Updated: May 27
Do you smoke?
Did you know smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States with over 480,000 deaths every year from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke? While the number of people who smoke has declined over recent decades, over 18% of the American population still smokes on a regular basis.
Truck drivers are some of the worst offenders. Compared to the general adult population, commercial truck drivers live an unhealthy lifestyle. The job requires long hours, high stress, and physical and mental focus. Over 50 percent of commercial drivers smoke cigarettes and only 8 percent exercise regularly.
No wonder the average life expectancy for a commercial truck driver is 61 years old.
The New Year is right around the corner and it is the perfect time to start afresh. Millions of people set resolutions every year so why not be one of those people. The time to quit smoking is now.
5 Reasons to Quit Smoking Now: Improve Your Heart Health Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease. It damages your heart and blood vessels and increases your risk of atherosclerosis. Quitting has an immediate positive impact on your health. Your heart rate and blood pressure, which is abnormally high when you smoke, will begin to return to normal and you will reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Improve Your Respiratory Health Smoking almost always causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In fact, 9 out of 10 COPD-related deaths are attributed to smoking. COPD is a serious lung disease where the airway walls become thick with mucus and block airflow making breathing harder and harder. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce your risk of developing COPD and to improve the overall health of your lungs.
Reduce Your Cancer Risk Tobacco use significantly increases your risk of developing cancers of the mouth, lips, nose, throat, stomach, kidney, and lung. Smoking is associated with 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States including about 80% of all lung cancer deaths. By quitting smoking you significantly reduce your cancer risks. Within 5 years your risk of developing mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer is cut in half. Within 10 years of quitting smoking your chance of dying from lung cancer is reduced by half.
Save Thousands of Dollars Every Year Smoking is incredibly expensive. According to a state-by-state analysis, smoking cigarettes costs the average smoker at least $1.1 million over a lifetime. If you’re a one-pack-a-day smoker that’s over $15,000 a year! Imagine what you could do with all that money. By quitting smoking you’ll also save on your health and life insurance premiums and reduce the number of medical visits and bills you’ll have if you continue to smoke. Now you can afford that dream vacation!
Your Family Will Be Healthier Smoking has a major impact on your family too. Every year an estimated 88 million nonsmoking Americans, mostly young children, are exposed to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke in their daily lives increase their lung cancer risk by 20-30%. Secondhand smoke exposure in children can cause ear infections, asthma, and other serious respiratory illnesses. Quit for your family.
Smoking is a bad habit that can be broken. It might not be easy, but thankfully there are many support programs that can help you quit and live a healthier life for both you and your loved ones who count on you. Check out the American Lung Association to find resources and support groups to help you quit smoking once and for all in the New Year. So, what are you waiting for?