We all know smoking is bad. Non-smokers. Smokers. People who call themselves “social smokers.” Everyone is aware: smoking is bad.
So, if we know its bad, why do people smoke?
Let's be honest: people smoke/chew/snuff tobacco because it feels pretty nice - even if it tastes gross. And people continue to smoke because smoking is addictive.
Smoking is easy to start. Maybe it was that cool kid who had the good hair and looked tough who handed you a cigarrette. Or, it could have been that your parents smoked, and their parents smoked, and then you - like going into the family business - you smoked. Or maybe you dated someone who smoked and the next thing you know... The options for starting are endless. But quitting - that's the challenge.
Quit with FREE Help
Studies have shown that you have a better chance of quitting successfully if you have help. This help could be friends, family, or a support group.
Chase Brexton offers free smoking cessation classes for anyone ready to quit - or ready to give quitting a try! See our schedule below. The FREE classes are every Monday for six weeks - and include advice, support, and FREE nicotine patches or lozenges. Oh, and did we mention they are FREE? Call 410-837-2050 ext. 2617 to register.
Reasons to Quit
1. Seriously...What are you smoking?
One cigarette contains more than 4,000 chemicals – 250 are known to be toxic to humans, including: arsenic(rat poison) benzene(chemical in gasoline)butane(lighter fluid), DDT(chemical insecticide), formaldehyde (embalming agent), hydrogen cyanide(used in chemical weapons), methanol (rocket fuel), polonium-210 (radioactive material), toluene (paint thinner).
What are you chewing?
At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer including: nitrosamines (a curing agent), polonium–210 (radioactive material), and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (byproduct of petroleum). Additionally, smokeless tobacco contains high amounts of sugar and salt – bad for teeth, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
2. Tobacco Gives More than a Buzz
- Lose 2 hours of your life for every pack of cigarettes you smoke.
- Smokers’ wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, can cause premature graying, hair loss, and impotence.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- Lung cancer – nearly 90% of all lung cancers are caused by smoking.
- Lung disease, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke and cataracts. Irregular/increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and damage to nearly all organs.
- Second-hand smoke kills 50,000 people a year. It also kills pets, causes birth defects, and causes chronic respiratory illnesses in children.
Chew, Dip, “Spit,” Snuff, Snus, Smokeless Tobacco
- Gum ulcers, leukoplakia – precancerous mouth lesions, gingivitis (gum disease) – which leads to heart disease.
- Halitosis (bad breath), tooth decay, tooth loss.
- Oral cancers – mouth, tongue, gum, throat, lips. Removal of cancerous tissue can cause facial disfigurement.
- Irregular/increased heart rate, high blood pressure, increased risks of heart disease.
- Increased risks for pancreatic, kidney, and stomach cancers.
3. Quitting Has Immediate Rewards
- 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
- 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
- 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
- 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
- 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a person who continues smoking. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases, too.
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker's.
Trustworthy External Resources:
- www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/guidetoquittingsmoking/index - American Cancer Society
- www.lung.org/stop-smoking/ - American Lung Association
IMPORTANT: Throughout the world wide web, there is a ton of information about health care - some true, some not so true, some just plain wrong. Any information about your health is best to get from your health care provider. The information contained here is just guidance and should not replace any advice from your provider. It's important that if you have a health concern, that you talk to your provider.