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SMOKING Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Health In April 1976 Calvin Russell Thompson II or Rusty my first nephew died He was 2 months old His death was attributed to Sudden Infant Death syndrome SIDs In September 1977 Katherine Loy-Richardson my Aunt Kat died She was 52 Her death was attributed to breast cancer In February 1995 Rufus Loy my father was diagnosed as having cancerous growths in his throat and left shoulder He underwent radical cancer therapy which included the removal of several lumps from his throat the removal of portions of his jawbone and collar bone and intensive radiation treatments to destroy an inoperable tumor on the left side of his brain This tumor could not be eradicated On April 20 1995 my father died He was 54 years young Three deaths which have been attributed to different causes but have TWO very obvious connections Those connections are the family relationship and presence of tobacco smoke in each of their environments Tobacco smoke kills Today I will present some information about both active smoking and passive smoking which will reaffirm you as a non-smoker and redouble your efforts to live in a smoke free environment Lets begin with the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States smoking According to the American Cancer Society ACS 419000 American deaths are directly attributable to smoking each year making it the most preventable cause of death in our society 1 There are three major considerations each person must be aware of before lighting up their next cigarette Consideration one Smoking will cause a terminal disease eventually as every smoker knows This warning is not new smokers have been taking the warnings in stride for many years despite irrefutable medical evidence that serious life-shortening illnesses are caused by smoking According to the ACS smokers risk losing an average of 25 years of life and smoking is responsible for 87
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