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The Truth About Tobacco

We can’t stress how bad tobacco and tobacco products are for your health. No Tobacco Day gives us another excuse to talk about how awful tobacco is! With all the research and evidence about their negative effects available, there are very few excuses for a why a person continues to smoke. Using tobacco will leave you with physical, emotional and cosmetic damage. It will also knock years off of your life expectancy. It’s just not worth it.

What Makes Tobacco So Bad?

Tobacco is a known carcinogen which means it is directly linked to cancer. It makes no difference how the tobacco is consumed – cigarettes, pipes, cigars and chewing tobacco all come with risks. When tobacco is burned, the smoke that is releases contains thousands and thousands of chemical compounds, many of them cancer causing including:

Carbon Monoxide Nitrogen Oxide
Formaldehyde Methanol
Cyanide Benzene
Ammonia Acetylene

Tobacco also contains tar and nicotine. Tar will accumulate in a smoker’s lungs and cause damage overtime. Nicotine is the highly addictive drug that keeps smokers coming back for more. Tobacco leaves also contain radioactive material which means that smokers are also ingesting a small amount of radioactive material when they smoke!

Tobacco & Health

Tobacco use is associated with a long list of cancers. Each year, smoking alone contributes to 30% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. The figure is even higher when cancers caused by second-hand smoke are included. Some of the cancers linked to tobacco use are:

Lung Cancer Throat Cancer
Lip Cancer Nasal Cavity Cancer
Larynx Cancer Mouth Cancer
Esophageal Cancer Bladder Cancer
Kidney Cancer Pancreatic Cancer
Myeloid Leukemia Paranasal Sinuses Cancer

Cancer isn’t the only health risk associated with tobacco. Smoking will kill approximately half of all smokers. Many of these smokers will suffer from non-cancer illnesses, some of which will be chronic conditions that will eventually take their lives. Aside from cancer, smokers also need to worry about:

Heart Disease Stroke
COPD Emphysema
Irregular Heartbeats Chronic Bronchitis
Cataracts Blindness
T2 Diabetes Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Tobacco Industry

The tobacco industry is a big business that makes billions of dollars globally each year. Unfortunately, tobacco companies are not too concerned with the effects tobacco has on human health. In America, $26 million are spent EACH DAY on advertisements for tobacco products. Down through the years, tobacco marketing executives have considered many disgusting marketing ploys to boost sales including:

  • Specifically targeting teenagers and younger adults in locations they frequently visit e.g. record and clothes stores and schools
  • Specifically targeting young girls and women with “feminine” colored cigarettes
  • Adding honey and sweeteners to cigarettes so they appeal to younger consumers
  • Campaigns aimed at minorities including African-Americans and the homeless

At the end of the day, the tobacco industry is just that: an industry designed to make money. Tobacco companies have even gone to court to protect their right to advertise near schools. The customer personas used by tobacco companies also highlight just how little they respect or care about human life. Tobacco companies use adjectives and descriptions for buyers like:

  • Feels vulnerable
  • Feels negatively about the future
  • Replacement smokers (young people who will take the place of smokers that die from tobacco )

The tobacco industry also has very little concern for the impact their product is having on the environment. Tobacco growth is contributing to deforestation and the pollution of land and water with pesticides and other chemical. Globally, 600 million trees are cut down each year to facilitate tobacco growth. At the other end of the spectrum, 1.69 billion tons of cigarette butts will end up as trash each year – toxic trash. Plus, the manufacturing of tobacco products releases thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere each year.

The Future of the Tobacco Industry

Despite the tobacco industry’s best efforts, governments around the world are clamping down on tobacco advertisements and the ease of accessibility people have to tobacco products. Tobacco products are heavily taxed in many countries meaning they are priced out of range for many groups including teenagers, homeless people and other vulnerable minorities. Governments are also imposing more regulations on tobacco product manufacturers. Some manufacturers are required to contribute a certain percentage of sales money to services which help people afflicted by illnesses and conditions caused by smoking. Cigarette cartons are also required to have both a text and image description of the negative effects of tobacco so that literate and illiterate people are aware of the dangers.

If you are a smoker, we highly recommend that you consider stopping soon. There are so many resources available including your family physician and online resources. It’s never too late to quit!

Feeling better about your health or fitness shouldn’t be a chore. If you ever need some extra support, come by BEFIT to speak with one of our trainers or simply fill out a Free Consultation Request by clicking the link and a fitness professional will reach out to you within 24 hours.

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