Ways to Quit Smoking

May 3, 2011 0 Comments

Statistically, addiction to smoking increases the user’s chance of having their life end prematurely by as much as 50%, due to risks associated to smoking. That is a staggering realization. Add to that, many users of tobacco products had knowledge that there was a health risk at the time they picked up the habit.

User statistics are equally as disturbing:

1. One in five high school seniors admit to being addicted to tobacco.
2. 70% of all high school students admit to having tried cigarettes.
3. Statistically speaking, 3,000 teenagers start smoking each day.
4. One 1991 report stated that 27% of all Americans smoke.
5. 80% of all smokers picked up the habit before the age of 21.
6. At least 625,000 Americans lose their life each year from tobacco use.
7. Women who smoke up to ½ a pack of cigarettes a day during pregnancy increase their risk of delivering a baby with webbed or missing fingers and toes by 29%. The more cigarettes that are smoked, the higher the risk. Women who smoked 21 or more cigarettes increased the risk by 78%.
8. Smokers in their 30s and 40s are five times more likely to have a heart attack than non smokers in the same age group.
9. 90% of all schizophrenic patients smoke, 70% of all manic-depressive patients smoke, and 90% of all alcoholics smoke.
10. More than 4 million people lose their life each year due to smoking. It is estimated that this figure will rise to 10 million by the year 2030, due in part to increased use of tobacco in developing countries.

In addition to the above, new research indicates that there is a strong link between cigarette smoking and socio-economic classification. Whereas nearly one-third of men and women in routine, manual (blue collar) occupations smoked, less than one-fourth of all persons in management and professional occupations smoked. In fact, 44% of persons in blue-collar positions started smoking before they were 16, compared to only 29% of persons in professional occupations.

The Surgeon General’s 2004 report included the statement, “Smoking harms nearly every organ of your body, causing many diseases, and reducing your health in general.”

Smoking not only harms the body in many ways, it damages the immune system, increasing risks of infection. Illnesses in smokers also last longer than in nonsmokers. Smokers have a lower survival rate after surgery, and are more likely to experience health complications such as pneumonia and other respiratory problems.

A host of other possible health hazards await the habitual smoker. Increased bladder problems, claudication (a mobility inhibiting disorder), heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, stomach and other ulcers, varicose veins, premature wrinkles, and stroke risks can all be attributed to smoking. Taste and smell also becomes impaired, and menopause complications greater.

Bones of smokers are less dense, increasing chances of hip and other fractures as the body ages. Peripheral artery disease affecting the blood flow is another serious health hazard. And of course, the well-known risks of various cancers associated with smoking, which are many.

And those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, and pipes are not alone. Recent studies documented in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveal that chewing snuff is as dangerous a habit, or even more, than smoking. Top name brands of snuff yield high levels of toxic chemicals called “nitrosamines.” Those who chew snuff get twice as much of the harmful chemicals found in processed tobacco products as those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.

Once acquired, the smoking habit is hard to kick. While campaigns to prevent others from falling prey to the “toxic” habit of smoking, ways to help those already hooked require equal attention.

As distressing and well known the risks associated with tobacco use are, and as much as those who do smoke want to quit, “snuffing out the habit” proves more difficult than expected. The game of “one step forward, two steps back” is played out as repeated attempts to kick the smoking habit are met with failure.

But smokers who want to quit have reason to be greatly encouraged, and their efforts to stop smoking fortified. One other statistic with a more positive note should be added to the list of the negatives compiled for cigarette smokers. And that is this: “100% of all persons who smoke started out life as non-smokers.”

Realizing the weight and worth of that statement is vital in the battle against defeat. Every smoker who wants to stop, but feels incapable of doing so, needs to remember an important fact. If they were a nonsmoker once, they can be a nonsmoker again.

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