By Terry Orr
(Former smoker of 20+ years)
America and most of the world has known for more than 50 years that smoking is hazard to our health and subsequently the dangers of second-hand smoke – yet it is still legal to smoke despite the dangers – not only to the individual smoker – but those folks near them being attacked by second hand smoke. The cost associated with smoking-related health in America exceeds $150 Billion Dollars – and I believe this figure is probably grossly understated. Between 5.4 and 6 million people die each year due to smoking-related health issues.
Just the Facts (Source: CDC):
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general.
Smoking and Death
Smoking causes 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.
Smoking and Increased Health Risks
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; and
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
Cancer of the cervix
Cancer of the esophagus
Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth)
Cancer of the pharynx (throat)
Smoking and Other Health Effects
Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for:
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.
The World Health Organization, Cancer Organizations, and many others continue to implement and encourage countries and individuals to quit smoking. Quitting is NOT EASY – but with your personal support team – including your healthcare provider and family – it is doable! So please – start today – thank you.
Worldwide - 6 million people die each year from tobacco and 600,00 die from exposure to second-hand smoke.