Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in India and the United States. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, of which 250 are known to be harmful for smokers and non-smokers. Smoking causes cancers of the lungs, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon and rectum.
Smokers are at high risk of developing respiratory diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, tuberculosis, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. About 30 to 40% of the smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Nearly 18 million men over the age of 20 years suffer from erectile dysfunction. Thirty percent of heart disease cases in people under 65 years of age are due to smoking. Smoking also causes eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking not only causes health problems to the smokers but for non-smokers as well through passive smoking.
Quitting smoking improves health, finances and self-esteem. The heart rate and blood pressure begin to return to the normal. The level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline within a few hours and improves blood circulation. It reduces cough, wheezing and improves lung functions. People who quit smoking will have lower risks of cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases within a few years of quitting.
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