November, 2013:Time to fall back!
November is when we ‘fall back’ and that should allow us at least one extra hour to contemplate our lives! Think about learning opportunities in November 2013 which include COPD and Lung Cancer Awareness (www.lung.org and www.lungcanceralliance.org ). November 21st, as it is each third Thursday of November, is the Great American Smokeout. If you or a friend or loved one has wanted to stop smoking, there are improved medications and methods to help with that. Try www.cancer.org for more information.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults. As of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes — other dangerous and addictive forms of tobacco.
Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, such as:
- Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines
- Stop-smoking groups
- Online quit groups
- Nicotine replacement products
- Prescription medicine to lessen cravings
- Guide books
- Encouragement and support from friends and family members
Using 2 or more of these measures to help you quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the methods listed above.
COPD is directly related to tobacco usage usually in the guise of the person afflicted having smoked but sometimes due to secondhand exposure.
In the vast majority of cases, the lung damage that leads to COPD is caused by long-term cigarette smoking. But there are likely other factors at play in the development of COPD, such as a genetic susceptibility to the disease, because only about 20 percent of smokers develop COPD. Other irritants can cause COPD, including cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to dust, smoke or fumes.