Smoking is a proven health hazard, and there are many clear benefits to quitting. Yet, many ignore these benefits and continue to smoke, thinking “that won’t happen to me”, but it can, or if they don’t smoke as much, it won’t be as harmful. So, I’ll talk about some of the drawbacks to smoking.
According to the American Lung Association website, each year smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to mothers smoking during pregnancy and those exposed to secondhand smoke. This is more people than aids, alcohol, drug abuse, car crashes, murders, suicides, and fires combined. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States. The list of diseases caused by smoking includes cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, multiple types of cancer, especially esophageal, laryngeal, lung, and oral cancer, and reproductive disorders. The American Cancer society states that smokers also die significantly earlier than nonsmokers: 13.2 years for men and 14.5 years for women.
Although most of those people who smoke know the facts about smoking and may be diagnosed with a disease that is caused by it, they still continue to smoke. Reports from the Surgeons General beginning in 1964, smoking has been the single most important issue for all the Surgeons General of the past five decades. In 2010 the Surgeons General report stated that nicotine, the key chemical found in tobacco, causes the addicting effects of tobacco. The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs.
I am an LPN and have worked in an oncology office for two years. Most of the patients I have encountered who were diagnosed with lung cancer had been a smoker for the large of their lives. Even those with other types of cancer had been a smoker at...