|National Weedless Wednesday (usually held in the third week of January) is a day in which smokers are encouraged to "butt out" in the hope that it will be the first day in a new, smoke-free life. We all know that the only person that can make a smoker quit is that smoker, but we hope that the following information might encourage those people who are contemplating being non-smokers to join the majority and QUIT FOR LIFE!|
- Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of death
- The psychological addiction is devastating - often harder to give up than narcotics.
- Smoking is expensive!
- Smoking is the leading cause of cancer death in women & causes between 11-30% of all cancer deaths
- Smoking also causes 17-30% of cardiovascular deaths, 30% of lung disease deaths
- People around smokers are put at risk for disease and premature death due to second hand smoke
- Smoking makes you appear 5 years older than your actual age.
Children from families who smoke are much more likely to smoke
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- If one partner smokes, the non-smoker is 33 per cent more likely to develop a heart condition or cancer of the lung.
- There is a dramatic increase in Sudden Infant Death (crib death) if both parents smoke and smoking causes 20-30% of the incidence of below average birth weight infants.
- Women on the birth control pill and who smoke have a greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
- Women who smoke are 3 times more likely to be infertile
- Bones of smokers have lower mineral content so they suffer more fractures.
- A young, non-smoking women has a 29 per cent increased risk of having a miscarriage if her own mother smoked.
- Babies born to mothers who smoke have a 90 per cent higher risk of leukemia. If the father smokes, the risk increases by 40 per cent and there was a 60 per cent increased risk of brain cancer.
- Researchers now believe that smoking damages both the sperm and the egg.
Children whose parents smoke are hospitalized for infectious diseases 3 or 4 times more often than those from non-smoking households. They were also much more liable to develop asthma.
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- Within 8 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal, and the oxygen level in the blood increases to normal.
- Within 72 hours, the bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier and lung capacity increases.
- Within 1-9 months, coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decrease; the cilia regrow increasing the body's ability to handle mucous, clean the lungs and reduce infection; and the body's overall energy level increases.
- Within 5 years, the lung cancer death rate for average, one pack a day smokers decreases by almost half (from 137per 100,000 to 72 per 100,000).
Within 10 years, the lung cancer death rate for average smokers drops to almost that of non-smokers; precancerous cells are replaced; and the risk of other cancers - such as those of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas, decreases.
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- Tell your family and friends that you are going to quit.
- Ask for their assistance and support. They must understand that you find it difficult to be around them when they are smoking, so you may appear to avoid contact for a few months.
- Drink gallons of water every day.
- Have non-fattening snack foods around: Carrots, celery sticks, gum, apples.
- Smokers and Ex-smokers should eat a diet rich in beta carotene found in carrots, spinach, broccoli.
- Don't have cigarettes around at all, and don't bum from friends.
- Collect a jar of butts and when you are tempted, take a whiff.
- Take one day at a time. Congratulate yourself every day and celebrate once a week, but no cigarette as a reward.
- After a week off, you will probably try to convince yourself that you have this addiction licked and you can have just one...
- Join a support group at the Lung Association.
"But I have tried to quit and I can't!" Stick with it! Many successful quitters will tell you that it can take many attempts before you are smoke free. Don't give up, instead try again.
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- Wellness Education, UC 3005, 864-2659. Self help kits and referrals available.
Student Health Services, 4th floor UC. For appointments or information, call 864-7597.
Lung Association - Support/Help Group for Smokers wanting to quit. Wednesday, 7:30 pm. 292 Lemarchant Road. For more information, call 726-4664.