There are over 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes and of the 4,000, only one is nicotine, and 43 others are known cancer causing agents.
What you should know about smoking:
Every 72 seconds in the United States, someone dies from a tobacco related illness. That’s about 430,000 people every year. Actually the United States government regulates nicotine in every other delivery system except in a cigarette (www.cancer.org).
Ingredients found in cigarettes
- Ammonia: A solution you use to clean your kitchen floor.
- Formaldehyde: Used to embalm dead people with.
- Cresol: Used in explosives.
- Acrylonitrile: Used to manufacture bottles, but has been withdrawn from use as a fumigant for all other food commodities.
- Benzene: Used as appoint remover.
- Cadmium: Used for metal coating, reactor control rods, storage batteries and dry film lubricants.
- Phenol: Used in disinfectants and germicidal paints.
- Nicotine: Used in tranquilizing darts for wildlife, although it has been mostly banned from insecticide use.
A testimony alluding to a statement by an RJR tobacco executive, as told by Dave Goerlitz, former Winston Cigarette model, subcommittee on Transportation & Health Hearings HR Bill # 1250/serial # 101-85 pg. 39.
“We don’t smoke this crap, we just sell it! Smoking is for the young, the poor, the Black, and the stupid.”
It’s Never Too Late to Quit -
Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette:
You stop polluting the air
Blood pressure drops to normal
Temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal
Pulse rate decreases
After 12 hours:
Carbon monoxide levels in the blood drops to normal
Oxygen levels in the blood increases to normal
After 24 hours:
Risk of a heart attack & stroke decreases
After 48 hours:
Nerve endings adjust to the absence of nicotine & re-growth begins
Nicotine by-products are removed from your body
The ability to smell and taste things in enhanced
After 72 hours:
Your bronchial tubes start to relax, making breathing easier
Lung capacity increases
After 2 Weeks – 3 Months
Your walking and aerobic exercises become easier.
Risk of heart attacks decrease
Lung function increases up to 30%
Your bronchial cilia begin to re-grow, increased ability to clean lungs, reduce infection, clear pollutants. Your overall body energy increases
After 1 – 9 Months
Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath all decrease
Your circulation improves.
You experience more energy
After 1 – 12 Months
Your coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease.
2 - 4 months after your last cigarette
Your risk of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease reduces by 5%.
After 1 year
Heart disease death rate is halfway back to that of a nonsmoker
Your risk of developing Coronary Heart Disease reduces by 50%.
After 2 years
You reduce the risk of recurrence of ulcers and improve short-term healing.
Your risk of death from heart disease declines 24%.
After 3 years
Your risk of heart attack and stroke approaches that of someone who has never smoked.
After 5 years
Heart disease rate drops to that of a nonsmoker
Lung cancer death rate decreases halfway back to that of a nonsmoker
Your chance of dying from lung cancer decreases by half for one-pack-a-day smokers.
After 5 – 15 years
Your risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15yrs after quitting.
After 10 years
Lung cancer death rate is half that of a smokers
Precancerous cells are replaced
Any pre cancerous cells are replaced by healthy, normal cells.
Your risk of developing mouth, esophageal, throat, bladder, kidney and pancreas cancer decreases.
You have a 50% to 70% reduction in the risk of developing lung cancer.
After 10 – 14 years
Your risk of developing Heart Disease drops to that of someone who never smoked.
After 15 years
Your risk of developing lung cancer is the same as non-smokers!
Your risk of CVD is back to that of a nonsmoker!
Your life expectancy is as long as that of a non-smoker!
So what are you waiting for?
- You won't only look better, but you'll feel better! Your skin will improve, your breath will smell better, YOU will smell better.
- Quitting smoking will also equate to giving yourself a raise in salary! If your smoke an average of 15-20 sticks a day, quitting smoking will easily yield you P 10,000.00 a year! Imagine what you can do with that money!
- Your overall confidence improves. Once you successfully quit smoking, you'll be able to better handle difficult situations. Quitting smoking is a terrific achievement that will definitely improve you as a person.
Social Benefits of Quitting Smoking
- You will feel in control instead of your cigarettes controlling you.
- You feel an enhanced sense of self-esteem.
- Your family will be healthier now and in the future.
- Your healthy appearance will improve.
- You won't have to leave any non-smoking gatherings just to have a cigarette.
- Your bank account will improve.
- Compared to smokers, people who quit smoking are more likely to exercise regularly and exercise will help quitters to stay off cigarettes and avoid or minimize weight gain.
Specific Benefits to Women Who Quit Smoking
- If women didn't smoke during pregnancy, fetal and infant deaths would be reduced by approximately 10%.
- Women who quit smoking before pregnancy or during the first 3 to 4 months of pregnancy have the same low risk of having a low birth weight baby as women who have never smoked.
- Women who quit smoking in the later stages of pregnancy, up to the 30th week of gestation, have infants with higher birth weight compared to women who continue to smoke.
- 2 years after your last cigarette, your risk of cervical cancer reduces.
- Non-smokers reach menopause 1 to 2 years later than smokers.
- If you quit before age 35, your life expectancy is the same as non-smokers.
- If you quit between the age of 35 and 65, add 5 years to your life expectancy as compared to someone who continues to smoke.
- If you quit between the age of 65 and 74, add 1 year to your life expectancy as compared to someone who continues to smoke.
Help! I can’t breathe – my roommate smokes!
Living with a smoker is not easy, and approaching them to discuss the situation may not be easy. You may feel that you are invading their rights. However, you have the right to stand up for your own health and well-being. Tell them that you understand this is their choice, but that you’d appreciate it if they would respect you and your decision not to smoke. Let them know that you are not condemning them, but be honest and tell them that the smoke aggravates your allergies, asthma or gives you a headache etc. Remember to make this a healthy and friendly dialogue and if you are respectful then you shall receive respect. Discuss with them the dangers of second hand smoke, they are probably unaware of all the dangers.
Think of your loved ones – Secondhand smoke is very dangerous (American Lung Association)
- Secondhand smoke causes
- 3,400 deaths/year from lung cancer in non-smokers
- As many as 69,600 deaths/year from heart disease in non-smokers
- Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
- Irritation of the lungs leading to coughing, excessive phlegm and chest discomfort
- Secondhand smoke harms children - children who breathe secondhand smoke are:
- More likely to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, and other lung disease (Every year, smoking causes up to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia in infants and children under 18 months of age)
- More likely to have more ear infections
- More likely to develop asthma (202,000 asthma episodes/ year).
* A California study indicated 430 cases of sudden infant death syndrome were associated with secondhand smoke!
- Count your cigarettes everyday and try to smoke 1 less cigarette /week. Remember to stir things up when you get a craving. Exercise or go for a walk instead of smoking!
- Remember to relax when you get a craving – cravings only last a short time.