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Stop Smoking medicines
Stop smoking: why it is important?
Smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease. Cigarettes
cause more deaths than cocaine, auto accidents, AIDS, alcohol, heroin, fire,
suicide and homicide combined.
The costs to our society include over 400,000 lives lost every year in the
U.S.-- over 1200 each day -- and $50 billion annually in lost productivity and
increased health care costs. Worldwide, the toll exacted by tobacco use is two
to three million deaths each year. Of the world's 1.2 billion smokers, the world
health Organization estimates that 500 million of them will die because of smoking.
This means that 9% of people now alive will die from cigarettes.
In most cases, the decision to smoke is not made by adults. Sixty percent
of smokers start by the age of 14, and 90% of smokers are firmly addicted before
reaching age 19. Stated another way, only one in ten smokers become addicted
after the age of 19. So, almost no one starts smoking after age 19.
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop alerted the nation that nicotine is
as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Yet tobacco companies have been spending
over $4 billion annually on advertising, or $15 annually for every man, woman,
and child in the country.
Because of health problems associated with cigarette smoking, several nations
have passed a ban on cigarette advertising. But in the US, the Congress legislated
no significant change in this area in the past 30 years.
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and affecting
the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking has immediate as well as
long-term benefits for you and your loved ones.
The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 22 times higher among men
who smoke cigarettes and about 12 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes
compared with never smokers.
Cigarette smoking increases the risk for many types of cancer, including
cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, larynx (voice
box), lung, uterine cervix, urinary bladder, and kidney.
Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the
United States. Cigarette smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop coronary
heart disease than nonsmokers.
Cigarette smoking approximately doubles a person's risk for stroke. Cigarette
smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries).
Smokers are more than 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral
Cigarette smoking is associated with a tenfold increase in the risk of dying
from chronic obstructive lung disease. About 90% of all deaths from chronic
obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking.
Cigarette smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects,
including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low
birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never
smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than never smokers.
Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex
mixture of gases and particles that includes smoke from the burning cigarette,
cigar, or pipe tip (sidestream smoke) and exhaled mainstream smoke.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking
adults. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase
their heart disease risk by 25-30% and their lung cancer risk by 20-30%. Breathing
secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system
that can increase the risk of heart attack. People who already have heart disease
are at especially high risk. Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms
in children and slows their lung growth. Secondhand smoke causes sudden infant
death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more
frequent and severe asthma attacks in children. There is no risk-free level
of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can be dangerous.
Research has shown that smoking during pregnancy causes health problems for
both mothers and babies, such as Pregnancy complications, Premature birth, Low-birth-weight
infants, Stillbirth, Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
When asked why you smoke, you might have said, "I just like to smoke!"
or "It's my choice to smoke." The tobacco companies have promoted
the idea that smoking is a matter of personal choice. As I see it, there really
isn't as much choice as they have suggested to their customers. Ask yourself,
and be totally honest: Am I addicted to tobacco? Am I truly making a freely
made choice when I smoke? You might consider that you need to have a cigarette.
Studies have shown that nicotine addiction is as hard to break as heroin or
In Nicotine Anonymous' 12 Step program, which sprang from the venerable Alcoholics
Anonymous program, the first step is admitting to yourself, "I'm powerless
over tobacco." Making this admission may seem trivial to you, but for many
it is a very significant part of completing the journey to becoming a non-smoker.
By telling smokers that smoking is a personal choice, the tobacco industry
has helped to keep its customers in denial about the true extent of their addiction.
If smoking is a choice, then what's the rush to quit? The tobacco companies
have used this spin to help keep millions of customers buying their deadly products.
Admitting that you're smoking more out of addiction than choice will help
motivate you to go on to the next steps -- taking control of yourself and becoming
a nonsmoker. This admission will further serve you by helping you stay smokefree
later. In the months and years after you quit, when temptations to smoke occasionally
overpower you -- and they will -- remind yourself, "I have an addiction
and I'm powerless over tobacco." Saying this to yourself in overwhelmed
moments of desire will help give you the strength to say no to "just one"
If you can make it for just five minutes without giving in, the urge to smoke
be controllable or disappear. In this way, you'll be able to stay smokefree