By: Steve Tran, PharmD
Smoking. Did you know that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States? One out of every five deaths are attributable to tobacco-related disease.
Nicotine addiction has negative effects on the primary user, but second-hand and third-hand smoke exposure has been associated with lung cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), reproductive effects in women (premature birth, low birth weight, etc.), and an increased risk for stroke as well.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one-in-five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.
According to the US Surgeon General, no amount of exposure to primary or secondary smoke is safe. Due to the lack of smoke free indoor air laws, many Oklahomans are still forced to spend their working hours in smoking environments.
American Indians and Alaskan Natives have the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking compared to all other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. There are many health risks that increase when smoking or use tobacco products:
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death among American Indians/Alaska Natives. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for smokers than nonsmokers.
Vaping is not an alternative to quit smoking. In fact, an e-cigarette pod can often have more nicotine content than a pack of cigarettes. There is no safe level of exposure to any tobacco products, including vapor from e-cigarettes. With the help of Oklahoma City Indian Clinic staff in our Tobacco Cessation Clinic, you can fight your tobacco addiction and quit for good. For more information, please visit OKCIC’s website or contact (405) 948-4900 ext. 294 or 385.