Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Ditch the Cigarettes and E-Cigs!

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and if you're a frequent smoker, now is the time to consider quitting!

posted on 11/2/2021 in BLOGS from St. Anthony

vapingWhether you smoke cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or vapes, it’s important to recognize that they all pose different risks to your health. Though many smokers switch from cigarettes to e-cigs because of the “lower risks,” the consequences of smoking e-cigs are still drastic and potentially life-threatening.

While e-cigs may not have nearly as many toxins and chemicals as cigarettes, e-cigs contain other chemicals that affect your respiratory and cardiovascular health. Additionally, various studies show that e-cigs are often frequented and used by younger populations, increasing use among middle schoolers by 48% and an increase in high schoolers by 78%. This increases the likelihood of lung cancer, as it exposes youth to toxins and nicotine at an extremely early age.

In addition to the risk of developing lung cancer, there are many other reasons that you should quit smoking. Take a look at some of the additional risks that come with smoking and why it’s the perfect time to quit:

Mental Decline. As a smoker, your risk of cognitive decline when you’re older is about five times faster than non-smokers, putting you at higher risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, because smoking can potentially cause artery damage and blood clotting, you’re at higher risk for having a stroke, which could also contribute to a mental decline.

Disease. Unsurprisingly, smoking can increase your risk of other illnesses, such as heart disease, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases, arthritis, thyroid disease, and much more. It can also contribute to acid reflux and heartburn, snoring and increase your risk for depression.

Other Cancers. Though smokers are obviously at a higher risk for lung cancer, there are other cancers that you may be at risk for because you are a smoker. Smoking has been linked to different kinds of colon cancer and may have a significant role in increasing your chance of developing breast cancer.

Vision. Smoking can severely contribute to a decline in vision, causing age-related macular degeneration. Studies show that over 25% of all cases of macular degeneration can be attributed to past smoking or exposure to smoking. If it gets worse, macular degeneration can result in vision impairment and potential blindness. The good news is, the sooner you quit, the lower the risk you’re at for macular degeneration.

Pregnancy. If you’re a pregnant woman or thinking of getting pregnant, it’s important to know that smoking can have severe effects on your baby, even after they’re born. Babies exposed to smoking are at extremely high risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Smoking may also increase a baby’s chance of developing colic.

Impotence. Male smokers may want to consider quitting smoking if they’re looking to improve their performance in the bedroom. 15% of past and present smokers reported experiencing erectile dysfunction. A study showed that men who smoked over a pack of cigarettes per day were 60% more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

Need help treating your addiction and quitting smoking? St. Anthony Regional Hospital is here for you. We are dedicated to improving the health of the people we serve through high-quality, high-value healthcare services. We offer a variety of services and healthcare professionals, so you know you’ll always get the care that you deserve. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call at (712) 792-2222 to schedule an appointment today.



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