World No Tobacco Day is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative that began for the purpose of encouraging smokers to abstain from tobacco use for just 24 hours. The hope is that for this short period of abstinence, smokers can reflect on their health, their family and their future.
Tobacco use in any form causes an estimated 5.4 million deaths worldwide each year. While the official “holiday” was observed on May 31, you can partake in World No Tobacco Day any time. Consider these five reasons why ditching your tobacco habit is a good thing for your lungs and your wallet.
Live Healthier Longer: Smoking increases your chances of dying of a heart attack, stroke and lung cancer. It causes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Quitting smoking halts the progression of these diseases and your lungs and heart can eventually recover.
Save Money: If the health dangers of smoking are not enough to convince you to quit smoking, maybe the money you save will. States love hiking taxes on tobacco products to fix budget shortfalls. And even when they recover financially, the heavy taxes on cigarettes and cigars are never reduced. Depending on where you live, you could be paying upwards of $10 to $12 on a pack of cigarettes. For the 31 percent of smokers who go through a pack a day, that’s a $70 per week habit, or $3,640 per year.
Feel Well Rested: There’s nothing worse than daytime grogginess. And for smokers, you’re four times more likely to feel unrested after a full night’s sleep compared to non-smokers. Just those few hours without nicotine causes withdrawal symptoms and disrupts restorative REM sleep.
Have Stronger Bones: Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease. The chance of developing this debilitating disorder after the age of 50 is 30 percent for men — and much higher for women. Add smoking to the mix and you drastically up your chances of a dangerous fracture. For women, smoking can reduce bone density up to 3.3 percent. Smokers also take longer to heal after a bone fracture and experience more complications.
Protect Your Family: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to develop ear infections and breathing problems, including severe asthma. In infants, secondhand smoke is responsible for up to 300,000 cases of pneumonia annually and up to 15,000 hospitalizations.
About the Author
Ken Nersten is the founder of Orange County Detox, which employs a medically supervised and carefully planned nutrition based detoxification program combined with a relapse prevention treatment program. Founded in 2002, it is a center for addiction treatment in California, providing professional, confidential and humane detoxification services.