International studies of millions of people by government, industry,
and private research institutions have determined many facts about smoking. Smoking can cause:
stained teeth, fingers, and hair;
increased frequency of colds, particularly chest colds and bronchitis;
gastrointestinal difficulties, constipation, diarrhea, and colitis;
leukoflakia (smoker's patch);
Buerger's disease (inflammation of blood vessel linings);
shortness of breath;
wrinkles and premature aging;
gastric, duodenal, and peptic ulcers;
cancer of the lip, tongue, pharynx, larynx, and bladder;
high blood pressure;
artherosclerosis & arteriosclerosis (thickening and loss of
. elasticity of the blood vessels with lessened blood flow);
inflammation of the sinus passages;
tobacco angina (nicotine angina pectoris);
decreased sexual activity;
and mental depression.
Blood flow to the extremities is decreased (cold hands and feet). One puff lowers the temperature in the fingertips 1ºF to 3ºF in 3 minutes.
Nicotine affects the nerve-muscle junctions, causing tremors and shaking. Nicotine causes narrowing and constriction of the arteries, adding to the heart's load. Nicotine, through its ability to stimulate, causes excitement and anxiety. But the effect wears off, often a period of depression follows, whereupon another cigarette is taken. Nicotine, an insecticide, makes the blood more viscous and decreases the available oxygen. It also adversely affects the breathing, sweating, intestinal, and heart actions of our autonomic nervous system, probably due to hindering the blood flow to the nerve centers in the brain.
Two to four cigarettes in a row increase blood fats 200 to 400%. The average smoker (30 cigerettes per day) has 4 to 6 times the chance of having heart disease if he's in the 45-54 year age group.
If the mother smoked during pregnancy, her baby will average 6 ounces less and its pulse will be 30% faster than a non-smoker's baby, and there'll be withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth. Premature birth has been related to smoking by the mother. There is a direct link between parents' smoking and children's respiratory disease.
Smoking causes widespread permanent destruction of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) and narrowing of small blood vessels in the lungs, decreasing the oxygen supply, requiring a higher blood pressure, thus causing extensive circulatory problems and premature heart attacks. Smokers have difficulty running and exercising.
The cilia are tiny, delicate, hairlike coverings on the thin membrane of the surface of the lungs and trachea that, by means of their whipping, beating action, produce an upward current of foreign material and mucus from the lungs which is then swallowed or expectorated. This is the way the body cleans the lungs. This delicate lung-cleaning mechanism, in a cigarette smoker, at first paralyzes, then deteriorates, and is eventually made inoperative, through the complete destruction of the cilia. The smoker then must resort to coughing as a lung-cleaning method. This isn't efficient, and more than a cupful of tars will have accumulated in his lungs by the time of his premature death.
Air pollution (auto exhausts, industry wastes, etc.) increases the lung cancer rate of the smoker, but not of the non-smoker. Apparently, the lung-cleaning cilia are alive and working for the non-smoker.
The time to recover from any specific ill, whether caused by smoking or not, is much longer for the smoker. Often, a non-smoker will survive a sickness from which he would have died had he smoked.
The non-smoker has no need to spend money to buy cigarettes, matches, lighters, holders, ashtrays, or to spend a dime a mile for that special trip to the store. Just the cigarettes alone amount to an average of $250 per year, after taxes - wasted. Add another $250 if the spouse smokes. This is hard-earned, after-tax, money of yours, used to pay for the above smoking paraphernalia - plus tax! (Please note: these are 1971 figures.)
By dying earlier, the smoker will lose many tens of thousands of dollars in social security and other benefits which will naturally end up in the pockets of the non-smoker. The cigarette tax is more money from the smoker to the non-smoker.
The smoker is sick more often, explaining why he misses an average of 7½ work days per year, usually with a loss of pay, while the non-smoker will miss only 4½ days.
The smoker must spend valuable time looking for ashtrays, cigarettes, matches, retail stores, vending machines, or change for these machines. He experiences displeasure if they aren't immediately at hand. Just the process of deciding on "which brand" wastes vast amounts of mental, physical, and financial resources.
The overall bad health of the smoker results, on average, in a decrease of 8.3 years in his life expectancy, or about 12 to 14 minutes per cigarette. Just in lost social security income alone, this amounts to about a 5¢ a cigarette. The actual cost of each cigarette when you include extra medical expenses, lost pay, etc., is of the order of 25¢ per cigarette (1971 figures).
Just the extra medical expenses alone can be expected to eventually use up all of a smoker's hard-earned savings, already depleted by the high cost of smoking. By the time non-smokers get sick, Medicare will foot their medical bills.
The smoker's body requires more sleep every night. This extra sleep must come from his spare time. Besides needing more sleep, smokers don't sleep as well.
Smoking destroys vitamins, particularly vitamin C and the B's. Smoking has induced cancer in dogs. Insurance rates can be higher for smokers. Some 100,000 doctors stop smoking every year.
Foods will taste much better to non-smokers. Many subtle flavors and aromas will be savored if your nasal and oral senses are freed of the effects of harsh chemicals, coal tars, and other combustion products. How long has it been since you've experienced the smell of fresh-cut grass or the delicate taste of lobster from Maine or Nova Scotia?
Other disadvantages of smoking: You must always carry cigarettes and matches; your pockets bulge - or there's less space in your purse; smelly breath; smelly house; smelly clothes; messy rugs and furniture, often burned; cigarettes lying around for kids to smoke (and matches to light); you're a bad influence on kids; you're held in low esteem by your kids and your friends (even your smoking friends); the inside of your home and auto windows need cleaning more often; death or property loss due to smoking in bed.
Some 120 persons have died in two airline crashes that have been attributed to ashtray and lighter-fluid fires. Cigarette smoke collects with lint and is known to gum up delicate mechanisms such as aircraft controls.
Smokers get into more auto accidents due to being less alert, having slower reflexes, and also due to fussing around while driving (lighting up, etc.). In Czechoslovakia it's illegal to smoke while driving. Accident-proneness has been related to smoking.
A non-smoker would have to put on an additional 150 pounds in order to increase his mortality rate to that of an average smoker.
The fact that the tobacco industry provides work, that wouldn't exist without it, is a myth. The money now wasted on tobacco, if diverted elsewhere, would create a wealth of new job openings in industries producing goods and services more useful to the society than cigarettes.
Smoking makes a person irritable and argumentative, partially due to a subconscious knowledge of all of the above facts. Smoking has been related to brain damage and premature senility.
A smoker needs much more food and sleep since nicotine makes his body work harder and less efficiently and his heart beat faster, thus using more fuel and energy. This, together with the fact that a smoker loses much of his appetite and his taste for food, explains why smokers have less trouble keeping their weight down. When one quits smoking, it's IMPERATIVE that the intake of food is drastically reduced in order to keep the body weight normal. Having to eat less is of course an additional saving of time and money.
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone quit smoking? There'd be less general litter, no more butts, ashes, or wrappers in the streets, grass, urinals, etc.; no more smoke in restaurants, theaters, airplanes or buses; a more alert society, with more spare time to enjoy or improve their lot in life; fewer auto, plane, on-the-job, and household accidents; fewer forest fires; less air pollution; lower auto and life insurance rates; and fewer people coughing and spitting in public. By inflicting smoke on your non-smoking friends, it's been shown that even THEIR health and life expectancy are adversely affected.
Notice how many of your friends have quit smoking in the last 5 years. They're the smart ones (and you know it). Lower intelligence has been related to smoking. In fact, smoking is both a cause and an effect of lower intelligence, just as smoking is both a cause and effect of lower income. The (smoking)-(lower-intelligence)-(lower-income)-(more smoking) vicious circle can unknowingly spiral a brainwashed young person down and down into the depths of poverty and despair. He'll not be as physically or mentally able to cope with life's challenges. Our successful capitalistic system is based on competition, and the physically-mentally handicapped smoker inevitably ends up at the bottom of the heap. So get smart, today, now, and join the happy, healthy ranks of the non-smokers.
If you're a light smoker, you should quit immediately, only moderately shocking your system.
The heavy smoker should allow two weeks for cutting down, then quit completely. An extended cutting-down period only prolongs the pain. Prepare for an agonizing month or two, though you might get off easily. The close family must give up, too, at least in your presence. It'd of course be best if the whole family quit at once. The pain and agony you'll suffer can be relieved completely in most persons by taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance. That means to take as little as one gram or as many as fifty grams (50,000 milligrams) every day until you reach the point of liquid diarrhea, then decrease the amount until your stools are normal. But "normal", for many smokers, means frequent constipation. Stools must always be soft, never, ever, necessitating any straining.
If anti-smoking drugs help (Nikoban, Bantron, Pronicotyl), good, but be prepared to find they won't. Vitamins C and B1 and tranquilizers often help to decrease irritability and other withdrawal symptoms.
After eating don't sit down. Take a walk instead. Try to avoid situations that you associate with smoking, such as sitting in your favorite chair, particularly after dinner. Try to avoid situations that are conducive to smoking, such as bars, meetings, and boredom. Don't invite smoking friends over during the critical first few months. Never, anytime, let them smoke in your soon-to-be smell-free home. In fact, after you've quit for a few months, you'll notice how your clothes still have a strong residual smell of an ashtray. It may be necessary to clean or clear away every source of that smell, usually from carpets and clothes. Then get ready for a new life of clean lungs and great health. Your non-smoking friends won't avoid you anymore now that you no longer smell like an ashtray.
When you get that urge to smoke (and you will), drink some water. If that doesn't work, suck a prune and keep the pit in your mouth for an hour. Try the buddy system: phone a friend who's also trying to quit. Think of the satisfaction of not having given in to that filthy urge. Think how bad you'll feel if you do give in. Think about how your cigarette money helps support those hypocritical tobacco companies whose income is derived at the expense of the health, wealth, happiness, efficiency, and resources of the addicted smoker.
Keep this smoking facts sheet with you at all times, and re-read it when necessary, to refresh your memory of all the ugly disadvantages of smoking, and all the advantages of not smoking.
Try to avoid calories, but if you find that substituting food for cigarettes helps you give up smoking, then by all means have an apple, gum, beef jerky, or a prune. If at all possible, exercise a bit every day, especially when you get the urge to smoke. It's a good substitute, and you'll find that exercising comes much easier as a non-smoker.
After giving up, that filthy urge may remain for several years, so don't start again. Some people are lucky in that after a few months the thought of smoking makes them sick. But don't bank on being lucky.
Cigarette displays, cigarette ads, cigarette machines, anything having to do with smoking, must be looked upon in your mind as existing only for those poor unfortunates who are addicted to that filthy habit.
Life's too good and too short to waste on that filthy habit.
© 1971 Oscar Falconi
PO Box 1848
Palatine IL 60078
Phone: 1 847 485 8769
North America only: 800 325 2664
Fax: 1 847 241 0077