|Effects on your health
Smoking is one of the worst things that people voluntarily do to destroy their health. More than 400-thousand Americans--and three million people worldwide--die each year from smoking-related deaths.
|How smoking affects exercise
People who exercise and continue to smoke may be putting themselves at risk for a heart attack. Smoking limits your blood's oxygen-carrying capacity and constricts your coronary arteries, so there may not be enough oxygen available to your muscles and your heart.
|How to quit
There's more than one way to quit smoking. The first step is to decide that you can--and will--go through with it. Quitting smoking 'cold turkey' could be what you decide is the best way for you, or you may prefer to stop gradually.
|Laws and legislation
The laws regarding the use of tobacco, and the issues surrounding it, are continuing to change on all levels. The federal government has been involved since 1966, when the Surgeon General's health warnings were required on all cigarette packages.
Even if you don't smoke, you or your children can be endangered by breathing other people's cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Research is continuing to show that passive smoking--also called 'E-T-S,' 'Environmental Tobacco Smoke'--kills millions each year from lung cancer, heart disease, and other ailments.
As the dangers of smoking become known, some smokers have turned to smokeless tobacco--plugs, leaf tobacco, and snuff--in the mistaken belief that it's safer than smoking.
|Smoking during pregnancy
Pregnant women who smoke--or who breathe other people's smoke secondhand--endanger the health and life of their unborn child, because the nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other dangerous chemicals in the cigarette smoke pass directly to the fetus.