Many smokers want to quit but feel powerless to do so. The CDC’s tips campaign shares true stories from smokers and non-smokers affected by smoking, and hopes to inspire and support people’s attempts to quit.
There are numerous reasons why you shouldn’t smoke. According to Dr. Andrew Ordon, smoking can kill you, age you prematurely, and hurt the people around you that you love.
Did you know that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death? More than 480,000 people die because of smoking each year. That’s more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined.
Sadly, smoking is often passed down from one generation to the next, like with Rico, who is now a CDC Tips campaign spokesperson. Rico, now 50 years old, started smoking at the age of 14. His father was a smoker and would ask him to light his cigarettes for him when he was only 9 or 10. In high school, Rico started smoking regularly and became addicted. In 1997, at the age of 66, Rico’s dad died of liver cancer...but Rico kept on smoking.
Five years ago, Rico was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and had to undergo a major surgery. Rico says the hardest part was the impact the ordeal had on his family. They lost their house and had to relocate – and that was Rico’s wake-up call. Since 2011, Rico’s been smoke-free.
The CDC’s Tips campaign gives a voice to millions of Americans affected with smoke-related illnesses and encourages them to quit. The ads show how smoking affects the smoker, as well as the people around them.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and about 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Smoking cigarettes is the number one risk factor for lung cancer, and also damages nearly every part of your body. People who still smoke after being diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die from their cancer than those who quit.
Smoking can cause cancer in your:
- ...and eight other areas of your body.
Cigarette smokers also have a higher risk of developing heart disease, which is the number one killer in America. Stroke risk is higher in smokers as well, and is one of the leading causes of death and adult disability in the U.S.
For those who don't smoke, even just being around it can put you in danger. Breathing in second-hand smoke increases your chances of getting lung cancer by 20 to 30%. Children who are around smoke are also more likely to suffer lung problems, ear infections, and severe asthma. In fact, more than 40% of children who go to the emergency room for an asthma attack live with smokers.
If you smoke, keep trying to quit. Here’s why:
- After 2 to 5 years, your risk of stroke decreases to that of a non-smoker.
- After 5 years, your risk of mouth, throat, and bladder cancer decrease by half.
- After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer is cut in half.
To get free help to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visit www.CDC.gov/tips.
Sponsored by Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.