May 2012 – Choose to Say No to Tobacco
FACT: Indoor smoking leaves a nearly indelible imprint. New research funded by the University of California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program shows that carcinogens formed by smoke residue may persist on indoor surfaces for months after the cigarette is extinguished. Risks to young children are of particular concern, since they crawl on rugs and carpets and often put their hands in their mouths.
HOPE: Although many smokers are aware of the dangers of second-hand smoke and take precautions to not smoke around children, learning about the potential health risks of what is called “third-hand smoke” may lead to changes in attitudes about smoking, conversations, and decisions to give up the habit or not ever start it.
FACT: Smokeless tobacco use among high school boys has jumped by more than a third since 2003. Most popular are teabag-like tobacco pouches and dissolvable tobacco products that do not require spitting and are more easily concealed. Their use can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, mouth lesions, oral cancer, and nicotine addiction. Additionally, high school students who use smokeless tobacco products are four times more likely to use marijuana, three times more likely to ever use cocaine, and almost 16 times more likely to consume alcohol.
HOPE: Faith communities can make a difference in the impact that tobacco use has on our youth and families. Join the fight against tobacco on the next World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on Thursday, May 31, 2012. You can find many useful ideas and resources for getting youth involved at www.kickbuttsday.org.
FACT: Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Each puff of cigarette smoke contains about 5,000 toxic compounds. The inhaled irritants cause chronic lung epithelial cell inflammation and cell death, leading to lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases.
HOPE: The health benefits of smoking cessation are immediate and substantial. Quitting smoking not only improves pulmonary function but also dramatically reduces the risk for lung cancer, other types of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease. For example, in the first year following smoking cessation, there is a 50% reduction in cardiac events, and the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s within 5 to 15 years.
FACT: A study by Nicorette released last year found that the average smoker takes five years and seven attempts to kick the habit for good. Unsuccessful attempts to quit can leave smokers feeling alienated and discouraged.
HOPE: Studies show that personally tailored psychological support increases the chances of successfully changing behavior. Whether or not your church offers a Breathe Free tobacco cessation program, you can provide the individual support, daily contact and encouragement that is critical to successful quitting. No matter how much or how long someone has smoked, we can extend hope by sharing personal victories and helping people tap into the power of God to break habits.
- Fact Sheets: Smokeless Tobacco and Kids. (n.d.). Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Homepage. Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0003.pdf
- Goldkorn, T. & Filosto, S. (2010). Lung Injury and Cancer: Mechanistic insights into Ceramide and EGFR signaling under cigarette smoke. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 43(3(, 2590268.
- Parker, D. R. & Eaton, C. B. (2012). Chronic obstructive lung disease and smoking cessation. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 6(2), 159-166.
- Ravven, W. (2012, April 12). Explore Stories: After the smoke clears, danger still lurks. University of California Research. Retrieved from http://research.universityofcalifornia.edu/stories/2012/04/thirdhand-smoke.html
- World No Tobacco Day 2012. (2011, September 16). World Health Organization Tobacco Free Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2012/announcement/en/