The Health Risks of Smoking
When you smoke….
Your heart rate increases.
You expose yourself to some 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and 40 of these chemicals cause cancer.
You are much more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoker. Men are 22 times more likely to develop lung cancer, while women who smoke are 12 times more likely.
You are twice as likely to have a heart attack as a nonsmoker.
You increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, some types of caner, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases.
You are hurting not only your health, but the health of anyone who breathes the smoke, including nonsmokers.
The Benefits of Quitting
When you quit smoking…
Your body begins to heal from the effects of nicotine within 12 hours after your last cigarette.
Your heart and lungs start repairing the damage caused by cigarette smoke.
You breathe easier and your smoker’s cough starts to go away.
You lower your risk for illness and death from heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, and other types of cancer.
You contribute to cleaner air, especially for children who are at risk for illnesses because they breathe others’ cigarette smoke.
After You Quit
Learn how to reduce cravings for both cigarettes and food.
Drink less caffeine
Get enough sleep.
Get support and encouragement
Talk to your doctor about nicotine replacement.
Try not to do things that tempt you to smoke or eat when you are not hungry.
Try not to panic about modest weight gain.
*Adapted from the National Cancer Institutes’ “Smoking: Facts and Tips for Quitting”