How can I stop smoking?

Adapted from Engs, R.C. Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility. Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987

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Why should I stop smoking?

First of all let's look at some of the reasons why you  might want to stop smoking. Most things in life have risk. Some things are riskier than others. Long term inhaling of smoke, dust, sawdust, and other small particles are a risk for a variety of lung and other illnesses. Cigarette smoking, in particular has been associated with various cancers, heart disease, and emphysema.

Cancers - There is a great risk of developing oral cancers among tobacco users than non-users. These cancers include the throat, larynx, mouth, and the esophagus. Because of the increase usage of smokeless tobacco, oral cancers may account a very large percentage of cancers that affect people of America in the future. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer among men and women. There has been a rapid increase of women smoking during the last three decades. Approximately eighty percent of lung cancer are attributed to tobacco use. Twenty percent is due to environmental factors such as air pollution, airborne substances such as asbestos, iron, and radon, and breathing side stream smoke from tobacco products.

Heart Disease - Half of all tobacco-related deaths occur as a result of some form of heart disease. There is a seventy percent increase rate of heart disease in smokers than non-smokers. Some of the effects of smoking are as follows: an increase in the development of atherosclerosis which adds approximately ten years of aging to arteries, a decrease in the blood levels of HDL which protects against heart attacks, contributes to the sticking together of RBC, and a decrease level of oxygen supply to the heart and tissues in the body. The risk of heart disease is increased if a person is both a smoker and heavy drinker.

Emphysema - A progressive degeneration of the alveoli, air sacs, in the lung which causes the difficulty of breathing and oxygen assimilation. Emphysema is classified as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A protein known as alpha-one protease inhibits enzymes from destructing airs sacs in the lungs.

Social - Many non smokers do not like to date people who smoke. This is true of  students and adults. Smoking is expensive, can burn holes in clothing, makes the breath smell foul, and causes early aging. Women who smoke generally wrinkle faster than women who do not.

What steps can I take to stop smoking ?