Quit Smoking and Save a Life – Yours!
Every year in the United States, nearly 400,000 people die due to tobacco-caused disease–that’s the entire population of Minneapolis. Worldwide, there are 5 million deaths each year. And for every person that dies, there are 20 others suffering from at least one serious illness brought on by smoking. These astounding statistics keep the habit as the number one cause of preventable death in this country. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).
The odds are stacked against us as tobacco companies with seemingly endless sums of money continue to spend billions of dollars a day to promote their products. Would it surprise you to know that $23 million is spent each day on cigarette and other tobacco advertising? It’s no surprise then, that 4,000 young people smoke their first cigarette each day in the US. So, what is the cost to Americans exactly? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 2000 and 2004, smoking cost $197 billion dollars split nearly evenly between lost productivity and healthcare costs. A similar study reported that second hand smoke alone cost $10 billion in 2007.
There are immediate health benefits of smoking cessation. Within minutes, your blood pressure drops, within hours oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in the blood start to return to normal. After one year of stopping smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease is down to about half that of a continuing smoker. After five years, your risk of stroke drops, after 10, your risk of cancer is lessened. But it should be noted that the longer you smoke, the more likely you are to suffer negative health effects. Smokers tend to live ten years less than nonsmokers. However, those who quit before the age of 35 can gain most, if not all, of that back. Those who quit at a later age are unable to do so. Those who quit between the ages of 45 and 59 are only able to add between four and six years to their lives. The longer one smokes, the more likely, even after quitting, they are to develop health problems later in life. These include mucous problems, COPD, emphysema, lung failure and loss of immune function.
While these statistics are not very optimistic, there are some that show a little more hope. Approximately 69% of adult smokers report that they want to quit the habit for good. Some 52% of smokers even attempted to quit during 2010. Whether or not they were successful in that attempt is less important than the clear understanding the majority of smokers have that they need to make a change.
The American Cancer Association has published a number of helpful tips and tricks to assist those in their tobacco cessation efforts.
- Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
- Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
- Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and at work.
- Stock up on oral substitutes — sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and/or toothpicks.
- Decide on a plan. Will you use nicotine replacement therapy or other medicines? Will you attend a stop-smoking class? If so, sign up now.
- Practice saying, “No thank you, I don’t smoke.”
- Set up a support system. This could be a group program or a friend or family member who has successfully quit, and is willing to help you. Ask family and friends who still smoke not to smoke around you, and not to leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
- If you are using bupropion or varenicline, take your dose each day leading up to your Quit Day.
- Think about your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what didn’t.
If you’re a smoker, think carefully about quitting today, it could save your life.
When trying to quit alone isn’t enough, there’s support available. Health Concerns has herbal formulas designed to help those struggling with addiction. Click the links below for more information about our products or visit our website for more information.