Smoking and Mortality Rates

Many health professionals are encouraging smokers to quit smoking because of the harm that it may bring to their health. Smoking continues to be one of the major causes of illness and death around the world. Medical studies show that smoking-related ailments may kill close to 50 percent of all smokers and impair the health of countless individuals. The average expectancy of long-term smokers may be reduced to eight to 12 years compared to non-smokers. One of the major causes of death among smokers is lung cancer. In the United States, lung cancer ranks second after heart disease for males, and third after heart and cardiovascular disease for females.

Lung cancer is a smoke-related ailment that is caused by smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke, exposure to environmental pollutants like asbestos and radon gas, and family history of lung cancer may increase the risk of developing lung cancer of certain individuals. Smoking marijuana is also considered another factor that may contribute to the development of lung cancer. In addition to these causes, individuals whose lungs were damaged by other lung conditions may also increase their lung cancer risk. Among these causes, smoking is the major source of this ailment and has taken the lives of about 80-85 percent of lung cancer patients.

Most lung cancers originate in the cells that line the bronchi, a caliber of airway in the respiratory tract that transfers air into the lungs. It may take years before lung cancer develops and hamper the function of the lungs. Shortness of breath could be the early signs of lung cancer because tumors may block movement of air through the bronchi and the lungs. In addition, tumors may also hamper the normal movement of mucus up into the throat, this may cause mucus buildup and lead to infection. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, lung cancer may spread to other parts of the body.

Common symptoms of lung cancer may include the following:

A cough that does not go away

Chest pain

Shortness of breath

Recurrent lung infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia

Bloody or brown-colored spit or phlegm (sputum)

Persistent hoarseness

Significant weight loss that is not due to dieting or vigorous exercise; fatigue and loss of appetite

Fever with no apparent reason

The medical treatments for lung cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. These treatments, however, vary and may depend on factors like the type, stage, or to which extent it has spread at the time of diagnosis. However, like other ailments, the prevention of lung cancer should be prioritized rather than the cure. The first move in lung cancer prevention is to quit smoking and staying away from secondhand smoke exposure. Individuals who are having a hard time cutting the habit may try using quit smoking products in the market.

Quit smoking products however cannot do all the work, the best and effective to quit smoking involves determination, discipline, and commitment to stop the habit permanently. Using these products can help a smoker cut the habit by making them more comfortable and complacent to adjust to life without cigarettes. Many quit smoking products are available over the counter, it is best to seek the approval of health professionals to clarify side effects and drug interactions that may be developed while under medication. With the right tools and attitude, quitting smoking and reducing the health effects of secondhand smoke can be easier than others think.

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