Bad news about smoking
- Smoking and second-hand smoke cause over 430,000 preventable deaths each year.
- Cigarettes and cigarette smoke contain more than 4,000 harmful ingredients. Many of these cause cancer.
- Cigarette smoke ruins clothing, furniture, and car seats, as well as family and social relationships.
- Cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke cause:
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased energy
- Bone loss
- Damage to blood vessels
- Lung cancer and other types of cancers
- High blood pressure
- Digestive disorders
- Diabetes complications
- Chronic lung diseases
- Heart disease
- Poor circulation
- Cigarettes are costly, at about $6 per pack.
- Smoking-related diseases generate more than $50 billion a year in medical costs.
- Lost wages and lost productivity from smoking-related diseases cost another $50 billion a year.
- Smoking during pregnancy puts babies at risk for low birth weight, premature death, and sudden infant death syndrome, as well as for learning disabilities.
- Asthma, bronchitis, and respiratory and ear infections increase in children of smokers.
- More than 6,200 children die each year from infections and burns because of parents who smoke.
- Cigarette smoking is a major cause of fire-related deaths.
- Matches and lighters are a major cause of house fires.
- Each day, more than 5,000 children try smoking, and 3,000 become hooked.
Good news about quitting smoking
Immediately after your last cigarette:
- No more burns in your clothes, furniture, and car.
- Your body’s healing processes begin.
20 minutes after your last cigarette:
- Your blood pressure lowers.
- Your hands and feet warm up.
8 hours after your last cigarette:
- The carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal.
24 hours after your last cigarette:
- Your heart attack risk decreases.
- You are less short of breath.
- You save money ($6 per pack).
3 days after your last cigarette:
- Your family and friends are happier.
- Your senses of taste and smell improve.
- Your skin begins to look and feel better.
- You have increased energy.
About 1 week after your last cigarette:
- Your mood improves.
- You are less irritable.
2 weeks after your last cigarette:
- Your circulation improves.
- Your lung function increases.
1 to 9 months after your last cigarette:
- Smoker’s cough decreases.
- Your lungs’ cleansing function returns to normal.
- Your risk for infection decreases.
1 year after your last cigarette:
- Your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker.
- You’ve saved $2,190 or more from not buying cigarettes.
- Freedom! You’re not a slave to smoking any longer.
5 to 15 years after quitting:
- Your stroke risk is equal to that of a non-smoker.
10 years after quitting:
- Your lung cancer risk is half that o a smoker.
- Your risk of cancer decreases (including cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, etc.).
15 years after quitting:
- Your risk of heart disease is equal to that of a non-smoker.
If you want help to stop smoking
- Classes may be available in your community. Call 1-800-533-UPMC
(8762) to find out more. If you are an inpatient at a UPMC hospital:
- Ask your nurse if the hospital has the UPMC patient education TV channel, which features a video about quitting smoking.
- Ask to talk one-on-one with a smoking cessation counselor.
- Under the Smoking category, Patient Education, is Journey to a Smoke-Free Life, a 42-page guide that can help you devise a successful strategy to quit smoking, as well as other materials about the dangers of smoking and other health topics. You can print out any or all of these materials.
- Additional resources are available from the toll-free Pennsylvania Department of Health Quit Line. Call 1-877-724-1090.