Quit Lessons - The Health Risks of Smoking Cigarettes

Quit Smoking 101 -- Lesson 4

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The Health Risks of Smoking

In the last lesson, we looked at the benefits we can expect to see once we quit smoking. Now we'll take a no-nonsense look at the health risks associated with smoking, as well as read some first-hand accounts from those who have had to deal with the deadly effects of tobacco use.

As hard as it is to do, confronting the destruction and death that follows tobacco use helps us remove the rose-tinted glasses we tend to look at our own addiction to cigarettes through.

Tobacco is not our friend; it's not a companion that sees us through thick and thin. Tobacco is a killer, plain and simple, and it will kill you just as easily as the next person, given the chance. It is human nature to think that the bad stuff happens to other people, but the truth is, we are the "other" people too.

Before tobacco kills, it will almost certainly cause untold pain and suffering that is horrific because more times than not, tobacco is a slow killer. Smokers tend to gloss over this fact.  Most times, the diseases that follow tobacco cause slow, painful deaths, with the possible exception of those who die of a sudden heart attack.

With upwards of 6 million tobacco-related deaths on the planet each and every year, most of us have lost at least one close friend or family member to smoking. Think about that -- 6 million lives snuffed out annually due to a legal product that kills.

Put another way, that number represents a life lost to tobacco every 5 seconds somewhere in the world.

Don't fool yourself into thinking you can continue smoking and dodge the bullet that tobacco is. The odds are never in the smoker's favor.

Take your time in going through the links in today's lesson.

It is divided into four parts: The chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, information about the diseases associated with tobacco use, tobacco statistics and personal stories.

Bookmark this page. It's a lot to digest all at once, but try to read it all eventually, because by looking head on at the hazardous effects of tobacco use, we can begin to shift our relationship with smoking. This is a necessary step we must all take if we're going to shed nicotine addiction permanently.

Chemicals in Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke

Harmful Chemicals in Cigarettes
To date, more than 7000 toxic chemicals have been identified in cigarettes and cigarette smoke. Many of them are poisonous and/or carcinogenic.

Why You Should Avoid Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke is an extremely dangerous mixture of chemicals that contribute to numerous diseases and even death.

What is Thirdhand Smoke?
What is thirdhand smoke and what should I be concerned about with it? Is it dangerous for kids?

The Health Risks of Smoking

How Cigarettes Harm Us from Head to Toe
The number of diseases that can be associated with tobacco use is staggering.

 Inhaling the toxins in tobacco smoke puts every organ in our bodies at risk.

Are My Breathing Problems a Sign of COPD?
A recent ex-smoker asks why she has not noticed better lung function since quitting cigarettes.

10 Risks of Smoking While Pregnant
What science currently knows about the risks for the unborn child when pregnant mothers smoke.

How Smoking Causes Hardening of the Arteries
Learn why smoking is a risk factor for atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease also known as hardening of the arteries.

15 Types of Cancer Caused by Smoking
Smoking related cancers go far beyond lung cancer. What cancers do we know are smoking related cancers, and what cancers may be accelerated by smoking?

Statistics about Tobacco Use

Shocking Tobacco Facts
This eye-opening list of 20 startling facts about tobacco will help you start to see smoking in a new light.

Facts and Stats About Cigarette Smoking
To date, scientists have identified upwards of 7000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, 250 of which are poisonous, and 70 that cause cancer.

Key Facts about COPD
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States today. Key facts and statistics about this common disease might surprise you.

Current Global Smoking Statistics
What are the current key facts about global tobacco use today? Statistics related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke are reviewed.

Personal Stories

Oral Cancer -- Marlene's Story

COPD -- Jacki's Story

Lung Cancer - Cheryl's Story

Lung Cancer -- Dee's Story

Heart Disease -- Walt's Story

Smoking Cessation Support

About Smoking Cessation Support Forum
Support is a key ingredient in a successful quit program. Connect with others who are going through smoking cessation now, along with those who are further along and can offer advice.

Quit Smoking 101 -- Index Page | Lesson 5

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