Monday, June 27, 2011
Does It Even Matter?
In 1964, the US Surgeon General wrote a report that indicated the dangers of smoking stating that the nicotine and tar found in cigarettes causes lung cancer. As a result, Congress passed an act that cigarettes should be labeled with a warning (Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act). The label showed: Cigarettes may be hazardous to your health.
Over the years the tobacco companies tried to make adjustments to the amount of nicotine and tar, improving the filters with the intentions of allaying the fears of the consumer. However, the truth is there was still a health concern. In the 1980's the companies had to place these warnings every three months on the cigarette boxes.
Since then many efforts have been made to discourage smoking. Smoking bans have reached hotels, planes, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. Some employers even banned smoking not only in the offices but also anywhere near the office building. These attempts only infuriated the smokers but in now way did it deter them from smoking. After all they have may seen their loved ones die of lung cancer, watched the price increase of cigarettes go up to $14.50 and yet they would scrape their change together and purchase the cigarettes.
In and effort to make and impact the Food & Drug Administration launched a campaign that some may call a bit too graphic but I wonder, does it even matter?
Tobacco use can rapidly lead to the development of nicotine addiction, which in turn increases the frequency of tobacco use and prevents people from quitting. Research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.
Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers.
Smoking causes lung diseases such as emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction. About 90 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking.
Smoking causes approximately 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths in women. Smoking also causes cancers of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx, lung, mouth, throat, stomach, uterus, and acute myeloid leukemia. Nearly one-third of all cancer deaths are directly linked to smoking.
More than 140,000 deaths from heart disease and stroke in the United States are caused each year by smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 2 to 4 times.
Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillborn or premature infants, infants with low birth weight and an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
More than 1,200 people a day are killed by cigarettes in the United States alone, and 50 percent of all long-term smokers are killed by smoking-related diseases. Tobacco use is the cause of death for nearly one out of every five people in the United States, which adds up to about 443,000 deaths annually.
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke increase their risk of developing lung cancer by 20–30 percent.
Quitting at any age and at any time is beneficial. It's never too late to quit, but the sooner the better. Quitting gives your body a chance to heal the damage caused by smoking.