Smoker? You're not Alone!
The World Health Organisation estimates that 1,300,000,000 (1.3 billion)
people smoke in the world - that is one third of all people on earth over the
age of 15. More than 80% of these people live in countries with low or
middle income levels.
In the United States, it is thought that 45.3 million people currently smoke.
That's a staggering 19.3% of all adults.
What's all that smoking doing to our health?
Worldwide, tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, and
current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths
annually by 2030.
Regrettably cigarette smoking is thought to be the cause of one in every five
deaths in the United States alone. That's about 443,000 deaths per year,
and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of
second-hand smoke exposure. Another 8.6 million people live with a serious
illness caused by smoking.
Studies have shown that both adult males and females who smoke lose on
average around 13 -14 years of their life expectancy.
What are cigarettes doing to my family and me?
Cigarette smoking acts as a catalyst in serious illnesses like lung cancer,
cardiovascular diseases, stroke and persistent airway impediments
(including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction).
Unfortunately the harmful effects of smoking spread further than the smoker.
Second-hand smoking affects an estimated 88 million non-smoking Americans,
including 54% of all children aged 3-11 years. Second-hand smoke exposure
causes heart disease and lung cancer in non-smoking adults and in children
sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems,
and more frequent and severe asthma attacks.
Harsh facts, that perhaps you don't want to think about? Maybe, but you
need to come to terms with the fact that you are slowly killing yourself by
smoking cigarettes and that your habit may also be damaging the people
closest to you.
If you really do want to quit smoking you must be prepared to be completely
honest with yourself about the dangers associated with smoking. It's very
important that you understand what you are doing to yourself so you can
commit to taking that first step on your journey to successfully becoming
Think you want to Quit?
Many adult smokers want to quit smoking cigarettes. In fact it's thought
that approximately 69% of smokers in the United States want to quit completely.
It's a basic fact that smoking is as much a psychological addiction as a
physical one. It may, therefore, help you to stop smoking if you can work out
by self-analysis why you are a smoker and how quitting would benefit you.
Take a piece of paper and make two columns on it. At the top of the first
column write: - Reasons I Started Smoking. Over the other column write:
- Reasons to Stop Smoking.
Firstly, write down the reasons you took up smoking. Think carefully
about it; people start for all sorts of different reasons. It might have been
some kind of pressure, family trouble, financial problems, peer pressure,
experimentation etc. Now, determine whether or not these problems still exist.
You might find that the problems/situations that drew you into smoking don't
exist anymore. Smoking may have become a bad habit that you don't want
or need now.
Now, write down the reasons you want to stop. It might be because of the
threat of fatal illnesses caused by smoking, or that your habit may be causing
harm to your loved ones. You may be experiencing breathlessness or your
feet may be cold due to poor circulation. You may be suffering from a
persistent cough that you can't get clear of. If this is the case then, health
and well-being will be one of the primary reasons that you want to quit smoking.
You should also consider other reasons. Smoking causes wrinkles, and the
premature aging and drying of the skin. It gives you bad breath; your fingernails
and teeth become yellow and stained. There's the smell that gets into your hair,
clothes, home and even your car that tells everyone you smoke no matter how
hard you try to cover it up. The dirty looks from other people when you smoke
in public places. Not to mention the huge amount of money you are spending
on cigarettes, air fresheners and breath mints.
Have you ever added up how much you can save by quitting? I bet it would be
enough for a nice little holiday.
Think about your family. How happy they will be after you quit smoking.
Think about your house. How clean and fresh it would be with no dirty
yellow walls, or smelly furniture. Think about your friends and how you
won't have to hide your bad habit from them anymore. These are all great
reasons to focus on if you seriously want to quit.
Now compare those two lists. I bet there are far more valid reasons to
quit than the reasons for starting and carrying on smoking. When you can
divert your mind by focusing on all of the good things that will take place
when you kick the habit once and for all, you will have a much easier
journey on your road to becoming a non-smoker!
Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be going over a
few tips and suggestions that will help you stay on track while you are
trying to kick the habit!