Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of premature deaths in the United States. Lung cancer accounted for 1% of all cigarette smoking-attributable illnesses Each year in the United States, approximately 440,000 persons die of a cigarette smoking-attributable illness. Smoking is responsible for 30% of all coronary heart disease deaths. Smoking however remains very prevalent, with almost 21 million men and 18 million women continue to smoke. "I smoke ten to fifteen cigars a day. George F. Burns (American comedian 1896-1996). Most people who smoke will see the risk of dying from heart disease go up by almost three times.
Smoking increases blood pressure, accelerates the progression of arteriosclerosis, decreases the good HDL cholesterol, and increases the tendency for the blood to clot. Even after heart bypass surgery, continuing smoking increases the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events. Second hand or passive smoke is also associated with health risks in both children and adults.
The EPA estimates that environmental tobaccos smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer and about 37,000 coronary heart disease deaths in nonsmokers each year. Children, exposed to secondhand smoke before and after birth, are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, cleft pallets and lips, childhood leukemia, attention deficit disorder and childhood wheezing.
Besides Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), second hand smoke is also associated with an increase in acute lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, chronic respiratory symptoms and middle ear infections in children. Adults experience an increased risk of lung cancer, nasal sinus cancer, heart disease mortality, acute and chronic coronary heart disease morbidity and eye and nasal irritation, when exposed to second hand smoke. Actress Loni Anderson. Smoking does not just damage the cardiovascular system. It causes chronic lung disease like bronchitis and emphysema, and also the irritating chronic cough and increased phlegm production. It increases susceptibility to the flu and increases wrinkling. Pregnant women who smoke face the danger of spontaneous abortion, still birth and sudden infant death syndrome after childbirth.
If you stop smoking, the benefits start almost immediately. Several clinical studies have shown the cessation of smoking results in a substantial decrease in recurrent heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, total coronary heart disease mortality, and ischemic stroke.
People who quit smoking cut their risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm in half. Within 5 to 15 years after stopping smoking, the risk of having a stroke decreases to the same level as that of someone who never smoked. After 15 smoke free years, the cardiovascular system will be as healthy as of somebody who had never smoked. "The best way to stop smoking is to just stop - no ifs, ands or butts. "Once you are ready to quit smoking, set a quit date. Change your environment that encourages you to smoke. Do not let people smoke around you or in your home. You may also want to join a smoking support group. Nicotine replacement therapy is available as nicotine patch, gum, nasal spray or inhaler. Using smokeless tobacco also increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
So quit today. It has also been said that cancer cures smoking. Perhaps I can add that premature death will definitely cure your smoking. So do not be like Mark Twain (American Humorist, Writer and Lecturer. 1835-1910) "It's easy to quit smoking. Quit once and quit forever.