Quit Today—Reduce Your Risk of 3 Health Effects From Smoking
Saturday, November 24, 2012
You breathe in more than 4,000 chemicals each time you smoke a cigarette. All forms of tobacco are harmful and even deadly. Both women and men are hurt by these poisons. Smoking causes harm to nearly every part of your body.
Tobacco use in the United States causes about 450,000 deaths each year. Of those deaths, 170,000 are from cancer. Smoking causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and acute myeloid leukemia. Female smokers also have an increased risk of cervical cancer.
The most common cancer women die of? Not breast cancer. Lung cancer. More women in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.
Once you are smokefree for five years, you are less likely to die from lung cancer and other lung diseases than if you were still a smoker. The longer you stay smokefree, the lower your chances of getting these diseases. Women of all ages who quit smoking can lower their chance of getting diseases such as cancer. For smokers who do get cancer, quitting smoking helps their bodies to heal and to respond to cancer treatment. Quitting also lowers their chance of getting a second cancer.
Heart disease and stroke
More women die of heart disease than anything else. Smoking causes heart disease in women. A woman’s chance of getting heart disease goes up with the number of cigarettes she has smoked and how long she has been smoking.
Your chance of getting heart disease greatly goes down within one to two years of quitting smoking. Once you are smokefree for 10 years, your risk of heart disease is the same as if you had never been a smoker.
Women who smoke are more likely to have a stroke than non-smokers.
You can lower your chance of having a stroke by quitting smoking. Five to 15 years after quitting, your chance of stroke is the same as that of a woman who has never smoked.
Cigarette smoking is the #1 cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among women. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two kinds of COPD. Your chance of getting COPD goes up the more you smoke and the longer you smoke. Among women in the United States, cigarette smoking causes about 9 out of every 10 deaths from COPD.
Teen girls who smoke have lungs that don’t grow as much as non-smokers’ lungs, and adult women who smoke have lungs that don’t work as well as non-smokers’ lungs.
It’s not just about how long you live; it’s about quality of life. Quitting can add healthy, full days to each year of your life. It can also help you set a good example for your children. You're showing young people that a life without cigarettes is a longer, healthier, happier life!