People didn’t always know that cigarettes would kill you. Smoking used to be allowed on airplanes, in office buildings, and at restaurants. Today, everyone knows that smoking can cause cancer and deadly chronic diseases. It’s common knowledge at this point. There’s been extensive research that objectively shows how smoking cigarettes is detrimental to your health.
If you’ve been smoking for twenty years you won’t be shocked when your doctor tells you that you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. You won’t be surprised when he tells you that you have heart disease, either. However, you might be surprised if you’re diagnosed with COPD and you’ve never smoked a day in your life.
Smoking doesn’t just affect you and your health. Smoking cigarettes affects the health of those around you, too. Secondhand smoke is just is deadly as smoking, and secondhand smoke can kill.
Smoking causes COPD
Smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As many as 75% of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease smoke or used to smoke. There are other causes of COPD – such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust – but smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are the most common cause of the disease.
Health effects of secondhand smoke
Secondhand smoke is the same as the smoke inhaled by a smoker. It contains the same toxic, deadly chemicals. In addition to COPD, smoking can cause many other health problems.
Cigarette smoke contains upwards of 70 chemicals that can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer – which is the number one cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. – and has been associated with an increased risk for brain cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, and throat cancer, and other types of cancer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke also increases the risk for coughs, colds, asthma, lung infections, and other respiratory problems in children and adults.
Secondhand smoke also increases a person’s risk for developing heart disease.
Secondhand smoke can be especially dangerous for children. Children’s lungs are still developing and secondhand smoke can cause irreversible damage to a child’s lungs. There’s a correlation between parents who smoke and SIDS, too.
You have a choice
You can make the decision not to smoke. Those around you can’t choose not to breathe secondhand smoke. It’s undeniable that secondhand smoke affects the health of those around you in the same way that smoking undeniably affects your health. Help keep yourself, your family, and those around you healthy, and stop smoking today.
MANA offers smoking cessation counseling by a certified smoking cessation counselor Kristin Zaharopoulos, APRN.
Lung cancer screening can help detect cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable. Contact MANA Imaging for information regarding free lung cancer screening.