Reasons to Quit: Cost, Readiness, Your Love Life
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Letâ€™s say you spend five bucks a day on your cigarette habit. In one year, youâ€™ll spend $1,850. In ten years, youâ€™ll smoke away a brand new car.
And thatâ€™s just at $5 a day.
So one good reason to quit is cost. Youâ€™ll have more money if you give up tobacco. Of course, quitting also protects you from debilitating illness that can cost even more in the long run.
Speaking of debilitating . . . believe it or not, smoking can have a profound, negative effect on a personâ€™s love life. In addition to making you smell bad, affecting your breathing and wrinkling your skin, smoking can destroy blood vessels, especially tiny blood vessels that affect sexual performance.
Smoking has been linked directly to sexual dysfunction in men, and it's believed to have a similar effect in women. One noted urologist, speaking on the news program "60 Minutes," said when he sees a man smoking, he wonders â€œwhenâ€ -- not â€œifâ€ -- he will experience erectile dysfunction.
Studies show that tobacco-users in general donâ€™t live as long as non-users.
Smoking makes its biggest assault on the lungs. People with Chronic Obstructed Pulmonary Disease or Emphysema often end up on oxygen and cannot live a normal life. Many can't walk a few feet without having to sit down and try to catch their breath. Cancer that starts in the lungs of many smokers can often have devastating effects, spreading throughout the body to involve the liver, kidneys, bones, and brain.
The Navy considers smoking as not only a health issue, but also one that affects readiness, military bearing, and leadership by example.
According to Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5100.13B of February 11, 1998: â€œTobacco use is considered the chief preventable cause of premature death and disease in the United States, killing more than 400,000 (19 percent of total deaths) annually. Tobacco use in any form is addictive. Involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke has been shown to cause cancer, lung and heart disease in healthy nonsmokers.â€
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified second-hand smoke â€“ Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) â€“ as a â€œGroup Aâ€ known human lung carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). According to the Navy, tobacco use and ETS have an adverse effect on mission readiness.
â€œTobacco use adversely affects night vision, respiratory capacity, and wound healing rates, and contributes to risk of cold injuries, including frostbite. Statistically, smokers have higher accident rates than do nonsmokers.â€
â€œTobacco use harms readiness by imparing physical fitness and by increasing illness, absenteeism, premature death, and health care costs.â€
The Department of the Navy policy, according to the SECNAV instruction, is to reduce tobacco use and protect nonsmokers form involuntary exposure to ETS. â€œWhere conflicts arise between the rights of nonsmokers and the rights of smokers, the rights of nonsmokers to a smoke-free air space shall prevail.â€
November is Smoking Cessation Month. Health Promotion specialists can help smokers sign up for free tobacco cessation programs. For information about how to quit, contact your primary care manager at your military treatment facility.
For related news, visit the U. S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/nhyoko.