The Air Force Medical Service is dedicated to the health and wellness of all our Service members and their families. Reducing the use of tobacco products is an essential strategy in improving the overall health of our total force. Raising awareness of the health effects that smoking has is one step in our plan to reduce overall tobacco use. There are also many military and civilian programs that assist individuals who want to be tobacco free.
Adverse Effects Of Tobacco Use
It’s a fact that smoking and using smokeless tobacco products are harmful to the human body. Cancer of the lungs, mouth, and throat are the most common health conditions associated with smoking; however, every system in the body is affected. Health conditions that are associated with tobacco use can include:
Tobacco-free living is avoiding use of all types of tobacco products — including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes and hookahs — and also living free from secondhand smoke exposure.
If you’re a smoker, the best way to prevent undesired health consequences is to quit smoking immediately. It takes time, but most of the damage caused by smoking can be resolved after quitting. The risk of a heart attack drops significantly after one year and, after two years, the chance of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. Five years after quitting, the risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, and bladder cancer drops by 50 percent.
There are also many benefits to smoking cessation aside from preventing disease. Quitting makes it easier to breath, making physical activity easier and more enjoyable. Many people also report an improved sense of taste and smell after quitting smoking. It’s important to note that by choosing not to smoke, you are preventing your family, friends, and co-workers from being exposed to dangerous second-hand smoke.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips to help smokers kick the habit:
U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs - Quit Tobacco
CDC Quit Site
Know the risks. E-Cigarettes and Young People
The 2016 Surgeon General's Report on E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults
Tobacco Free Kids
Air Force Instruction 40-102