- Smoking causes damage to nearly every organ and is the leading cause of preventable death.
- More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.
- The adverse health effects of smoking account for nearly 480,000 deaths per year in the United States.
- Smokers are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease by 2 to 4 times.
- Smoking causes reduced circulation causing narrowing of the blood vessels.
- In addition to causing lung cancer, smoking can also cause the following types of cancer: bladder, esophageal, cervical, kidney, stomach, oral, and others.
- Smoking can cause infertility, pre-term delivery and low birth weight.
- The two main types of smokeless tobacco are chewing tobacco and snuff.
- Smokeless tobacco causes oral health problems, including cancer.
- Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers.
- Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the United States and it often takes a smoker multiple attempts to quit.
Effective treatments include: clinical interventions, counseling, over-the-counter and prescription nicotine replacement medications.
If you are interested in quitting, always discuss which method might work best for you with your physician. The following resources are available to smokers who are interested in quitting:
- The City of Bryan’s prescription drug plan (OptumRx) covers some smoking cessation medications at no cost (three attempts per lifetime).
- The Texas Department of State Health Services has resources available at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/tobacco/ including the Quitline which is free to all Texas citizens. The Quitline provides professional support and counseling.
- The American Cancer Society has resources available at http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/index .