Are you Dying for a Cigarette?

Although tobacco deaths rarely make headlines, tobacco kills one person every six seconds. Tobacco kills a third to half of all people who use it, on average 15 years prematurely. Today, tobacco use causes 1 in 10 deaths among adults worldwide–more than five million people a year. By 2030, unless urgent action is taken, tobacco’s annual death toll will rise to more than eight million.1And it is preventable. When you stub out that last cigarette, you save—

  • the money you’re spending on the product
  • the greater cost of medical care you’ll need as tobacco takes its toll
  • time at work or play—no more long trudges to wherever you’re still allowed to light up
  • cherished moments with family when you no longer excuse yourself from the room to protect children and their grandparents from second-hand effects.

And you’ll save years of your life by quitting. Chemicals in both tobacco smoke and smokeless tobacco are known to cause cancer. Smoking can also cause heart disease, lung disease, erectile dysfunction, and tooth and gum diseases.

It’s too soon to know if e-cigarettes (vaping) are a good way to quit. Some researchers argue that they’re less harmful than regular cigarettes and therefore can wean your body off smoking. Others say there are too few benefits vs. too many risks. Some folks even vape more than they smoked!

E-cigarettes are just one form of nicotine-replacement therapy, like nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal sprays, and skin patches. With all these substitutes, you are no longer filling your lungs with chemical-laden smoke. Stop the actual smoking and your lungs begin to heal.

But the deadly enemy nicotine still lurks—to increase your blood pressure and heart rate, can cause nausea and diarrhea, and stuff you up with phlegm.

Check out “stop smoking” programs near you. Don’t think that because you tried and failed last time you’ll never succeed. You can quit.

World Health Organization
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