Give Yourself a Chance for Life
Every 5.8 seconds, a premature death occurs from a smoking-related disease…if you don’t want it to be yours, read the facts and figures and help yourself stop smoking NOW – or it may be too late. If you think smoking – related deaths are just a quick release at the end of a long life – ask a cancer patient or their relative what it really feels like…”
Smoking facts and figures
If you believe that you can continue to smoke and live to a comfortable old-age, think again.
Worldwide, the death toll is around 4 million.
Smoking is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the United States – an estimated 438,000 people in the United States alone.
In the UK, smoking kills around 114,000 people each year. Of these around 42,800 are from smoking-related cancers, 30,600 from cardiovascular disease and 29,100 from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases.
Cigarette smokers die an average of 10 years sooner than non-smokers.
Dying from a smoking-related illness is not pleasant. Expect several years of illness and distressing symptoms before you finally die.
It is never too late to stop smoking to improve your health.
Cigarette smoke contains 60 substances that are known to cause cancer.
About 2,700 people aged 20-64 and a further 8,000 deaths a year among people aged 65 years or older die from second hand smoke.
Infants of parents who smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia in the first year of life.
What happens to your body when you smoke…
Eyes, Nose, & Throat
Within seconds of your first puff, irritating gases such as ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrogen sulphide attack sensitive membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat. Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration from decreased blood flow to the retina.
Respiratory rate increases, forcing the lungs to work harder. Irritating gases inflame lung tissue, speeding up production of mucus, providing a home for bacteria and viruses. The body becomes more susceptible to colds, flu, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.
Smoke weakens the body’s ability to remove foreign particles from the air sacs of the lungs. Continued smoke exposure affects the enzyme elastin, which keeps lungs flexible; inflexibility promotes emphysema.
Deposits of tar appear in the lining of the throat and bronchi and in the lung’s delicate air sacs. This equates to around a pint of tar per year at the rate of 1 pack per day. This tar provides chemicals for the production of cancer cellls.
Most lung cancers arise in the bronchial lining.
Carbon monoxide passes immediately into the blood from cigarette smoke, binding to the oxygen receptor sites and expelling the oxygen molecules from red blood cells. Less oxygen is available for the brain and other vital organs. Because of this added carbon monoxide load, a smoker’s red blood cells are also less effective in removing carbon dioxide in the gas-exchange system that occurs in the lungs.
Long-time smoking also impairs the ability of the white blood cells in resisting infection. Smokers have abnormally high levels of red blood cells – a condition called polycythemia.
Smoking causes an increase in blood clotting which increases risk of heart attack or stroke.
Blood pressure increases by 10 to 15 percent each time a cigarette is smoked, putting additional stress on your heart and blood vessels and increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Smoking makes the heart pump an extra 10 to 25 times per minute. Despite this extra effort, less oxygen reaches the heart, which is often a cause of heart disease.
Estimates suggest that half of smokers’ first heart attacks are fatal.
Smoking increases risk of Berger’s disease, which cuts off virtually all the circulation in your extremities. Severe cases require amputation.
Smoking destroys elastin, which keeps skin smooth and wrinkle-free. Nicotine constricts blood vessels near the skin’s surface, less oxygen and moisture reach facial cells and tissues. This shows as thick, tough, very heavily wrinkled skin, especially in females.
Smoking reduces fertility and can cause impotence and lower sperm counts. Pregnant female smokers risk increased chance of a miscarriage, birth defects, and premature birth.
Smokers teeth are yellow from tar. Smoking also inhibits the antibodies that protect the gums from periodontal disease. This increases the likelihood of gum disease.
Cigarette smoke stimulates overproduction of the stomach’s gastric juices, which can lead to ulcers.
Why do smokers go through all of this? Because nicotine activates the mesolimbic system which produces “feel good” chemicals.
What kind of death would you prefer?
This is what other smokers chose…
Coronary Heart Disease
CHD is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of death caused by smoking. Cigarette smoke toxins cause plaques to form in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing upwards of 150,000 people each year. For smokers, the risk of stroke is nearly 2-1/2 times that of nonsmokers.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and with 87 percent of all lung cancer cases involving tobacco, it is one form of cancer that is preventable.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Tobacco use is the number one cause of COPD (which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema), and quitting smoking is the best way to halt further damage. Estimates suggest up to 10 million Americans suffer from COPD, with perhaps around 14 million more undiagnosed.
What happens to your body when you stop smoking…
After 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal. Circulation improves, temperature in hands and feet increases to a normal level.
After 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops as oxygen levels increase. Bronchial tubes become more relaxed and less constricted, making it easier to breathe. The risk of thrombosis is reduced as the blood’s clotting agents return to normal.
The levels of carbon monoxide are reduced by about 50 percent. ‘Smoker’s breath’ becomes less pronounced.
After 24 hours, carbon monoxide is eliminated from the body.
After 48 hours, taste and smell have become much keener. Excess mucus and toxic debris that has collected over time will begin to be cleared from the lungs.
Some 2 weeks to 3 months later lung capacity will have increased by up to 30 percent.
After 3 to 9 months, cough, wheezing, and breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10 percent.
Overall energy levels continue to rise. Cilia in the lungs regrow, improving the lung’s ability to purify air. Skin appearance improves.
One year without smoking will mean that the excess risk of coronary heart disease is now approximately half that of a smoker.
After 2 years, the risk of a heart attack drops to a more normal level.
After 5 years of staying smoke-free, the average smoker who smoked one pack of cigarettes a day will have decreased their lung cancer death rate by almost a half. The risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat or oesophagus will now be half that of a smoker.
After 10 years, risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
After 15 years, risk of heart attack falls to the same level as someone who has never smoked.