|Tobacco causes illness, cancer, death|
Tobacco causes illness, cancer, death
6:26 PM, Jul. 18, 2012 |
No Tobacco Day is …every day!
DR. SALVATORE LACAGNINA
It makes no sense to have just one day of the year or month designated as No Tobacco Day. Why? Because there is no benefit in smoking even one cigarette and there is no benefit in using any form of tobacco products. There is only harm, illness, cancer, a decreased quality of life and early death.
If in America we were really concerned about health care reform, we would stop producing all tobacco products. This would be the single most important thing we could do to improve the health of the population and it would over time save billions of dollars in health care costs, lost productivity at work and disability claims. Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity (disease and illness) and premature death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 443,000 American lives each year, including those affected indirectly, such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking and victims of “secondhand” exposure to tobacco’s carcinogens. Smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.
Now that we know there are no health benefits in using tobacco products, let’s review the health concerns. Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and emphysema; and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia, all forms of heart and blood vessel disease, increasing the incidence of heart attacks and strokes; and increases the risk of bladder cancer.
The use of any tobacco products that you keep in the mouth increases the risk of mouth and stomach cancers. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths. About 8.6 million people in the U.S. have at least one serious illness caused by smoking. That means that for every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, there are 20 more people who suffer from at least one serious illness associated with smoking.
Nicotine is the ingredient in cigarettes that causes addiction. Smokers not only become physically addicted to nicotine; they also link smoking with many social activities, making smoking an extremely difficult addiction to break. Quitting smoking often requires multiple attempts. Using counseling or medication alone increases the chance of a quit attempt being successful; the combination of both is even more effective.
There are seven medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to aid in quitting smoking. Nicotine patches, nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges are available over-the-counter. There are also a nicotine nasal spray and inhaler available by prescription, as well as non-nicotine pills known as Buproprion SR (Zyban) and varenicline (Chantix).
If the facts are known that tobacco products increase the risk of so many health problems, why do people continue to use them? Obviously there are many addictive components within tobacco products that make it difficult to easily quit. We have heard the rumors that the tobacco industry adds chemicals to the tobacco to make the cigarettes more addictive. Could this be true? We don’t know for sure, but what we do know is that tobacco products are extremely profitable for these companies. Tobacco products are one of the most heavily marketed consumer products in the U.S. In 2006, the latest year for which information is available, the five largest cigarette manufacturers spent a total of $12.49 billion – or more than $34 million a day – to promote and advertise their products.