Stop Smoking Now

by Sara Hassan on March 28, 2014

Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and is the public health’s number one enemy.  It causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. Shockingly, it causes more deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, and firearm-related incidents COMBINED.  About 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and women are caused by smoking, and recently more women are dying from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer. Unfortunately, the risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in men and women in the United States. Now, what puzzles me is that smoking is still an ongoing problem in today’s society even though it is known to cause increased health risks.

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Many people use smoking to help relieve stress or make them selves feel more relaxed. However, there are healthier ways that one can relieve stress.  One can do yoga or meditation, both of which have been known to relieve stress and make one feel relaxed. A lot of college students also believe that smoking makes them seem cooler, when in reality it is unattractive and harming their health. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of teens are pressured to smoke because of marketing. A young adult could be watching their favorite show, and a character is smoking a cigarette. Or one may walk into a liquor store and pass by advertisements for cigarettes.

Cigarette smoking needs to stop now.  It may be hard for those who are addicted, or rely on cigarettes to relieve stress, but it can improve their health tremendously if they stopped. Not only does smoking harm the smokers, but even second hand smoke has become a problem. Just one year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply. Within two to five years, your risk for stroke could fall to about the same as those who are nonsmokers. Your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within five years. Even ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half. I don’t know about you, but if I was a constant smoker and I knew these facts then I would begin to try and quit. There are numerous amounts of programs, or even nicotine patches that can bring a smoker one step closer to a healthy life.

I am aware on what smoking can do to a person, and that is why I am so against it. When I was younger, I grew up with having certain family members whether it was my immediate family or extended family smoking. I was always against it because of the way it smelled and how often I witnessed them smoking. I am fortunate enough to have no one pass away because of an illness that can be caused by smoking, but I do fear it could happen. From a young age, I wondered what the harmful effects were of smoking and once I learned of them I pushed to have family members quit. In this day in age, with the amount of resources available there should be a bigger push to have people quit smoking because of the risk it causes both to themselves and the people around them.

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