Pleading ignorance of the dangers of smoking these days doesn’t work. In fact, not many people can say that they didn’t know that smoking was unhealthy decades ago.
The U.S. Congress passed a law in 1965 that all cigarette packs had to carry warnings so even somebody smoking now in their 80s would have known in their 30s that smoking was unhealthy.
But yet, according to the National Cancer Society, smoking still accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths with the majority of those deaths from lung cancer. About 80 percent of men and 70 percent of women who die of lung cancer do so because they smoked.
About 42 million Americans smoke and about 440,000 smoking-related deaths occur every year, according to EmpowHER’s Smoking Cessation Advocacy Sheet.
Since about one in five men and more than one in seven women are still smoking, we have to ask why? Knowing the dangers, why still smoke? The reason seems to be poor decision-making at a young age that leads to a very difficult addiction within a few years.
People can take steps to combat this by an array of medications, patches, gums and therapy (both traditional and alternative).
Many smokers grew up in family homes where smoking was common. Smoking is still accepted as normal in many homes in the United States, and it’s difficult to convince young people of its dangers, if it’s a commonplace behavior at home.
But even if family members do choose to smoke, they can still limit it to doing so outside and remind younger people that smoking is never okay.
Lung cancer springs to mind when we think of smoking, but cigarettes are also connected to many other forms. From mouth cancers to throat and esophageal cancers, to cervical, stomach, kidney and uterine cancers, smoking negatively affects almost every part of the body. Cigarette ingredients can cause cancer almost everywhere, too.
So how exactly does smoking cause cancer? Cigarettes (and any form of tobacco) contain cancer-causing properties known as carcinogens. In cigarettes, some of these ingredients include formaldehyde, isoprene, acetaldehyde and dozens of others.