by Lea Simms, Health Education intern
World No Tobacco Day is May 31, and we should all take time to contribute to this special day. This could be a day to quit an old habit or start a new project. Whatever it is, make this a day to start fresh.
You might wonder what exactly World No Tobacco Day is? It is a celebratory day for us to spread awareness and kick-start your fight against your tobacco addiction. In 2017, 34.3 million people were cigarette smokers. A majority of these smokers started before the age of 21.
This year, we want to focus on some of the harm that tobacco smoke can do to lungs. Tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer—however, it doesn’t just affect those who use it but those around them as well. Those who are exposed to secondhand smoke are also at risk of developing lung cancer along with other respiratory diseases such as COPD or emphysema. Asthma symptoms are also worsened by using tobacco or the exposure to secondhand exposure. Cigarettes have over 7,000 different chemicals, and approximately 70 of them are cancerous.
Many of these chemicals are still present in the smoke that is exhaled which is why it still poses a threat. Smoke in the home causes negative effects on the health of those living there even if they are not in the same room or are not smoking. Children’s risk of developing respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis are increased when they are in the presence of tobacco smoke.
If you have been putting off quitting, try to spend time today stepping back from tobacco and doing something else you may enjoy or starting something new to help tackle that tobacco habit. If you would like free assistance with your quitting journey, please check out www.quitnowindiana.com.