Tobacco

Tobacco

Free tobacco cessation support group

  • Family Resource Center - Greeley Colorado
    Meeting Every Tuesday - 6:30-7:30
    1403 2nd Street
    970-304-6470 Extension: 2138

Effects on the body:

Heart

When you smoke, your pulse quickens, causing your heart to beat an extra 10-25 times per minute... or as many as 36,000 additional times a day. This forces the heart to work harder and can contribute to the risk of a heart attack. Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for at least 20% of all deaths from heart disease; it lowers “good” cholesterol levels, causes deterioration of elastic properties in the aorta and increases the risk for blood clots.

Lungs

Cigarette smoke attacks the lungs’ natural defenses and can completely paralyze the natural cleansing process. Excess mucus in the lungs will make you more susceptible to colds, flu, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. Continued exposure can lead to lung cancer and lung diseases, including pneumonia and emphysema.

Cancer

Lung cancer is just one of the serious health risks caused by smoking. Smokers and chewers are also susceptible to cancers of the larynx, mouth, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, kidney and stomach.

Eyes

Smokers have a much higher risk of developing two major sight-threatening conditions. Macular degeneration can occur when the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of your eye, becomes scarred, robbing the person of central vision. Research has shown that smokers are about 3 times more likely to develop cataracts, a gradual thickening that develops in the lens of the eye. Smoke can also cause serious irritation for those who wear soft contact lenses.

Nose & Throat

Irritating gases in cigarette smoke, such as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and others, can cause serious irritation to the sensitive membranes in the nose and throat. The results: a runny nose and the proverbial smoker’s cough. Continued exposure can produce abnormal thickening in the throat lining, a condition, when accompanied with cellular changes, that has been linked to throat cancer.

Mouth

Stained yellow teeth, bad breath and an acute loss in your sense of taste are just some of the less serious consequences of smoking. Smoking as well as the use of spit tobacco or “chew” can also contribute to cancer of the lips, gums and throat.

Skin

Smoker’s have what is called a “smoker’s face.” Characterized by a grayish appearance of the skin and deep lines around the corners of the eyes and mouth, smoker’s face is caused by a lack of oxygen to the skin. These conditions occur because smoking constricts the blood vessels in the skin, making it more susceptible to wrinkling.

Male Reproductive System

The negative effects of smoking on the blood vessels leading to the male reproductive organs may mean men can experience erectile dysfunction or even impotency. Smoking can also affect fertility by decreasing sperm count and mobility.

Female Reproductive System

Smoking can result in fewer reproductive years and a sharp decline in fertility for women. Female smokers are three times more likely to be infertile and reach menopause one and three-quarter years earlier than nonsmokers.

Breast Cancer

Research is finding a connection between the risk of developing breast cancer and smoking.

Bones

Smokers have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition that involves bone thinning. The loss of bone tissue, more prevalent among women, can result in an increase of bone fractures.

Blood

The carbon monoxide inhaled with each drag on a cigarette can stay in the bloodstream for up to six hours. Once in the bloodstream, it begins attacking the red blood cells, virtually replacing the oxygen your body needs to function. The process means less oxygen reaches the brain and other vital organs.

Digestive System

Smokers are at greater risk of developing peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease and gallstones and can experience chronic heartburn. Smoking also affects the way the liver operates, particularly in terms of how it processes alcohol.

Lifestyle Effects

Habit

Smoking or chewing often quickly becomes a deeply-rooted habit for many daily users. You smoke/chew when you're tired, when you're anxious, when you're drinking, when you're driving, when you're happy, sad, stressed, nervous, or celebrating. When smoking becomes linked with several daily occurrences, it becomes a habit as much as it is an addiction to nicotine. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco become a crutch. You may feel naked without it. You'll suddenly alter your day in order to get it. Using tobacco can seriously alter your daily routine & lifestyle. Do you sometimes wish you didn't have to worry about having cigarettes or smokeless tobacco?

Image of a Smoker/Chewer

Tobacco users may deter relationships due to their potential partner's lack of tobacco use. Smoking also can cause premature aging, yellowing of the teeth, increased coughing, sickness, & the smell of smoke that lingers on the skin, in the hair, and on clothes. How do you want to be identified? As a smoker or a non-smoker?

Second-Hand Smoke

Most people know the damaging effects that second hand smoke can have on others. But did you think about the influence you have on children, peers, & co-workers? May people choose to quit because they want to be a good role model for their children, siblings, nieces, nephews, parents, and co-workers. Is your influence & reputation related to smoking/chewing important to you?

Cost

It's certainly not getting any cheaper to use tobacco. With the rising cost due to taxes on tobacco products — it may be important to you to look at how much you're spending on cigarettes or snuff. Take a look at what you spend daily, weekly, & monthly on tobacco products. In addition to these tangible costs, there are often health consequences which may add to health care costs — increased sickness & dental complications alone can really add up. Can you afford to smoke or chew? Check out the smoking calculator to find out how much tobacco is costing you

 

UNC Tobacco Regulations

 

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