Tobacco kills 5 million people every year worldwide. Nearly 50 million Americans are addicted to smoking, and many are looking for a way to kick the habit.
Smoking affects your body in a number of ways, including causing respiratory problems and premature aging, and it increases your risk for heart disease, vascular disease, stroke and cancer. You can prevent these conditions and reverse health problems associated with smoking by stopping today.
Tammy, 38, has been smoking since she was 13 years old. "I smoke all day long," she says. "The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is light a cigarette.
"I really need to quit, but it's really hard to quit," she adds.
Tammy's 19-year-old daughter, Brianna, is pregnant with her first child and won't allow Tammy to hold the baby if she still smokes. "I don't want my baby being around smoke, [for] fear of catching something or getting asthma," Brianna says.
Tammy visits oncologist Dr. Lawrence Piro and experiences what would happen if she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"Most people have trouble stopping smoking because of the four-letter word that starts with F: fear," Dr. Piro says. "You wonder, why should they be fearful to stop smoking? They should be fearful to start. But the truth is, to stop something that you're doing forces you to admit that it's doing you harm."
On a previous episode, The Doctors gave Bill, 54, a smoking intervention, and he vowed to quit.
"Thanks to The Doctors' intervention, I've successfully quit," Bill says. "I'm so happy that this will prolong my life and I won't have to put my daughters and my wife through that."
Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, helped Bill quit and explains what it takes to stop smoking.
Tammy vows to change her life and finally kick the deadly habit!
Resources to Stop Smoking
• Learn about the tools available to help you quit smoking.
• Take the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence.
• Do you want to finally kick your smoking habit? Join The Doctors' 2010 Health Challenge!
• Watch the QUITPLAN video for the reasons to quit smoking right now.
Alzheimer's disease, the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States, is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Symptoms often begin to appear after age 60 and can make performing even the simplest of tasks difficult. It is the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, with one in 10 men, and one in six women being at risk for Alzheimer's.
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears' grandfather suffered from the disease, so in an effort to better understand it, Dr. Sears undergoes an unconventional experiment using the Second Wind Dreams Virtual Dementia Tour.
"It can cause emotional distress for [an Alzheimer's patient]. It can cause emotional distress for a whole family," OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "It's so important to understand what that person is going through, so you can help them."
Dr. Debra Cherry, clinical psychologist and executive vice president of the Alzheimer's Association, explains how to notice the often-overlooked signs on Alzheimer's.
• Alzheimer's caregiving tips
If you think you're OK to drive after imbibing in a spirit or two, think again.