Happy Valentine’s Day. What better day to shower yourself with love by making the decision to quit smoking or designating your home a smoke-free zone than today? Ignite your passion for health; not a cigarette. Why? Because cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals; 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Isn’t just knowing this enough to ban cigarettes from you the air you breathe forever? If not, these startling facts from the American Lung Association should be:
- Tobacco-related diseases kill 443,000 Americans annually.
- Smoking is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the U.S.
- Cigarette smoking increases the length of time that people spend with a disability by about 2 years.
- Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times3 stroke by 2 to 4 times3,6 and lung cancer by 13 to 23 times.
- Cigarette smoking costs the economy over $193 billion in annual healthcare costs and lost productivity.
If this doesn’t ignite your desire to cease smoking or allowing smoke into your home, then think of the children. Their developing bodies and higher breathing rates make them especially susceptible to second hand smoke. According to the Mayo Clinic, a small child who spends just one hour in a very smoky room inhales as many dangerous chemicals as if she had smoked 10 or more cigarettes. The more exposed children are to second hand smoke, the more likely they are to suffer higher-than-average incidences of asthma and respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), children’s exposure to secondhand smoke is responsible for:
- Increases in the number of asthma attacks and severity of symptoms in 200,000 to 1 million children with asthma;
- Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections (for children under 18 months of age); and,
- Respiratory tract infections resulting in 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each
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. To help adult smokers quit, the American Lung Association offers Freedom From Smoking® which teaches the skills and techniques proven to help smokers quit. Here is a great download to help you & your loved ones get started Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and the Health of Your Family.