Tobacco related illness is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, each year killing 440,000 people.
- Every ten seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies of tobacco-related causes.
- Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined.
- Nicotine, an addictive chemical found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, makes it difficult to stop smoking once you start.
- Lung Cancer is caused by tar and carcinogens in tobacco smoke. Every puff of a cigarette has more than 4,000 chemicals, including ammonia (poisonous gas), arsenic (rat poison), cyanide (rat poison), acetone (poisonous solvent), formaldehyde (preservative for dead tissues), toluene (poisonous solvent), polonium (radioactive) and carbon monoxide (poisonous gas). At least 69 of the 4,000 cause cancer.
- Smoking is associated with lung cancer, throat cancer, cancers of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, cervix, kidney, stomach and bladder, heart disease, stroke, and emphysema and chronic bronchitis (COPD).
- By reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood, smoking reduces your stamina for sports and other physical activities.
- Smoking stains your teeth and fingers yellow, makes your clothes, hair and breath smell bad and causes your skin to wrinkle.
- Smokers pay more for life insurance and die earlier than non-smokers.
- Each cigarette that you don't smoke adds 11 minutes to your life.
- Each pack of cigarettes that you don't smoke adds three and a half hours to your life.
- Each week's worth of cigarettes that you don't smoke adds one day to your life.
- You are likely to live 14 years longer if you don't smoke.
- Children, spouses and pets exposed to secondhand smoke have higher rates of cancer.
- Smoke damages furniture, curtains, rugs and other furnishings.
- Cigarette burns cause damage and fires.
- Insurance rates are often lower for smoke-free homes and cars.
- 20 minutes after quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate decreases.
- 12 hours after quitting the carbon monoxide in your blood decreases.
- 48 hours after quitting your ability to smell and taste improves.
- 2 week – 3 months after quitting, your heart attack risk drops and you begin to breathe better.
- 1-9 months after quitting, your cough and shortness of breath decreases.
- 1 year after quitting your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5-15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced.
- 10 years after quitting, lung cancer death rate is about half of a smoker's, and the risk of mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas cancer decreases.
- 15 years after quitting your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non smoker.
Myths About Quitting
- Myth: Tobacco use is just a bad habit.
Truth: Tobacco use is an addiction. Nicotine can be as addictive as heroin.
- Myth: Quitting is just a matter of willpower.
Truth: Tobacco use is an addiction, quitting is often very difficult. A number of treatments are available that can help.
- Myth: If you can't quit the first time, you will never quit.
Truth: Quitting can be difficult. Usually people make several tries before being able to quit for good.
- Myth: The best way to quit is "cold turkey".
Truth: Research now shows that the most effective way to quit is by using a combination of behavior modification, professional support and FDA approved medications.