According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
Health problems extend beyond smokers to nonsmokers, who are involuntarily exposed to second-hand smoke.
If you’re still smoking or using other tobacco products and are looking for motivation to help you quit using tobacco, consider these facts:
• Smoking causes lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
• Smoking increases the risk of incontinence, cataracts, osteoporosis, impotence and infertility. Smoking causes premature wrinkling, yellow teeth and bad breath.
• Pregnant women who smoke greatly endanger the life and health of their developing child. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to become smokers.
Second-hand smoke can cause lung cancer and heart disease in people who have never smoked tobacco and illnesses in young children, such as ear problems, asthma and bronchitis.
Every year, thousands of children are hospitalized because of illness resulting from exposure to second-hand smoke. For this reason, smoking is increasingly restricted or prohibited in the workplace and in public places.
Perhaps you are questioning your own ability to quit smoking. If you can quit on your own, you should quit. However, in order to stop the tobacco habit, there are many smokers who need assistance from their family, friends and health care providers. Studies show that your best chance of quitting the tobacco habit is by joining a support program.
If you are thinking about taking the next step to being tobacco free, consider attending the Tobacco Cessation Program at the Army Wellness Center Stuttgart, on Patch Barracks. This program is available to all military beneficiaries, retirees and Defense Department civilians.
You will learn all the tools and strategies that have helped people stop the tobacco habit, and you will be guided to develop your own personal tobacco cessation plan.
The next tobacco cessation classes will be held on Oct. 18 and 25. To enroll, call the Army Wellness Center Stuttgart at 430-2997/civ. 0711-680-2997.