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Eighteen little-known facts about smoking that may motivate even a veteran smoker to give up the habit:
Cigarette smoke contains tar, made up of over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known to cause types of cancer.
Chemicals in smoke include cyanide (a deadly poison), methanol (wood alcohol), formaldehyde (a preservative), acetylene (fuel used in torches) and ammonia (found in fingernail polish remover). It also contains nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, both poisonous gases.
Smokeless tobacco (snuff) exposes a person to at least 10 times more cancer-causing substances than smoking does.
Smoking filtered cigarettes lowers the risk of lung cancer by only about 20 percent.
Smokers are more likely to get pneumonia than are nonsmokers.
Smokers are more likely to have and die from stomach ulcers than are nonsmokers.
Smoking causes and worsens heart disease, emphysema, bronchitis, sinusitis, and cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), and esophagus (swallowing tube), and increases the risk of bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach and cervical cancers.
Women smokers experience earlier menopause and have less dense bones, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Children whose parents smoke are at a higher risk for pneumonia and bronchitis.
Diseases caused by cigarette smoking kill about one in four smokers.
By the time lung cancer is diagnosed, it has usually spread to other parts of the body. The survival rate is low: only 13 percent are still alive five years after diagnosis, fewer than 10 percent after 10 years.
Lung cancer now kills more women than any other type of cancer.
Smoking takes an average of seven years off a person's life.
Smoking causes one out of every six deaths in the United States.
Nine out of ten smokers say they want to quit.
More men have quit smoking than women.
More than 43 million Americans have quit smoking, and–over the past decade, the percentage of smoking adult Texans has decreased from 31 to 22 percent.
Between 1964 and 1985, approximately 750,000 deaths were avoided or postponed as a result of decisions to quit smoking or not to start.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in America, but it could be prevented 80 to 90 percent of the time if only people would not smoke.
Your "fact" about smokeless tobacco exposing the user to 10 times the cancer causing agents is fiction. Studies show that if a smoker switches to using smokeless tobacco, they reduce their health risks by about 98%. Quitting is the best but switching is almost as good.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|