Smoking and Your Health

By: Janet Hunt
I find it hard to believe I have never written about smoking! I was just driving home from one of my classes listening to talk radio and the topic was smoking. I was surprised to hear smoking (nicotine) is the most addictive drug – more than heroin, and 25% of all people who try smoking become smokers. Unbelievable! Do not even try it. It stinks. It causes bad breath. Long-term smokers get smoker’s cough and smoker’s voice and smokers’ face (wrinkles). Still want to smoke? Below are some more serious statistics from the CDC.

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.

Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following combined:

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Illegal drug use
Alcohol use
Motor vehicle injuries
Firearm-related incidents

More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States.

Smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths; and more women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.

Smoking causes about 80% of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.

Scared of developing cancer? Listen to these statistics from the CDC.

Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body:

Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
Colon and rectum (colorectal)
Kidney and ureter
Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
Trachea, bronchus, and lung

Smoking also increases the risk of dying from cancer and other diseases in cancer patients and survivors.

If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the United States would not happen.

We all know the relationship between smoking and heart disease, strokes, and respiratory diseases and we still smoke. But the CDC still has more statistics.

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person’s overall health.

Smoking can make it harder for a women to become pregnant. It can also affect her baby’s health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for:

Preterm (early) delivery
Stillbirth (death of the baby before birth)
Low birth weight
Sudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death)
Ectopic pregnancy (often referred to as tubal pregnancies)
Orofacial clefts in infants

Smoking can also affect men’s sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage.

Smoking can affect bone health. Women past childbearing age who smoke have weaker bones than those who never smoked. They are also at greater risk for broken bones.

Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss.

Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts. It can also cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is damage to a small spot near the center of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision.

Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers.
Smoking causes general adverse effects on the body, including inflammation and decreased immune function.

Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis.

My advice is to not start smoking. Quit if you are smoking. Vote to increase taxes on all tobacco products. For help quitting, talk to your health care provider.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.