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    1. What are the effects of cigarette smoking on cancer rates?

Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths . Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women . Smoking is also responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder. In addition, it is a cause of kidney, pancreatic, cervical, and stomach cancers, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

 

    1. Are there any health risks for nonsmokers?

The health risks caused by cigarette smoking are not limited to smokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke, or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), significantly increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmokers, as well as several respiratory illnesses in young children. (Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke that is released from the end of a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s National Toxicology Program, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have all classified secondhand smoke as a known human carcinogen—a category reserved for agents for which there is sufficient scientific evidence that they cause cancer. The U.S. EPA has estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers and is responsible for up to 300,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infections in children up to 18 months of age in the United States each year.

 

    1. What harmful chemicals are found in cigarette smoke?

Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents, including over 60 carcinogens. In addition, many of these substances, such as carbon monoxide, tar, arsenic, and lead, are poisonous and toxic to the human body. Nicotine is a drug that is naturally present in the tobacco plant and is primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products, including cigarettes. During smoking, nicotine is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and travels to the brain in a matter of seconds. Nicotine causes addiction to cigarettes and other tobacco products that is similar to the addiction produced by using heroin and cocaine.

 

    1. How does exposure to tobacco smoke affect the cigarette smoker?

Smoking harms nearly every major organ of the body. The risk of developing smoking-related diseases, such as lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke. This includes the number of cigarettes a person smokes each day, the intensity of smoking (i.e., the size and frequency of puffs), the age at which smoking began, the number of years a person has smoked, and a smoker’s secondhand smoke exposure.

 

    1. How would quitting smoking affect the risk of developing cancer and other diseases?

Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. Quitting smoking decreases the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. The earlier a person quits, the greater the health benefit. For example, research has shown that people who quit before age 50 reduce their risk of dying in the next 15 years by half compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking low-yield cigarettes, as compared to cigarettes with higher tar and nicotine, provides no clear benefit to health.

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We love the message in this video. What do you think? It’s not cool to smoke anymore is it?

Maybe this would help too?

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We are not one to promote other products (yet) but this site is pretty cool. EX is a free quit plan that will help you stop smoking. It’s not about why to quit, it’s all about HOW. Created by medical experts and tested by real smokers.

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About 46 million American adults smoke cigarettes, but most smokers are either actively trying to quit or want to quit. Since 1965, more than 49 percent of all adults who have ever smoked have quit smoking.

  • After one year off cigarettes, the excess risk of coronary heart disease caused by smoking is reduced by half. After 15 years of abstinence, the risk is similar to that for people who’ve never smoked.
  • In 5 to 15 years, the risk of stroke for ex-smokers returns to the level of those who’ve never smoked.
  • Male smokers who quit between ages 35 to 39 add an average of 5 years to their lives. Female quitters in this age group add 3 years. Men and women who quit at ages 65 to 69 increase their life expectancy by 1 year.

More than four in five smokers say they want to quit. And each year about 1.3 million smokers do quit. With good smoking cessation programs, 20 to 40 percent of participants are able to quit smoking and stay quit.

Overheard from a smoker:

“It’s got little rings around it in a couple of spots,”

The rings? They are thick bands of low-permeability paper, and they are rapidly appearing on cigarettes across the country. The idea being if you set down your cigarette — or fall asleep in bed while its still lit— the cigarette will go out when the ash reaches one of the rings.

In effect, the rings act as caution tape. To keep a cigarette lit, you have to keep puffing. When you stop, it goes out by itself in about 5 minutes.  It doesn’t really cut down on smoking now does it?

Fire and public health folks think the cigarettes are a good idea — so good that in the last six years, 37 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws requiring that they be sold; in five other states, such laws are under consideration or await the governor’s signature.

There are no reliable statistical data demonstrating that fire-safe cigarette laws actually reduce fires though.

Fire and public safety officials do point to research conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health, which found that only 10 percent of cigarettes sold in New York, the first state to enact a safer cigarette law, burned down to the filter if left unattended, compared to 99.8 percent of cigarettes without the bands.

Common sense dictates that cigarette are less likely to cause fires if they snuff themselves out, advocates say, meaning fewer deaths, injuries and property loss.

The new smokes ‘taste like crap’-
Good, maybe that will motivate you to quit the nasty habit in the first place! Side by side with a traditional cigarette, you can’t tell much difference. But on the box, the letters FSC above the bar code denote Fire Safe Cigarettes; in some states, it’s RFP for Reduced Fire Propensity.

“I do understand why they did it, as a safety precaution,” said one woman, But there’s one big problem, she said: “The cigarettes don’t taste near as good as they used to.” Can I get an amen?

And that’s the rub. Asked to rate the new cigarettes, many smokers said they left an unpleasant coppery taste in the mouth. Can I get another amen?

“It’s nasty,” said another man, they “taste like crap.” One more amen please!

And for many smokers, the  feature that fire officials like is a pain in the neck.“They constantly go out, and I have to relight them all the time,” said a woman from Texas. Do you fell sorry for her?

New York kicked off the movement 4½ years ago, when it became the first state to require tobacco companies to make the self-extinguishing cigarettes. As the laws have spread across the land, many smokers have driven to neighboring states to get their smokes. That’s what happened in Kentucky after its law went into effect in April 2008.

That may not be an option for long, though, whether or not the 13 states without fire-safe cigarettes laws fall into line: With the tide firmly against them, the tobacco companies, which initially opposed the laws, now say it is too much trouble to make different cigarettes for different states. As a result, they predicted that by Jan. 1, 2010, all cigarettes sold in stores in the United States will be self-extinguishing.


Which is why some smokers give special thanks for the Internet.

They are turning to online sites like FSCCigarettes.com, which complains: “It’s kind of BS that we the smokers have to put up with more unnecessary and probably unhealthy additive being added to our smokes (That we pay good money for by the way) just because some junkies can’t properly extinguish there [sic] cigarettes.”

And they are venting on online forums like one run by the Smokers Club, which argues that “there is no end to the fictions nicotine ninnies will create to justify their venomous hatred of smokers.”

One poster on the site wrote that if you believe fire-safe cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes, “you might want to have your doctor check to see if you still have a brain.”

Meanwhile, a group calling itself Citizens Against Fire Safe Cigarettes said it had collected more than 1,600 signatures on an online petition seeking to repeal fire-safe cigarette laws. Last week, the organization put out a call on its blog for “crucial support from a Scientist with a PH.D. and/or a medical doctor who is willing to come forward and offer their support.”

In a posting on the group’s online forum, a Texas woman wrote that “the new chemicals are making me very ill, and quitting is harder than I ever imagined.”

“It’s time for the government to take responsibility for the bad decisions they have made,” she added. “They used smokers as guinea pigs, and now they expect us to roll over and drop dead.”

With that being said, why complain about your rights as a smoker and become a non-smoker?

Not if you saw what was going on inside the human body every time you took a drag.

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Maybe you just don’t enough about the disease that dominates you? Watch this wonderful video from the Mayo Clinic on why it is so hard to quit smoking.

According to recent studies, the only thing cooling about menthol cigarettes may be the name at most.  The “menthol flavor” may make them even more addictive and deadlier to smokers.

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“We previously found that menthol cigarette smokers take in more nicotine and carbon monoxide per cigarette. This study shows that menthol smokers also find it harder to quit, despite smoking fewer cigarettes per day,” study author Kunal Gandhi, a researcher in the division of addiction psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyRobert Wood Johnson Medical School, said in a news release issued by the school.

In the study, which examined almost 1,700 people attending a university-run tobacco addiction clinic, blacks and Latinos who smoked menthol cigarettes had a notably harder time quitting than those smoking non-menthols. Blacks who smoked menthols, for example, had half the success in quitting as blacks using non-menthol cigarettes.

“These results build on growing evidence suggesting that menthol is not a neutral flavoring in cigarettes. It masks the harshness of the nicotine and toxins, affects the way the cigarette is smoked, and makes it more deadly and addictive,”  said Jonathan Foulds, director of the university’s Tobacco Dependence Program.

 

Brain scans of smokers taken before and 24 hours after quitting showed increased activity in certain areas of the brain that cue the person to crave a drag when they view photographs of others smoking, according to research published online Jan. 5 in Psychopharmacology.

“We saw activation in the dorsal striatum, an area involved in learning habits or things we do by rote, like riding a bike or brushing our teeth. Our research shows us that when smokers encounter these cues after quitting, it activates the area of the brain responsible for automatic responses. That means quitting smoking may not be a matter of conscious control,” researcher Joseph McClernon, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center, said in a news release issued by the school.

“So, if we’re really going to help people quit, this emphasizes the need to do more than tell people to resist temptation. We also have to help them break that habitual response,” he added.

“Only five percent of unaided quit attempts result in successful abstinence,” McClernon said. “Most smokers who try to quit return to smoking again. We are trying to understand how that process works in the brain, and this research brings us one step closer.”

Study co-author Jed Rose, director of the Duke Center for Nicotine and Smoking Cessation Research, said previous research he conducted showed that wearing a nicotine patch and smoking a cigarette with no nicotine breaks the learned behavior.

“The smoking behavior is not reinforced, because the act of smoking is not leading them to get the nicotine,” Rose said in the news release. “Doing this before people actually quit helps them break the habit so they start smoking less. We’re seeing people quit longer this way.”

 

As if there are not enough reasons for you to quit smoking, here is yet another sobering stop smoking video pulled off of YouTube. You may want to seriously consider stopping smoking after watching this video. it’s your choice, but then again, it always has been.

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