Current or former smokers make up 90% of patients with lung cancer and smokers have a 70% greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Women who smoke 40 or more cigarettes daily have a 74% greater chance of dying from breast cancer. Many of these statistics are widely publicised and many smokers know of the risks to their health in relation to lung and heart disease and breast cancer. However, it isn’t as well known that infants of smoking mothers have greater difficulty processing sounds, and second-hand smoke can worsen asthma in youngsters. There is also a clear link between smoking and colon cancer, and diabetics who smoke have a higher risk of kidney damage.
We can add a host of other smoking-related dangers to this frightening list including cancer of the mouth, larynx, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bladder, kidney, and cervix, as well as stroke, heart attack, chronic lung disease, circulatory disease, peptic ulcers, diabetes, infertility, low birth weight, osteoporosis, ear infections, and fire hazards — smoking is the chief cause of home, hotel, and hospital fires.
Looking at the above, some may wonder why people start smoking in the first place. The truth is, most people are not fully aware of these facts. They may hear people talk about lung cancer and reason that they will quit before their health suffers. However, according to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. Once you are hooked on nicotine you need all the will power in the world to break the habit.
So what is the answer? Education! If young people are educated about all the risks before they start smoking, many will think twice before they light up. For those of you who smoke or have smoked in the past, if you knew all the risks involved as outlined above, would you still have started smoking? Be honest before you answer. Would you really have been willing to spend large sums of money on a product which, if used regularly over a period of years, is guaranteed to ruin your health?