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Diseases caused by smoking kill more than 443,000 people in the US each year. In fact, smoking is directly responsible for almost ninety percent of lung cancer and COPD deaths. Even with anti-smoking campaigns and medical health disclaimers in place, many people continue to smoke or start to smoke every year. A 2009 survey by the CDC reported that more than 25 percent of high school kids were current tobacco users.
Smokers not only increase their risk of lung disease, including lung cancer, but they also increase their risk of other illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, and oral cancer. Risks from smoking, as they relate to lung disease, may include, but are not limited to, the following:
The symptoms of smoking-related lung diseases may resemble other lung conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Secondhand smoke, smoke that is exhaled by smokers and smoke emitted from the burning end of a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe, causes more than 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in persons who do not smoke themselves. Also called involuntary or passive smoking, secondhand smoke can also lead to heart disease. The following are some of the most common symptoms associated with exposure to secondhand smoke. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Children and infants exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to experience ear infections, and asthma, and are at a higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than children and infants without the same exposure.
The symptoms of secondhand smoke may resemble other medical conditions and problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
People who quit smoking can actually reverse some of the damage that has been done to their lungs over an extended period of time. Other benefits of quitting smoking may include the following:
Cigars became a trend in the 1990s, attracting the young and the old. Perceived as less detrimental to one's health, cigars actually pose the same, if not greater, risk as cigarettes for oral cancer. Although many cigar smokers do not inhale, their risk for oral, throat, and esophageal cancers is the same as for cigarette smokers. Consider these facts:
Quitting smoking is both a mental and a physical undertaking. Mentally, you should be ready and relatively stress-free. Physically, you need to commit to exercising daily and getting plenty of sleep. A person trying to quit must overcome two obstacles: a physical addiction to nicotine and a habit. The American Academy of Otolaryngology and the American Lung Association offer the following tips to help users quit using tobacco products:
In some cases, smokers benefit from nicotine replacement products to help break their smoking habit. Nicotine replacement products continue to give the smoker nicotine, although in smaller quantities than a cigarette, to meet their nicotine craving. However, the benefit of nicotine replacement products is the elimination of tars and poisonous gases that cigarettes emit. Pregnant or nursing women, and people with other medical conditions, should consult with their physician before using any nicotine replacement products. Some examples of nicotine replacement products include: