NEWS FLASH: Smoking is no longer cool

Kick the HabitWritten by: Filip Troicki, MD Radiation Oncologist with Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care

It’s official. If you smoke, you are no longer cool. Smoking is out. Cities all across the nation have implemented rules to prevent people from hanging onto the bad habit of smoking. If you want to eat out, go to see a movie, even go bowling, you are now required to leave the building to smoke. Some places will even ban you from being within 100 feet of a building if you try to smoke. That’s like getting a cold shoulder from 100 feet away – ouch. Why is everyone trying to make smoker’s lives difficult? Because smoking is no longer cool.

Given the fact that 90 percent of lung cancer is caused by tobacco, no wonder smoking is no longer welcome at any public establishments. Although lung cancer is preventable, unless it is found in early stages, it is usually not curable. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to never start smoking, and to stay away from people that smoke and can expose you to second-hand smoke.

In addition to lung cancer, tobacco products can cause other cancers, including cancers of the lips, mouth, tongue, throat, vocal cords, swallowing tube, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, uterus, ovary, colon, rectum, and even blood cancers. In fact, tobacco is responsible for 30 percent of all cancer-related deaths and 20 percent of all deaths in the United States. It also cost society $193 billion ($193,000,000,000; that’s 9 zeros!) last year in medical bills. If tobacco didn’t exist, every man, woman, and child in the United States would save $650 per year! In the city of Fond du Lac, alone, that would equal to almost $30 million! That’s a lot of cash! What would you do with all that money?

If you do smoke, the best thing to do is to join the rest of the cool people around the nation and quit. Quitting today will decrease your chances of getting cancer, and the risk of cancer decreases each year that you are smoke-free. Furthermore, think about all the money you will save, and all the cool friends you will make. It’s a win-win-win situation, where you can instantaneously become cool, save money every day, and decrease your risk of getting cancer.

Quitting tobacco won’t be easy, but other people have done it, so why can’t you? There are resources such as Agnesian HealthCare’s smoking cessation program that can help you. In addition, there are now gums, patches, and even medications that can help you fight a craving for cigarettes.

The road to quitting is a lot easier than the road to cure for cancer.  Most patients with lung cancer, for example, don’t know they have the diagnosis until the cancer is no longer curable.  Once lung cancer is found, they have to go through invasive tests, possibly surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.   The recovery can take weeks, or even months, and does not guarantee a cure.  Patients often end up on oxygen and may be out of work forever.

If you think that you’re too weak to quit, consider my aunt Gilda, who quit cold turkey because she was too weak to go to the store to get a pack of cigarettes – she was weak, yet she did it! Gilda is now cool! Gilda is also cancer free, and that’s really great!

So, if you smoke, do like Gilda and quit. We’re here to help. Please call Amanda at (920) 926-5678 for more information on Agnesian HealthCare’s smoking cessation program.

If you don’t smoke, it’s best not to start – your cool friends and your wallet will thank you.

About Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services

Agnesian HealthCare Cancer Care Services brings cancer care closer to cancer patients. With offices in Fond du Lac, Ripon, and Waupun, there is no need to travel far to get the most advanced technology and treatment.

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