Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

LACE calls on people to quit smoking

Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014

Article written by Kelly Sickafoose, LACE Coordinator

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. For every death, there are about 32 Americans living with a smoking-related disease. Besides the human cost, smoking takes a toll on our economy, costing more than $289 billion a year (including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and more than $156 billion in lost productivity). However, about 42 million Americans still smoke — about one in every five adults.

The number of people who don’t smoke but are affected by tobacco use is astounding. According to the American Cancer Society, every year, about 16,000 to 24,000 non-smoking Americans die of lung cancer. In fact, if lung cancer in non-smokers had its own category, it would rank among the top 10 fatal cancers in the United States.

If you have children, you want to set a good example for them. When asked, nearly all smokers say they don’t want their children to smoke. But children whose parents smoke are more likely to start themselves. You can become a better role model for them by quitting now.

Some smokers are switching to e-cigarettes, which provide tobacco users a smoke-free source of nicotine by heating a liquid that is inhaled, or “vaped.” There are no clinical guidelines that recommend the use of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation. The health effects and exposure are largely unknown, but the studies that have been conducted found that most vapors contain at least traces of the solvents in which nicotine and flavorings had been dissolved. Those solvents are lung irritants and can transform into cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and suspected carcinogens. Researchers say that e-cigarettes may be the lesser of two evils, but definitely still can be harmful. One thing is for sure – more and more teens are using the devices to smoke highly addictive nicotine.

Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits at any age. It lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, helps the heart and lungs, and can give you back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke. Quitting is very difficult, but you can double or triple your chances of success with counseling or medications.

More than 80% of smokers in Indiana want to quit and one in four smokers is ready to quit within the next 30 days. When you or someone you know is ready to quit smoking, contact Indiana’s Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) for free phone-based counseling, or go to www.quitnowindiana.com/equit to enroll in WebCoach or Text2Quit. These services will help walk you through every step of the process.  Quit coaches also support family and friends who want to help a loved one stop smoking.

If you are a smoker, please take advantage of the free ways to stop smoking. It will result in immediate benefits for you and those you love. For more information, please “Like” us on Facebook at Local Anti-Drug Coalition Efforts - LACE.