Smoking in Men
Did you know that men who smoke raise their risk of lung cancer by more than
22 times? Did you know that smoking could affect more than just your lungs?
Not only does smoking cause lung diseases (such as lung cancer, emphysema,
and chronic bronchitis), it can increase your risk for other health problems:
- heart disease: blood flow to the heart is critically reduced
- stroke: lack of blood flow to the brain from a blood clot, or bleeding in the brain from a
broken blood vessel
- osteoporosis: thinning or weakening of your bones
- other cancers: such as cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus (food pipe), pancreas,
kidney, bladder, and prostate
- impotence and infertility: problems having an
erection and getting your wife or partner pregnant
- wrinkles: damages the skin and causes wrinkling
Smoking around your wife, partner, or children can also
cause serious health problems for them. They have a higher chance of developing
lung cancer, asthma, allergies, ear infections, and other health problems.
Smoking around your pregnant wife or partner can also cause health problems
for her and your baby. If your wife or partner smokes, it increases her chances
of having a miscarriage (losing her pregnancy), stillbirth (the baby dying in
her womb), infant death, premature or early birth, or having a baby with low
birth weight. Smoking also affects your baby when she breast feeds. If she smokes
and breast feeds, your baby is exposed to the same harmful chemicals. Heavy
smoking can reduce your wife's or partner's milk supply and can cause nausea,
vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea in your baby. But health care providers
agree, if she has tried to quit smoking and can't, it still is better to
breast feed your baby than to give your baby formula.
'Light' cigarettes aren't safe either
You may think that "light" cigarettes
are less harmful than regular cigarettes. They're not. Light cigarettes put
smokers at the same risk for smoking-related health problems as regular
cigarettes. Some cigarette packs say that light cigarettes have lower tar and
nicotine. Don't let these claims fool you. Tobacco companies use smoking
machines to figure out the amount of tar and nicotine in the cigarettes. These
machines "smoke" every brand of cigarettes the same way. However, people don't
smoke cigarettes the same way machines do. People may inhale more deeply, take
longer or more frequent puffs, or smoke extra cigarettes to satisfy their
nicotine craving. Smokers then inhale more tar, nicotine, and other chemicals
than the smoking machine measures. Another way that tobacco companies try to
make light cigarettes is by putting tiny holes in the filters to dilute the
smoke with air. However, many smokers block the holes with their fingers or
lips, and it's the same as smoking regular cigarettes.
Quit smoking: Feel the benefits!
20 minutes after quitting:
- Your blood pressure drops back to normal.
- The temperature in your hands and feet increases, returning to normal.
8 hours after quitting:
- The carbon monoxide (a gas that can be toxic) in your blood drops to
24 hours after quitting:
2 days after quitting:
- You can taste and smell things better
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting:
- You have better circulation.
- Your lungs are working better.
1 to 9 months after quitting:
- Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease.
- Your lungs start to function better, lowering your risk of lung
1 year after quitting:
- You reduce your risk for heart disease by half.
5 to 15 years after quitting:
- Your risk of having a stroke is the same as someone who never smoked.