The Surgeon General notes smoking-related deaths to be the most preventable cause of death in the United States.
One in four Americans smoke cigarettes, and each year, over 400,000 people die from smoking-related diseases.
The habit of smoking also leads to tremendous financial and interpersonal relationship strains.
What Smoking Does to Your Health
Each puff of cigarette draws over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs and through the body. Continuous exposure to smoke and these chemicals leads to cellular changes in the body’s tissue, eventually causing cancers such as throat and lung cancer.
Smokers’ hearts beat an extra 20 to 25 times per minutes, increasing the risk of heart attack. There is also a 15% higher chance of a smoker having a deadly stroke or heart attack than a non-smoker.
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a lethal substance that decreases oxygen levels in the skin, brain, and other organs. The results are a reduced ability to comprehend, an increase in wrinkly-greyed skin, and a significant reduction in energy.
Smoking increase the body’s mucous production, which then increases the chances of bacteria and viruses to multiply. This leads to a smoker experiencing more colds, flus, and cases of bronchitis than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking affects the white blood cells’ functions, leaving smokers with a harder time fighting illness.
What Smoking Does to Your Wallet
All smokers are fully aware of the price of cigarettes when they purchase each pack. But if the price of each pack of cigarettes purchased over a span of 15 years for a smoker with a half-pack a day habit, the sum would total over $16,000.
In addition to the daily cost of this addiction, smokers pay more for health insurance due to the increased health consequences.
What Smoking Does to Your Family
Smoking has dire effects on family members: spouses of smokers are 20% more likely to contract lung disease due to the presence of second hand smoke. The exposure to second hand smoke also causes illness and death in children.
Families also endure extreme emotional trauma when a loved one becomes ill or dies because of smoking-related diseases.