Friday, March 8, 2013

Georgia Tobacco QuitLine available to stop 'most preventable cause of death in the United States'

Media release:   "Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.  On average, smokers die thirteen to fourteen years earlier than non-smokers," says to Lisa Greeby, health services program manager for Northwest Georgia Public Health.   "Today, any day for that matter, is a great day to 'Be a Quitter'!  Help is available.  The Georgia Tobacco QuitLine can assist you in several ways, but you have to make the call: 1-877-270-STOP."

Greeby notes that smoking is linked to multiple illnesses: lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases.  "It also increases a person's risk for cancer of the bladder, throat and mouth, kidneys, cervix and pancreas," she says.


"How can cigarettes do this?"

Cigarettes are extremely toxic.  There are 4,000 chemical components in them, at least 250 being harmful to human health.  Here are just a few of the types:

·        Arsenic  --  used to preserve wood.  In humans, it can cause heart disease and cancer.

·        Cadmium  --  a metal used to make batteries.  Cadmium can interfere with the repair of damaged DNA as well as hurt the kidneys and the lining of the arteries.

·        Formaldehyde  --  used to kill bacteria and preserve human and animal remains.  Known to cause cancer as well as being linked to chronic lung disease and is a very poisonous ingredient in secondhand smoke.

·        Tar  --  solid, inhaled chemicals linked with an increase risk for cancer.  Also leaves a sticky, brown residue on your lungs, teeth, and fingernails.

·        Carbon Monoxide  --  harmful gas you inhale when you smoke.  Once in the lungs, carbon monoxide transfers to your bloodstream and decreases the amount of oxygen that is carried in red blood cells.  This allows for an increase in the amount of cholesterol deposited into the inner lining of the arteries which, over time, can cause the arteries to harden.  All this can lead to heart disease, artery disease and possibly a heart attack.

·        Nicotine  --  a dangerous and highly addictive chemical that can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, flow of blood to the heart and a narrowing of the arteries.  Nicotine can stay in your body for 6-8 hours depending on how often you smoke.

"If these chemicals don't make you think about quitting," Greeby says, "remember, there are still many more than these in cigarettes.  Even if you aren't the smoker, you can have negative health consequences just from breathing second-hand smoke."

According to the American Heart Association, children of smokers usually have higher incidents of respiratory infections than children of non-smokers.  Studies have also shown that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25-30 percent higher among people exposed to second-hand smoke at home or work. 

Greeby encourages people to "protect yourself and those around you by adopting Tobacco Free Campus policies, having Tobacco Free homes and cars and encouraging the tobacco user you know to seek assistance by calling the Georgia Tobacco QuitLine at 1-877-270-STOP."

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