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SMOKING KILLS

BY DR. LEVISTER
OF THE BLACK VOICE NEWS

(NNPA)- Some 88,000 men and 70,000 women die from lung cancer each year. For African Americans like disco legend Donna Summer, who recently lost her battle with the disease, the outlook is especially grim.

African American men are 37 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than white men.

For women lung cancer has consistently surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death since 1987.

Whether you’re addicted to smoking or you want to know the connection between the phrase ”quit smoking health benefit” or not, learning about smoking and health is important to making better decisions about smoking or might help you want to quit smoking more. Most smokers are aware of specific risks associated with smoking – cancer, emphysema, bronchitis – but smoking and health go hand-in-hand, since smoking impacts nearly all aspects of your health.

The cigarette, a legal product when used in the fashion it was designed is an instrument that causes illness and death. As a result of combustion (smoking) over 4000 chemicals are in the mainstream and side stream smoke that are delivered to the airways and absorbed. Sixty-nine of these chemicals plays a direct role in death, disease and impairment throughout the body of the smoker and those nearby.

Smoking is particularly damaging in young people. Evidence shows people who start smoking in their youth – aged 11 to 15 – are three times more likely to die a premature death than someone who takes up smoking at the age of 20.

They are also more likely to be hooked for life. Nicotine, an ingredient of tobacco, is highly addictive – it takes on average on about six cigarettes before nicotine receptors in the brain are switched on, generating a craving for nicotine which may continue for the rest of the person’s life. In less than one packet of cigarettes, a person’s brain can be changed forever from that of a non-smoker to a nicotine addicted smoker.

Although the health risks of smoking are cumulative, giving up can yield health benefits, regardless of the age of the patient, or the length of time they have been smoking. Fewer American teenagers and young adults are lighting up as cigarette taxes that have broken the $3-a-pack threshold in some states make smoking too costly according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes can reduce consumption almost 4 percent among adults and can have an even greater effect on youth.

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