Smoking & Your Health

Smoking is bad for your health. It damages your organs and causes cancer. It can kill you. The younger you start smoking, the more damage your body will suffer when you get older. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and extend your life.

Reasons to Quit

Save money!

  • Smoking is expensive.
  • In South Carolina, the average pack of cigarettes costs $5.58.
  • If you smoke a pack a day, you’re wasting more than $2,000 per year.

Stay healthy and live a long time!

  • Smoking can kill you.
  • It is the #1 cause of preventable death in the U.S.
  • Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which cause cancer.
  • Smoking causes 90% of lung cancer deaths and can give you chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
  • Smoking also causes coronary heart disease, stroke and many other cancers and diseases.
  • Smoking can cause a long and painful death.

Feel better and look better!

  • Smoking causes:
  • Yellow and discolored teeth and nails
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Wrinkles and saggy skin: cigarette chemicals reduce blood flow to your skin.

Be less out of breath!

  • Smoking and even secondhand smoke can cause breathing problems.
  • It can cause coughing‚ extra phlegm‚ wheezing and shortness of breath.

Love your pets!

  • One cigarette (or e-cig cartridge) contains 15-25 mg of nicotine and a cigarette butt can contain 4-8 mg depending on its size. Flavored e-cig cartridges make them even alluring to pets. The toxic level of nicotine for cats and dogs is 0.5-1.0 mg.
  • Nicotine absorbed by your pets skin has a more rapid and direct entry to the bloodstream over ingestion (where the liver acts as a filter) so there is a greater concentration of nicotine affecting your pet’s organs and causing toxic poisoning and potentially death.
  • Dogs had a 60% greater risk of lung cancer; a different study showed that long-nosed dogs, (such as collies or greyhounds), were 2x as likely to develop nasal cancer.
  • Cats were 3x as likely to develop lymphoma, the most common feline cancer with oral cancers a particular high risk due to their compulsive grooming behaviors and therefore increasing the ingestion of toxic smoking residues.

Tips on Quitting

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. The best way to quit is with support. Here are some tips to help:

Put it in writing.

Write down all the reasons why you want to quit smoking, like the money you'll save or the stamina you'll gain for playing sports. Put the list somewhere you can see it.

Get support.

You’re more likely to quit if friends and family help. It doesn’t have to be your parents; you can confide in a counselor or other adult you trust. Think about joining an online or in-person support group.

Set a quit date.

Pick a day that you'll stop smoking. Let your friends and family know.

Throw away all of your cigarettes.

It’s hard to quit with cigarettes around. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters and especially that emergency stash.

Wash all your clothes.

Get rid of the smell of cigarettes as much as you can by washing all your clothes. If you smoked in the car, clean that out, too.

Know your “triggers” and make changes around them.

There are times that you know you tend to smoke – after meals, when you're at your best friend's house, while drinking coffee, talking or driving. Those times are your triggers. Break the link by doing something else, like going for a walk or talking to a friend. Change your location and swap cigarettes for something else – crunch on carrot sticks, chew gum or mints, or lick a lollipop.