By: Janet Hunt

Smoking is bad for most of your body and causes many diseases, such as lung cancer, heart disease, COPD, stroke, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and more. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in U.S. Tobacco use causes over 440,000 deaths per year, and second-hand smoke causes over 41,000 deaths per year. Additional facts:

  • Smokers miss more work than nonsmokers and their illnesses last longer
  • On average, a smoker’s life is 13-14 years shorter than a nonsmoker
  • Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at a much higher risk for developing cardio vascular disease and/or stroke
  • Smoking increases the risk of dying from lung cancer, esophageal cancer, larynx cancer, and other oral cancers
  • Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of cancer and is not a safe alternative to cigarettes
  • Electronic cigarettes are a tobacco product
  • Electronic cigarettes contain harmful chemicals, including nicotine, carbonyl compounds, and volatile organic compounds
  • Cigars and pipes have many of the same health risks as cigarettes
  • Smoking increases the risk of infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, and low birth weight
  • Children exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk of sudden death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, ear infections, and lower respiratory tract infections
  • Smoking causes immediate and long-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate and doubles the risk of stroke by reducing blood flow to the brain
  • Smoking reduces bone density in post-menopausal women
  • Smokers have more infections

There is no one way to quit smoking that works for everyone. The key is to find a method that works for you. The goal is to reduce your risk factors for developing smoking-related diseases, improve your overall health, and reduce the dangers of second-hand smoke to those around you.

Once you determine which method you are going to use to quit, look at your trigger situations and barriers and address those. Consider how to avoid the situations where you will want a cigarette. Get support. Find friends and family that can give you that extra boost when needed. You may also want to consider a fitness program. Exercise helps decrease the desire to smoke plus helps lower your risk factors even more.
By: Janet Hunt Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
For more information on a good fitness program, call Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530. I offer personal training in a small studio or group fitness classes at several locations in Athens. No gym membership is required for either.

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