Meigs Health Matters

By Sherry Hayman - For the Times-Sentinel

Smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States and more than 6 million deaths worldwide.

That’s more than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, and firearm incidents combined.

More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all of the wars fought in the United States during its history.

On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Smoking affects every part of the body and increases the risk of all types of cancers, heart disease and respiratory disease. It causes decreased bone density in women. Smoking decreases your immune system, and causes rheumatoid arthritis. It also can make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant, and can decrease a man’s sperm count.

Smoking causes tooth loss, and cataracts, and is a cause of Type 2 Diabetes. In infants of mothers who smoke during pregnancy, it can cause low birth weight, premature birth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ectopic pregnancy, orofacial cleft and miscarriage.

Quitting smoking lowers your cardiovascular risks. After just one year of not smoking, your risk of a heart attack is cut dramatically. After 2 to 5 years, your risk of stroke could fall to about that of a nonsmoker. If you quit smoking your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder is cut in half after five years. Ten years after you quit smoking your risk of lung cancer is cut in half. You can see that smoking has many negative effects on your health, in turn; quitting smoking has just as many positive effects on your health.

If you are thinking about quitting, but just feel that you can’t do it alone, call me at 740-992-6626 for an appointment. I am a certified tobacco treatment specialist through The Breathing Association and can offer you one-on-one help ending your tobacco addiction.

Meigs County Health Department accepts most commercial insurances and Ohio Medicaid/Managed Medicaid and will offer late afternoon and early evening appointments that are convenient for your schedule.

By Sherry Hayman

For the Times-Sentinel

Sherry Hayman is a registered nurse with the Meigs County Health Department.

Sherry Hayman is a registered nurse with the Meigs County Health Department.