The Health Risks of SmokingIn the last lesson, we looked at the benefits we can expect to see once we quit smoking. Now we'll take a no-nonsense look at the health risks associated with smoking, as well as hear some first-hand accounts from those who have had to deal with the deadly effects of tobacco use.
As hard as it can be to do, confronting the destruction and death that follows tobacco use helps us remove the rose-tinted glasses we are prone to viewing our smoking habit through.
Tobacco is not our friend; it's not a companion that sees us through thick and thin. Tobacco is a killer, plain and simple, and it will kill you, given the chance. Before it does though, tobacco will likely cause you and your family pain and suffering that is horrific, because more times than not, tobacco is a slow killer.
With upwards of 5 million tobacco-related deaths on the planet each and every year, most of us have lost at least one close friend or beloved family member to smoking. Think about that -- 5 million lives snuffed out annually. Put another way, that number represents a life lost to tobacco every 8 seconds somewhere in the world.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you can continue smoking and dodge the bullet that tobacco is. The odds are never in the smoker's favor.
Take your time in going through the links in today's lesson. It is divided into two parts: The chemicals in cigarettes and cigarette smoke, and information about the diseases associated with tobacco use.
Some of the content is graphic and may be disturbing. Don't skip over it though, because by looking head on at the hazardous effects of tobacco use, we can begin to shift our relationship with smoking -- a necessary step we must all take if we're going to shed nicotine addiction permanently.
The Health Risks of SmokingHow Cigarettes Harm Us from Head to Toe
Do you have any idea which smoking-related disease is the number one cause of death among smokers? If you're thinking it's lung cancer or COPD/emphysema, you're wrong. While both of these smoking-related diseases do claim a lot of lives, it is heart disease that that holds the top slot in the list of diseases that kill smokers.
Shocking Tobacco Facts
A crucial step in the recovery process from nicotine addiction involves breaking through that wall of denial to put smoking in the proper light. We need to learn to see our cigarettes not as the friend or buddy we can't live without, but as the horrific killers they truly are.
Health Effects of Tobacco Use -- Photo Gallery
This link comes from the University of Sydney. The images on this site are very graphic in nature. Not for the faint of heart.
Personal StoriesDiagnosed with Oral Cancer: Marlene's Story
Throat cancer is a horrible disease, and one that most smokers fear. I cannot imagine losing my voice, let alone going on to "speak" before groups of children, using my disease as a powerful example to help them avoid smoking. This is just what Marlene does today though, every chance she gets. She is a remarkable woman, and is nothing short of inspirational. I hope that her story touches you as it has me.
COPD -- Jacki's Story
My heartfelt thanks go out to Jacki for sharing her unfailing courage and determination to quit smoking in the face of debilitating illness. This show of strength has been a guiding light for so many in our forum community who are looking for freedom from nicotine addiction.
Lung Cancer -- Dee's Story
At 49 young years of age, Dee was diagnosed with stage 1B non-small cell lung cancer. In her own words she thought of herself as fit and invincible, but her story is proof that the smoking-related diseases are indiscriminate. They can strike anyone at any time.
Heart Disease -- Walt's Story
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of death caused by smoking. Smoking is hard on the heart, and the toxins in cigarette smoke cause plaques to form in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis, otherwise known as hardening of the arteries.
Smoking Cessation SupportSmoking Cessation Support Forum
Support is a key ingredient in a successful quit program. Connect with others who are going through smoking cessation now, along with those who are further along and can offer advice.