We all know by now that smoking is not healthy, but over time it is easy to get complacent. May 31st is World No Tobacco Day, which is a yearly reminder of the damage that tobacco does to individuals, families and communities – and hopefully provides an extra incentive to quit. Here are some reasons to give a gentle reminder to your loved ones that it’s time to quit.
Tobacco and Heart Disease
The focus of this year’s No Tobacco Day is heart disease, which is just one of the many health concerns that come from smoking. Smoking puts people at a hugely increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD.
More than 7 million people worldwide die from tobacco-related disease. And it’s not just people who choose to smoke who are effected – around 900,000 of those deaths are non-smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke from people around them.
Tobacco and Cancer
Cancer is a scary word – but even more scary is how much of a risk factor tobacco use can be. Smoking is the leading risk factor for preventable cancer, and 1 in 5 deaths from cancer are caused by smoking. The tobacco in cigarettes has more than 60 cancer-causing chemicals that are inhaled, and spread through the lungs and throughout the body.
Just over 16% of Australians smoke, and 3 out of 4 smokers say they would like to quit. Clearly quitting is a difficult process, and it needs to be approached with support, respect and understanding. But while quitting is hard, the consequences of not quitting are much more serious.
It doesn’t matter how many times it takes for someone to fully quit, whether they cut down first or go “cold turkey”, whether they use nicotine products or simply stop all usage. The most important thing is that the tobacco goes, for good. Your wallet and every part of your body, including your future health, will thank you for it.
If you know a smoker or smoke yourself, it’s often best to have a plan in place before you quit. There are many good resources online to help you learn more about the quitting process. Another great place to get ongoing help and support is from your GP. They can advise you on what products and methods are available for you, and support you through the process.
On World No Tobacco Day, decide that today is the day to finally say goodbye to tobacco.