Kick Your Butts

There's no way around it, smoking is bad for you.  On top of the negative health effects, smoking also strains our economy.  In fact, current estimates suggest $100 billion health care dollars could be saved each year by reducing the number of smokers.  So to offer some food for thought for any smokers out there, I wanted to share some of my recent findings. First, I came across some interesting statistics that I wanted to share (from Science Progress):

19.8 percent of adults in the United States (43.4 million people) were current smokers in 2007.

30 percent of all cancer deaths involve smoking as the primary cause.

443,000 people died prematurely every year as a result of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke during the period between 2000 and 2004.

During that same period, smoking caused $98 billion in productivity losses each year.

For every person who dies of a smoking-related disease, 20 more people suffer with at least one serious illness from smoking.

20 percent of high school students were smokers in 2007.

3,600 people between the ages of 12 and 17 pick up smoking everyday.

I also found an interesting study that discussed the paradox of nicotine use: Users are thin and have low body fat, but are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  So what is it in cigarettes/nicotine that's causing heart problems?  A research group at Charles Drew University investigated the effects of giving nicotine to mice.  Although the mice lost weight and ate less than the control animals, the nicotine-fed mice developed insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes, and may explain the increased development of heart disease in nicotine users.