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Steps to a Better Life The decision to quit smoking is one decision a person will never regret Smoking causes around 419000 deaths each year just in the United States Quitting smoking cuts the risk of lung cancer many other cancers heart disease stroke other lung diseases and other respiratory illnesses Quitting smoking while pregnant also increases the chances of survival for the unborn child Quitting helps a person live a higher quality of life Depending on how a person chooses to quit smoking it can be done in under a month cold turkey or not Smoking harms and influences not just the smoker but family members coworkers and others who breathe in the cigarette smoke which is called secondhand smoke Beginning with infants and going up to 18 months of age secondhand smoke is associated with as many as 300000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia each year Second hand smoke from a parents cigarette expands a childs chances for middle ear problems causes coughing and wheezing and worsens asthma conditions If both parents smoke a teenager is more than twice as likely to smoke than a young person whose parents are nonsmokers In households where only one parent smokes young people are also more likely to start smoking Smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems to an unborn child Smoking during pregnancy accounts for an estimated 20 - 30 of low birth weight babies up to 14 of pre-term deliveries and 10 of all infant deaths If all women quit smoking during pregnancy about 4000 new babies would live each year Pregnant women who smoke or are exposed to second hand smoke pass three carcinogens to their fetuses Benzo a pyrene which causes lung and skin cancer b p-aminobiphenyl which causes bladder cancer and c acrylonitrile which causes liver cancer Levels of the chemicals were 4-5 times higher in passive smokers babies and 10-12 times higher in the active smokers babies than
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