In the United States it is estimated that 25.9 million men, 23.9 percent of the male population, and 20.7 million women, 18.1 percent, smoke. In 1991 27 percent of Americans smoked, compared to the 29 percent in 1987 and the 44 percent in 1964, the percentages are going down. This is not because fewer people are starting, more are quitting, showing that preventative efforts are not successful. These people are 30-40 percent more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death
The addiction to smoking gives a 50 percent chance of killing the user, which is three times riskier than playing Russian roulette. Another statistic shows that smoking is responsible for 25 percent of cancer deaths. Also smokers in their thirties and forties are five times more likely to have a heart attack as nonsmokers. Every eight seconds someone dies from cigarette use.
Statistics also show that ninety percent of smokers start as children and adolescents. Six thousand children start smoking every day, on average, two thousand will be regular smokers, giving us eight hundred thousand new smokers every year. An estimated four million teenagers are smokers, giving us an average of twenty eight percent of smoking high schoolers. Seventy percent have tried cigarettes. As early as the eighth grade statistics are showing that over five percent are smokers.
Psychiatric patients have the highest percentages of all smokers, thus proving that smoking is crazy. Statistics show that fifty percent of psychiatric outpatients are smokers. How about the ninety percent of schizophrenic smokers? Manic depressives, seventy percent. Alcoholics are another group that scores high in smokers, ninety percent.
One hundred percent of humans start out life as non-smokers. Statistics show that almost all quitters within twenty minutes the blood pressure lowers and the temperature of the hands and feet returns to normal. About eight hours after quitting the balance of carbon monoxide and oxygen has returned to normal. The risk of heart attack begins to decrease at twenty-four hours. Nerve endings regarding the sense of taste and smell begin growing back after just forty-eight hours. In two to three weeks, circulation improves, the lungs work better, making all forms of exercise easier. As early as one month but as long as nine, the cilia, tiny hair-like structures that clean the lungs and prevent infection, work normally again. After a year the risks of heart failure and disease have decreased by half. After ten years the risks of a smoker are nearly eliminated.