We love a good butt, except when it’s the rolled in paper, filled with tobacco and nasty chemicals, cancer stick kind. Despite the fact that smoking is the most preventable cause of disease and early death in this country, nearly 44 million Americans still smoke. According to the CDC, smoking-related diseases cause the deaths of about 174,000 women in the U.S. each year. On average, these women died 14.5 years earlier because they smoked.
With all that said, today is the one day you will ever hear Women You Should Know passionately encouraging women to quit ANYTHING! So join us in supporting the American Cancer Society’s 37th Great American Smokeout.
The Smokeout rules are simple: just quit smoking for 24 hours or cheer on the smoker in your life to quit for the day! The basic idea is to show smokers that if they can go without lighting up for one day, they have the power to do the same the next day and then the next and so on. It’s a baby steps approach to a healthier life with quitting altogether being the ultimate goal.
Puffing Away Your Health
We know that quitting is not easy and certainly don’t mean to minimize the enormous challenge that smokers face to kick the habit. But, we’d argue that dying a slow, painful, premature death or living with a terrible disease is probably harder. Can’t make much of an argument against that point… huh?
Overall, women are less likely to smoke than men. So we are one step ahead of the tobacco game there. But, for those who do, there are a host of health issues smoking can cause, many of which are specific to women.
- Aside from lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer death for women, there is a laundry list of other cancers that smoking is a risk factor for from oral to cervical and everything in between.
- Women who smoke greatly increase their risk of heart disease (the leading killer among women) and stroke.
- Women who smoke, especially after going through menopause, have lower bone density and a higher risk for broken bones, including hip fracture, than women who do not smoke. They may also be at higher risk for getting rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts, as well as age-related macular degeneration, which can cause blindness.
- Smokers tend to be younger at the start of menopause than non-smokers and may have more unpleasant symptoms while going through menopause.
- Smoking can also cause problems during pregnancy that can hurt both mother and baby. Smokers are more likely to have miscarriages, stillbirths, and low birth-weight babies, too.
More Reasons To Quit
So if the thought of premature death or really horrible diseases don’t scare you or the smokers you know, consider the following as quitting motivation:
- You are throwing away a TON of money on cigarettes; if you smoke a pack a day, quitting could save you more than $5,000 a year (in NYC an average pack is $14.50).
- Smoking is a sure fire way to make you look older.
- It’s really unpleasant for the non-smokers of the world to have to walk through your personal, toxic “smoke break” clouds when we walk past your office buildings.
- Tally up the time that you spend smoking and realize that same time could be used for something much more productive like exercise, carcinogen-free friends & family time or volunteering for your favorite local charity.
- Wouldn’t you prefer to leave the sallow, blotchy complexion, saggy and deeply wrinkled skin, yellow teeth, chronic bad breath, discolored fingers and thinning hair to the zombies of the pending apocalypse?
- All hope is not lost… quitting, at any age, gives your body a chance to heal the damage caused by smoking.
- To the smokers we know and love, we want you around, so if you won’t quit for yourselves consider doing it for us.
Mother Earth Is Not A Giant Ashtray
On a different, but related topic… just wondering why LOTS of smokers still do not realize that their used cigarettes are LITTER. Or is it that they blissfully choose to ignore that fact? We see far too many smokers just casually drop their smoked butts on the ground anywhere they choose, rather than discarding them in a proper waste receptacle.
Think we’re exaggerating? Consider this… cigarette butts are the most littered item in the U.S. and across the globe (overall littering rate for cigarette butts is 65%). This behavior is not only rude, but bad for the environment and a pricey waste management burden. Tossing a cigarette butt on the street is no different than finishing a bottle of water and throwing it on the ground or polishing off a mochachino and dropping the cup anywhere you like. SO WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Mother earth is not anyone’s personal ashtray. Please keep your butts off the streets and dispose of them properly where they belong. Better yet, just quit smoking and you won’t have to worry about where to put your next cigarette.