabeth Healthcare Holistic Health Center offers a Smoking Cessation Support Group. If you are trying to quit and are interested in learning more about this group, please click here.