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Let’s Quit Smoking!

Glenda Cardona, PA-C – BreatheAmerica El Paso Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death worldwide? According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoke is responsible for over 443,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. This includes victims of second hand smoke (an estimated 50,000 deaths per year) as well as babies born prematurely secondary to maternal prenatal smoking.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer in humans. It is no surprise that 90% of lung cancer deaths are caused directly by cigarette smoke. In addition, 80-90% of deaths due to COPD (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) are also directly linked.

Many people believe that smoking only causes lung disease, but in reality, smoking has also been strongly linked to stroke, coronary heart disease, aortic aneurysm (particularly abdominal), eye disease such as cataracts, periodontitis, certain types of leukemia and cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, stomach , pancreas, cervix, and kidney.

Nicotine, the addictive ingredient is cigarette, is a drug that reaches the brain very fast when inhaled. This drug causes the smokers to quickly become physically addicted. Smoking is a hard habit to break and often requires multiple attempts. There are medications available that are approved by the FDA to help in the quitting of smoking. These include nicotine patches, gum and lozenges which are available over-the-counter, as well as various prescription medications. Using individual, group or telephone counseling is also very effective.  The American Lung Association has put in place a support program – Freedom from Smoking (FFS) in efforts to aid individuals with quitting. This particular program addresses the psychological and behavioral addiction and provides strategies for coping with urges to smoke.  For more information please visit: www.ffsonline.org

At BreatheAmerica, we are committed to help our patients live a happier and healthier life. If you or a loved one wishes to quit smoking or if you have lung disease due to years of smoking, make an appointment to see us. It is never too late to quit and be the healthiest version of you that you can be!