In 1964, the Surgeon General of the United States issued a report that finally declared cigarettes a major cause of preventable death. At that time more than half of all men and a third of all women were smokers. The lessons learned in the years since the landmark report have helped save millions of lives and have improved the health of millions more. Today about 14% of Americans smoke (as of 2019).
Despite the efforts to reduce smoking and its effects on smokers and non-smokers, it remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In addition to early deaths, another 16 million Americans suffer from a smoking-related disease.
Nicotine is an Addictive Drug
Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco contain nicotine — a substance that is physically and psychologically addicting. Most people who become addicted have problems quitting and spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on different delivery systems. Drug companies, e-cigarette companies and tobacco companies all provide products to satisfy the addiction.
Most people who are addicted to nicotine wish they had never started according to a 2014 survey.
Cigarette Companies Don’t Care
Cigarette companies knew about the dangers of smoking for years and worked hard to keep it from the public. The tobacco companies responded to the Surgeon General’s Report by spending millions of dollars on advertising. These ads were clear attempts to mislead the public on the health hazards of smoking, including ads that promoted smoking as healthy and claiming certain cigarettes as safer. For more than 50 years we have seen limits on advertising to the public and specifically to children and young adults. We’ve also seen smoking banned by many employers and in public buildings as the hazards of secondhand smoke have been uncovered.
Quitting is Hard but Possible
We all know that quitting smoking is difficult and it’s best not to start. But millions of people have stopped using tobacco products and reduced their risk of early death. Switching to vaping, or e-cigarettes, may be just as harmful. Find out why LINK(?). If you are a tobacco user, we urge you to work on quitting. Work with a certified health coach and participate in the Freedom from Smoking program! Contact Be Well Solutions at 888-WEL-SERV.