Smoking Costs U.S. $100 Billion, Kills Half a Million Each Year

Published 04/03 2014 04:58PM

Updated 04/03 2014 05:04PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- About one in five adults are smokers and 70 percent of smokers would like to quit smoking, but about half make an attempt to quit.

It’s the most common cause of preventable death and disease like heart disease, a multitude of cancers and severe breathing problems.

Every year almost half a million people die from smoking related illnesses, which costs the U.S. nearly $100 billion in direct medical expenses.

Quitting tobacco is the most important action you can take to improve your health and increase the length of your life.

Within minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and circulation improves and not only do you reduce your risk of lung cancer, strokes and heart attacks, but you also reduce your risk of liver and colon cancer too.

Even after one day, the carbon monoxide poison leaves your body and you will breathe easier.

Also, your loved ones will have less exposure to secondhand smoke, a known cause of asthma and pneumonia.

Last but not least, you will save money, improve your sense of taste, and keep your clothes, car, and your breath smelling fresher.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help stay smoke free:

  • Avoid certain activities that may urge you to smoke
  • Throw away your ashtrays and cigarette lighters
  • Use air fresheners to get rid of the smell, exercise
  • Eat a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (because these foods make cigarettes taste awful!)

What's really exciting is that there is currently a nicotine vaccine under study.

But in the mean time, nicotine replacement therapy is available.

There are also patches, gum, medications, and counseling.

So put out that cigarette, live healthy and stay strong.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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