Tobacco use and related illnesses remain the number one cause of mortality in the United States, affecting over 16 million Americans. Between the years 2000-2004, cigarette smoking caused nearly $200 billion in healthcare related financial losses. Despite these physical risks and financial losses, more than 46 million American adults continue to smoke cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who quit smoking:
- Decrease their risk of all types of cancer, especially those of the lung, mouth, throat, and bladder
- Decrease the likelihood of developing heart and vascular disease, or suffering a stroke
- Have reduced coughing and wheezing and slower decline in lung function
- Decrease the likelihood of developing COPD, a chronic lung disease that can lead to recurrent respiratory infections and hospitalizations
- Reduce their risk of infertility - women who quit smoking during pregnancy improve the health of their child and lower the risk of having a low birth-weight baby
- Men reduce their risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction
With so many reasons to quit, why not make this the year you stop smoking? There are a few prescription and over-the-counter smoking cessation aids available, as well as counseling that has been found to increase success. Talk to your family doctor about which method(s) are appropriate for you.
Read more about Smoking & Tobacco Use at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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