Tobacco use (smoking, dip, chew, hookahs, etc.) is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in the United States. In fact, the American Cancer Society in its nationwide survey conducted 20 years ago confirmed that smoking causes lung cancer. Most people are well aware of the negative effects of smoking and other tobacco products on their health.
Simply put, most tobacco users do care about their health, their families and the environment, and many might quit if they were more knowledgeable about the health risks associated with tobacco use and the availability of resources for helping them achieve a healthier lifestyle. With the workplace soon becoming 100 percent tobacco-free, many tobacco users may find the motivation and additional support they need for a positive life change. If you use tobacco products and are still wondering “Why quit?” consider the following:
- The harmful chemicals in tobacco products and tobacco smoke: The FDA has established a list of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs).
- The myriad chronic diseases in addition to lung cancer caused by tobacco use.
- The effects of secondhand smoke on coworkers, children and pets, families, friends and others.
- The effects of thirdhand smoke in the work and home environment.
- The effects of tobacco waste products littering our land, waterways and coastal waters and their impact on wildlife and public parks, beaches and playgrounds.
- The financial savings: A pack-a-day smoker can save more than $3,500 a year.
- Healthcare savings by eliminating co-pays for medical treatment secondary to tobacco use.
- More sick days available for doctor and dentist appointments and illnesses unrelated to tobacco use.
- The immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting.
- Within 20 minutes of quitting: Your blood pressure and pulse rate drop to normal and the temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.
- Within two weeks to three months of quitting: Your circulation improves. Walking becomes easier. Your lungs work better. Wounds heal more quickly.
- Within one to nine months of quitting: You have more energy. Smoking-related symptoms, such as coughing, nasal congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath improve. You will have fewer illnesses, colds and asthma attacks. You will gradually no longer be short of breath with everyday activities.
- Within five years of quitting: Your chances of developing lung cancer drop by nearly 50 percent compared with people who smoke one pack a day. (Medline Plus – A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)
- Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 443,000 deaths, or about 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012))
We’re Here for You
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and countless smokers have successfully quit for periods of time, but they often struggle to remain nicotine-free. As leaders in healthcare, education and research, Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine are committed to your health and to a healthy environment for all of our students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors. There are many resources and support options for creating a Healthier U!
Thank you for respecting and supporting one another in our efforts to achieve optimal health and a cleaner environment for all.