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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Smoking Is Bad For Everyone, But Especially African American Men, Who Have A 34% Greater Risk of Developing Lung Cancer

African American man smoking

Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., causing over 393,000 deaths per year. Exposure to smoking, also called secondhand smoke, is just as deadly, causing close to 50,000 deaths each year.

There is no question about it anymore. Smoking causes cancer. According to the American Lung Association, African American men have a 34 percent greater risk of developing lung cancer than white men, even though white men smoke 30-40 percent more. While it is true that lung cancer can develop in people who are not smokers or exposed to smoke, smoking causes 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths.

What Smoking Does to the Body
  • Smokers inhale 69 deadly, cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes.
  • Smoking damages every organ in the body.
  • Tobacco use increases the risk for cancer of the mouth, gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Smoking damages the digestive system by increasing the secretion of stomach acids which causes heartburn and ulcers.
  • Smoking increases the risk of cancer of the pancreas.
  • Smoking raises blood pressure and increases the risk of developing deadly blood clots.
  • Use of tobacco increases cholesterol deposits in the arteries which raises the risk of having a heart attack.
  • Smoking damages the kidneys.
  • Smoking can cause cancer of the bladder.
  • Smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer.
The list goes on and on. Forty percent of all men who smoke will die before they are of retirement age. This compares to 18 percent for non-smokers. SMOKING IS NOT COOL! Even smokers who quit NOW will have to wait 10 YEARS before the body can completely heal itself from all the adverse affects of tobacco. Quitting immediately is important because it gives smokers a chance to regain their health BEFORE it causes serious diseases.

Smoking is habit-forming due to nicotine, a chemical that causes addiction. The longer a person smokes, the greater the addiction becomes. It's not easy to quit smoking. For help, smokers should talk to their primary physician. In addition, the American Lung Association offers programs such as Freedom From Smoking that has helped hundreds of thousands of people quit.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.