Health Information
The Cigarette

Introduction
Our goal is to help you quit smoking. We hope that by pointing out the many dangers of smoking cigarettes you will be more motivated to quit smoking.

The Cigarette

The burning cigarette is a miniature furnace burning at over 2,000 degrees that produces over 2,000 substances. Many of these substances cause cancer or are toxic to the body.  Each of the 50,000 puffs per year that a one pack per day smoker inhales contributes to the numerous risks of smoking (see below).

Cigarette smoke includes the following toxic fumes and substances:

What are the risks of smoking?
The tobacco institute would like smokers to believe that a controversy exists regarding the health risks of smoking. The fact is that cigarettes kill. A 25-year-old man who smokes two packs per day lives eight less years than a non-smoker of the same age.

What are the risks to others from smoking?
Smoking and Pregnancy:  There is increased awareness of the rights of the fetus.  One such right should include a non-smoking mother.  Mothers who smoke while pregnant have increased risk of still birth and abnormally low birth weight babies.

Risks to Children in the Home of Smokers:  Infants and children who live in homes where parents smoke have an increased chance of getting pneumonia, bronchitis, or asthma.  This risk is highest when both parents smoke.

Risks to Other Healthy Adults:  Second hand cigarette smoke often causes eye irritation, headache, nasal congestion or cough in non-smokers exposed to air polluted with cigarette smoke. Passive smoking (inhaling the cigarette smoke of others) has been shown to cause lung cancer. Non-smoking people who live with heavy cigarette smokers have a higher chance of developing lung cancer because they also inhaled the cigarette smoke from the smoker. Non-smoking people working in smoky environments have reduced lung function.

Risks to Other Adults with Chronic Illness:  People with heart disease, who have angina (chest pain form poor heart function) get angina more often and with less exercise when exposed to cigarette smoke indoors. Patients with asthma often become worse when exposed to cigarette smoke.

Why Quit?
The above risks from smoking all dramatically decline after stopping smoking. The risk of lung cancer falls to barely above that of a non-smoker within 15 years of quitting. The risk of heart disease falls sharply within one year of quitting.

Women who quit smoking before the 4th month of pregnancy eliminate the risk of still birth and low birth weight.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy:  Nicotine gum or patches can decrease withdrawal symptoms. Sustained motivation remains the key, but some studies show twice as many people are successful at quitting with this aSdditional therapy.

Conclusion:
We believe that cigarette smoking is extremely dangerous to your health, and also risky to others.

We would be pleased not to have you as a patient 10 – 20 years
from now, by having you quit smoking today.


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