Choosing to quit smoking can be a hard decision. But, medical experts say it can also be one of the best things you can do for your health. It can also save you money.
One in every five deaths in the United States is smoking-related according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the CDC points out about 10 million people in the United States have died from causes attributed to smoking (including heart disease, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases) since the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health in 1964. Two million of those deaths were the result of lung cancer.
Heavy smokers, or those who smoke over a pack of cigarettes a day, can find themselves at the greatest risk. The CDC also says exposure to secondhand smoke causes an estimated 3,000 deaths from lung cancer among American adults. Scientific studies also link secondhand smoke with heart disease. In addition, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says 90 percent of people with oral cancer use tobacco.
According to the National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC), women have seen the highest increase in smoking related diseases. NWHIC says tobacco use by pregnant women has been linked with increased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and mental retardation.
Smoking is also considered a trigger for asthma, according to the American Lung Association (ALA), and secondhand smoke worsens the health of children with asthma. Studies also show that cigarette smokers have more than double the risk of a heart attack compared to non-smokers; and according to ALA, the earlier you start smoking, the greater the health risk. Smoking is also considered a risk factor for developing cataracts and pneumothorax, a condition that can cause the lung to collapse.