Both of my parents were heavy smokers, a pack a day for years, before finally quitting. Unfortunately their bad habit eventually caught up with them 20 years after they had quit – my Dad died of small cell lung cancer, my mom from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). They died with in 3 months of each other. Both deaths were painful to watch. Both deaths directly related to smoking.
My dad had always been healthy, until age 70. One day he was fine, the next he was having chest pains and diagnosed with lung cancer. Three months later he was dead. How a person can live 70 years, never be sick, take any meds, and then die of cancer in a three-month time is sobering. It shows you just how dangerous smoking can be.
My mom battled poor health, asthma chronic bronchitis, and COPD for a number of years-oxygen tanks, daily breathing treatments, and limited mobility were common her last few years, all from smoking. She died after years of slowly suffocating. It was a painful death.
STOP SMOKING YOU CAN DO IT!
I wish the CEO’s of tobacco companies and those who smoke could feel the intense pain and life draining effects of struggling to take a breath and get enough oxygen, minute after minute, day after day, for years and years. Just for one day. That is all it would take for them realize that smoking is one of the most dangerous villains in the world.
It’s promoted as a “cool” hip, thing to do among teenagers, a way to rebel, be grown up. It quickly leads to a life of addiction that is more powerful than crack cocaine.
Smoking poisons every cell and organ in the body. Smoking causes a number of often, irreversible diseases, shortens a person’s lifespan, and drastically increases the risk of developing numerous health problems.
Poisons obtained from smoking cigarettes
There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 4,000 chemicals. At least 50 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.
Many of these chemicals are also found in consumer products, but these products have warning labels. While the public is warned about the danger of the poisons in these products, there is no such warning for the toxins in tobacco smoke.
Here are a few of the chemicals in tobacco smoke, and other places they are found:
- Acetone – found in nail polish remover
- Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
- Ammonia – a common household cleaner
- Arsenic – used in rat poison
- Benzene – found in rubber cement
- Butane – used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium – active component in battery acid
- Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
- Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead – used in batteries
- Napthalene – an ingredient in moth balls
- Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
- Nicotine – used as insecticide
- Tar – material for paving roads
- Toluene – used to manufacture paint
Smoking and increased risk of death.
- The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.
- More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
- Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women.
- An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.
Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of—
- coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
- stroke by 2 to 4 times
- men developing lung cancer by 23 times
- women developing lung cancer by 13 times
- dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times.
Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease
- Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
- Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries) and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease (i.e., obstruction of the large arteries in the arms and legs that can cause a range of problems from pain to tissue loss or gangrene).
- Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm (i.e., a swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body—the aorta—where it runs through the abdomen).
Smoking and Respiratory Disease
- Smoking causes lung cancer.
- Smoking causes lung diseases (e.g., emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i.e., small air sacs) of the lungs.
Smoking and Cancer
Smoking causes the following cancers:
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Cancer of the cervix
- Cancer of the esophagus
- Kidney cancer
- Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
- Lung cancer
- Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cancer of the pharynx (throat)
- Stomach cancer
Smoking and Other Health Effects
Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for—
- preterm delivery,
- low birth weight, and
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Smoking is associated with the following adverse health effects:
- Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked.
- Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.
I could go on and on with damaging statistics but if you’re addicted to cigarettes, statistics alone won’t be enough to overcome the life draining, life robbing addiction of smoking. The only way to beat the addiction monster is to become convinced that smoking isn’t worth losing your good looks or your life-find a “why,” your kids, spouse, career, purpose, that allows you to once and for all Stop Smoking.