Every year, the third Thursday of November marks the Great American Smokeout. This annual event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps inform users of the tools available to help them quit and quit for good. Personally, I have known many people who have attempted to quit smoking. Although it’s a struggle, when they finally do kick the habit, they always say it was the best health decision they ever made.
So, the question is: to quit or not to quit? It’s easier said than done. If you’re thinking about the benefits vs. hazards of smoking, please keep the following facts in mind:
- Tobacco smoke is a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds of which are toxic and carcinogens.
- Tobacco contains nicotine which is powerfully addictive.
- Addiction to nicotine changes the chemical balance in your brain.
- Smoking causes immediate damage to your arteries and increases the danger of heart attack and stroke.
- Smoking damages and scars your lungs causing lung disease like COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis.
- Smoking harms reproduction and your children’s health.
- Smoking makes diabetes harder to control.
- Secondhand smoke causes immediate harm to nonsmokers.
- The average cost of a pack cigarettes is between $6-10 - Yikes!
Wow, now that’s a list! If you’re interested in quitting, look into programs offered through your insurance/medical carrier, local programs (AHA, ACS, ALA), or your state/national quit line (1.800.QUIT.NOW).