Smoking has been proven to harm nearly every organ, cause countless diseases and reduce the general health of people who smoke. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in five deaths is related to smoking.

Actually, more than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died from smoking than have died fighting in all wars involving the United States.

But smoking doesn’t just harm the person who smokes – it affects everyone.  Smoking has a tremendous impact on air quality in general, impacting nearly 100 million non-smokers in the United States annually.

In fact, 2.5 million non-smoking Americans have died from exposure to secondhand smoke in the last 50 years. The cause – the 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and approximately 70 that cause cancer, that are lurking in secondhand smoke.

When children are exposed to secondhand smoke, they experience more ear infections, severe asthma attacks, respiratory symptoms and infections, and sudden infant deaths.

In adults who have never smoked but are exposed to secondhand smoke, their heart disease risk increases by up to 30% and is the cause of approximately 34,000 heart disease deaths each year. Secondhand smoke also increases lung cancer by up to 30%, and causes more than 7,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

But what can you do if you are addicted to smoking. Although it may be difficult, stopping is your best alternative. Here are 5 steps to help you quit smoking:

  • Contract – Create a contract that gives you 7 days to quit smoking.
  • Choose – Pick the method that would best help you stop, such as quitting cold turkey, reducing the number of cigarettes each day, or only smoking part of each cigarette until quit day.
  • Replace – Consider if a nicotine replacement therapy in the form of gum, spray, patch or inhaler will help you quit.
  • Plan – Set a special reward for the day you quit.
  • Stop – As soon as you quit smoking, blood circulation increases and blood pressure and heart rate improves.

To help understand the effects of smoking on people and the environment, visit Freedom From Smoking by the American Lung Association.

If this article has made you more deeply understand the impact smoking has on air quality and health, consider sharing this with family and friends.





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