The Facts about Smoking
Here are some facts about smoking
- Smoking causes more deaths from heart attacks than it does deaths from any other disease, including chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.
- People who smoke cigarettes have a two or three times greater risk of a fatal heart attack than non-smokers. The risk rises in parallel with the numbers of cigarettes smoked.
- Men under the age of 45 who smoke 25 or more cigarettes a day have a ten to fifteen times greater chance of death from heart attack than non-smokers.
- In the developed countries, such as Britain, one-third of men die before they reach 65, most from smoking-related diseases. That means one-third of all married women are widows before they can enjoy retirement with their husbands.
- About 40 per cent of all heavy smokers die before they reach 65. Of the 60 per cent still alive then, many are disabled by bronchitis, angina, heart failure, or because of leg amputations - all because of their smoking habit. Only 10 per cent survive in reasonable health to the age of 75. Most non-smokers reach 75 in good health.
- Smoking takes a terrible toll in other ways than heart attacks. In Britain, 40 per cent of all cancer deaths in men are due to lung cancer. It is very rare in non-smokers: of 441 British male doctors who died of lung cancer, only seven had never smoked. Only one non-smoker in 60 develops lung cancer: the figure for heavy smokers is one in six!
- Other cancers more common in smokers than in non-smokers include tumors of the tongue, throat, larynx, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix. About one-third of all cancers are caused directly by smoking.
Now that you have read this far, you may be thinking of giving up the weed. If you are, then strengthen your resolve - don't weaken it with the host of excuses that doctors hear all the time from their patients.
Here is a sample - there are plenty more, all of them spurious:
- My uncle/father/grandfather smoked 20 a day and lived until he was 75.
Everyone knows someone like that. But they forget all the others they also knew, who died long before their time. The chances are that you will be one of them, rather than one of the very few lucky ones.
- People who don't smoke also have heart attacks.
True: there are other causes of heart attacks, but it remains a fact that 70 per cent of all people under 65 years old admitted to coronary care units with heart attacks are smokers, as are 91 per cent of patients considered for coronary artery bypass surgery for angina.
- Moderation in everything is no bad thing, and I only smoke moderately.
That is just nonsense. Do people accept moderation in lead poisoning, dangerous driving, radiation or exposure to asbestos (which causes very many fewer deaths than smoking)? Of course not. Younger men who are only moderate smokers have a much higher risk of heart attack than non-smokers of the same age. There is no lower, safe limit to cigarette smoking.
- I can cut down, rather than stop.
You may be able to, but it won't do much good. People who cut down on the number of cigarettes usually take more inhalations from each cigarette, leave a smaller butt, and end up with the same amount of carbon monoxide and nicotine in their bloodstream. The only answer is to stop.
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