The Worst Possible Thing You Can Do

Everyone knows that cigarette smoking kills and you tell your kids not to smoke.  Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in the United States, but do we know why? The facts about cigarettes will blow your mind.

Cigarettes are Poison (it's that simple)

There are anywhere between 40 and 60 known carcinogenic ingredients in cigarettes.  Carcinogens are substances that cause cancer and can lie dormant in your body for 20-30 years after you smoke.  The carcinogens enter the bloodstream in the lungs and are transported to every living tissue in your body.  When you smoke, you are spreading carcinogenic substances throughout your body from your head to your foot.  The carcinogens become lodged in body organs and kill you from just about any location in your body.  Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body.

Putting aside lung cancer (the leading cause of cancer death in the America), tobacco use can cause leukemia as well as cancers of the throat, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder and cervix.  If you think cigarette smoking only puts you at risk for cancer, guess again!  Smoking causes heart disease, stroke, aortic aneurysm, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, asthma and cataracts.

Cigarette smoking causes more than 444,000 premature deaths each year in the United States, and the World Health Organization estimates that tobacco caused 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century. Of the deaths caused by cigarette smoking, 40% die from cancer, 35% die for heart disease and stroke, and 25% die from lung disease.  These statistics are just the tip of the iceberg because they do not include the serious, debilitating health conditions caused by smoking which do not result in death.

The worst part of these ugly statistics is that deaths and illnesses caused by cigarette smoking, and the tobacco industry, are completely preventable!  What makes this even worse?  On average 29% of people around the world smoke tobacco.

You won't believe what cigarettes contain!

There are 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes, most of which are added to tobacco leaves during the manufacturing process (nicotine is one of the few natural ingredients in cigarettes). The ingredients added to cigarettes by the tobacco companies include a virtual "who's who" among poisons: Formaldehyde (embalming fluid for dead persons); Ammonia (toilet bowl cleaner); Acetone (nail polish remover); Carbon Monoxide (car exhaust fumes that persons use to commit suicide and the main ingredient in cigarettes); Arsenic (rat poison--bad for rats, even worse for humans); Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison used in concentration camps in World War II); Butane (lighter fluid); Sulfuric Acid (car batteries); and DDT (insecticide). 

On top of these wonderful ingredients (added by Big Tobacco to cigarettes) is a chemical known as Benzene, which is the known cause of acute myleoid leukemia.  90% of benzene exposures that cause leukemia come from cigarettes.  The bottom line for you? Cigarettes will harm and kill you if used as intended. Smoking in moderation is not okay for you--you are filling your body with poison.  I hope I've got your attention by now.

How do you like this late-night infomercial?

Just imagine a late night infomercial for a hypothetical product that is "guaranteed to make your life better.  You will get tons of enjoyment from our revolutionary product. Our miracle product will help relax you and make your life immeasurably better and maybe even lose a little weight (not a bad thing, right?)"  But there is one little catch in the fine print of this informercial: "If you use our product exactly as it is intended, it will cause serious medical illnesses and ultimately kill you and possibly kill your children."  Are you still interested in plopping down your $19.95 for this miracle product? I didn't think so.

But the infomercial has more great news:  "But wait, there's more.  If you are one of the first ten persons to order cigarettes, you will get a bonus present."  Your bonus?  According to the U.S. Surgeon General, persons living with a smoker increase a non-smoker's chance of developing lung cancer by 20% to 30%.  What a nice bonus gift, right? 

If you just think you are killing yourself with cigarettes, you are kidding yourself!  You are substantially increasing the risk of the most lethal form of cancer, lung cancer, for everyone in your family.  Tobacco isn't just bad stuff, it is a outright killer for you and your family.

Can you still believe that people smoke?  "YES", I say. Numerous studies reveal that nicotine (the natural ingredient in a tobacco leaf) is just as addictive as cocaine and heroine.  You might have an easier time beating your crack cocaine addiction than stopping smoking.  That's why so many people smoke.  They're addicts.

What can be done to stop this deadly poison

In 2009, the Congress enacted a new law known as the "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act".  For the first time in our country's history, the U.S. Food and Drug Authority has the power to regulate the tobacco industry.  The FDA now has the authority to regulate and control the manufacture, distribution, marketing and use of tobacco products.  Okay, great, you might ask, "but how will this help stop smoking?"

We are not talking about an outright ban on tobacco products (although that would  be a great idea, in my opinion).  The new law can be used to place strict bans on the marketing of tobacco products.  Nations that adopt a strict ban on tobacco advertisting have the greatest results in preventing youth from smoking.

Why would a ban on tobacco advertising be a good thing? The majority of new tobacco users are under the legal age to purchase tobacco products.  The majority of smokers are addicted to smoking before they turn 18.  An outright ban on tobacco advertising will prevent teenagers from picking up this dirty habit before they become adults.  You're with me on this, right?  I hope so.

So what if a ban on tobacco advertising hurts the profits of tobacco companies?  Haven't they killed enough people?  Now it's up to the Food and Drug Administration to take action with this great new law in their back pocket.  What do you think will happen?  Who knows if any progress will be made, but we've got a good head start with this great new federal law.

Let me know what you think

Do you agree?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Do you think I'm a big dumby?  When you have a spare moment, drop me an e-mail at jfisher@fishermalpracticelaw.com or call me on my toll-free cell at 866-889-6882. Take a moment to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.