World No Tobacco Day is Saturday, May 31, 2014. Tobacco use has been linked to a number of health related problems. The use of tobacco products has been linked to lethal diagnoses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and emphysema. Tobacco use is also linked to non-life-threatening issues such as yellow teeth, bad breath, pre-mature aging of the skin, vision loss and not to mention a significant financial burden.
Tobacco products include but are not limited to: cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, chewing tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. Use of all of these aforementioned products increases the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
The American Cancer Society reports that smokers who smoke a pack a day have double the risk of developing esophageal cancer than a nonsmoker. The risk further increases when combined with other risk factors such as chronic heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), family history of cancer, obesity, Barrett’s Esophagus, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol use.
But! There is good news. The risk of esophageal cancer has the potential of decreasing the sooner one stops using tobacco and the longer that they stay away from tobacco products. The body begins to immediately repair itself. In fact, within just 8 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood drops to normal and oxygen levels increase to normal.*
“In March 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the first-ever paid national tobacco education campaign—Tips From Former Smokers (Tips). Tips encourages people to quit smoking by showing the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones. The hard-hitting ads show people living with the real and painful consequences of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.”
If you or someone you know is ready to quit, visit CDC’s website and utilize their “Tips Guide” to quit now and quit for good.
The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
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