Reasons to Quit Smoking
Approximately 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes, despite the associated risks. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death and preventable disease in the world. Nicotine, says the American Lung Association, is the chemical compound responsible for the physically addictive effect of cigarettes (and other tobacco products). This ingredient is what makes quitting smoking cold turkey extremely difficult; the body will experience symptoms of withdrawal, eased only by the consumption of more nicotine. Despite the difficulty, there are numerous reasons to quit smoking, including personal health, the impact of second hand smoke on others and the financial costs associated with smoking.
One of the largest reasons to attempt smoking cessation is for the direct health benefits that are related to quitting. The American Lung Association states that cigarettes contain around 7000 chemical compounds, 69 of which are known to be cancer causing. Ninety percent of lung cancer deaths can be directly attributed to smoking. Similarly, 80% of deaths related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as emphysema and bronchitis, are linked to smoking. In addition to this, smoking has been known to cause immune system issues, eye disease, diabetes and erectile dysfunction in males. In addition, women who smoke throughout their pregnancy are more likely to deliver prematurely or have babies with low birth weights. Globally, smoking is the most common cause of preventable death; smoking is responsible for 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Reasons to Quit Smoking: Second Hand Smoke (SHS)
Not only is smoking harmful for those who actively participate, it can also have a negative impact on the health of those exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). The American Cancer Society explains second hand smoke as being comprised of two components: sidestream smoke and mainstream smoke. Sidestream smoke is that which is released from the lit end of a cigarette (or cigar, pipe, etc.), whereas mainstream smoke is exhaled directly from the smoker’s mouth. Both are harmful, though sidestream smoke contains smaller particles (easier to absorb into the body) and higher levels of carcinogens.
Second hand smoke can have detrimental effects on both children and non-smoking adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children who are exposed to SHS are more likely to develop respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). These children are also more likely than children not subjected to SHS to be admitted to the hospital for the flu. Resulting health issues in adults may manifest as lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Between 2005 and 2009, approximately 34,000 non-smoking adults died due to secondhand smoke related heart disease and an estimated 7,300 died of cancer-related complications.
Reasons to Quit Smoking: Cost
Another reason to quit smoking is the financial toll maintaining the habit takes, not only on the user but on society as well. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes in the United States is approximately $7, says the American Cancer Society. This means that if you smoke one pack per day, there is an annual expenditure of more than $2,500 on cigarettes alone.
Smoking is currently the leading cause of preventable death around the world. Smoking cessation could drastically reduce the negative impact smoking has on the health of the smoker and those exposed to the second hand smoke. The American Lung Association points out that attempts to quit often have to be repeated multiple times. This means that quitting smoking cold turkey may not always be realistic, but with the help of counseling and medication (nicotine patches, prescription medication, etc.) successful cessation is achievable.
Individuals have a great option to help them quit smoking by joining a Los Angeles medical research trial> These clinical trials help smokers with smoking cessation by offering medication or therapy to quit the habit. These studies offer not only the latest medication for nicotine withdrawal, but also free doctor care and labs, as well as compensation. To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for smoking cessation, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.