by Charles H. Booras, MD

revised 5/22/97

By now, most of us are aware of the more notorious dangers of tobacco use such as lung cancer, chronic lung disease and heart disease. (Not to mention premature aging.). But tobacco is a far bigger villain than most of us realize and accounts for the death of more than 434,000 persons each year. Thus, tobacco use is a factor in almost one out of every five premature deaths in this country. What follows is a somewhat harrowing litany of tobacco related problems.

Smoking is a very hard habit to break. The best success has been achieved by using a combination of a behavioral modification program (such as those offered through the American Lung Association) and a nicotine containing patch or gum (now available over-the-counter and just as effective as the prescibed products). However, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned will power.

The key to success is perseverance. If you fail in your efforts, then pick yourself back up and try again. The only people who never manage to quit smoking are those who don't keep trying!

Good Luck.

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