On Monday, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released nine graphic photos on cigarette packages that will serve as warning labels to stop people from smoking and to encourage current smokers to quit. The images show exactly how picking up a cigarette can affect the lives of not only the smoker but also those affected by secondhand smoke.
According to a June 24 New York Times article, smoking remains the number one leading cause of deaths in the United States killing 443,000 people every year. Youth are among the largest group to start smoking; with an estimated 4,000 teens each day trying their first cigarette.
Groups throughout the country such as The American Lung Association and Breathe CA are continuing to promote healthy lung programs that provide education, advocacy and research in the hopes of helping to reduce this epidemic.
The true costs of smoking
Many people want to stop smoking but do not know where to begin. There are many resources available to help you learn not only about the health risks but also about other costs associated with picking up cigarettes. The health risks of smoking can include emphysema, lung cancer and obesity but there are also huge financial costs. According to a 2007 publication by The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smokers spend an estimated $10,000 a year on smoking-related costs.
Those costs include additional dollars spent on dental care, costs that are much higher among smokers due to the damage caused to gums and teeth. Additionally, studies show smokers can earn between 4% to 11% less in wages than non smokers.
Quit Smoking Now!
- Helpwithsmoking.com provides an online calculator to help you determine exactly how much you spend on smoking – a good motivation to quit!
- The Group Health Cooperative’s Free & Clear Quit for Life Program provides all of the tools you need to stop smoking.
- 1-800-QuitNow is a free telephone service that helps smokers find the necessary resources to help them quit smoking.