Why Your Cigarette is Burning Your Lungs

One in five people in the US smoke cigarettes. It’s likely you have someone close to you who does, or maybe you smoke yourself. My step-dad smokes about a pack and a half a day, and I have friends who smoke as well. I’ve tried it myself and admittedly enjoy a hookah with some friends once or twice a year.

It seems as though everyone in the health care field is advocating to quit smoking, but why? Why is it socially acceptable to smoke cigarettes but not cool for obese people to overeat? Neither are healthy, and both endanger lives and poorly impact one’s health.

Since the 1960s, when cigarettes became readily available and were used in just about every movie and TV show, lung cancer rates have exponentially increased. (Click below to enlarge.)

Cancer Rates Since 1930

Cancer Rates Since 1930

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancerous death in the US. It usually develops a number of years after one first starts smoking. In the past few years, steps have been taken to fight the preventable cancer. The FDA now mandates cigarette companies to display the effects of smoking on their packages: “SMOKING CAN KILL YOU”, “CIGARETTES CAUSE CANCER”, “CIGARETTES CAUSE FATAL LUNG DISEASE” are a few of the warnings.

As of today in the US, 19.3% of adults over 18 are smoking. The number hasn’t decreased much since 2007, where the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Report stated a smoking prevalence of 19.8% amongst American adults. Quitting any addiction is a difficult task and it requires discipline, counseling, and support from peers or loved ones. Prevention, however, is the best cure.