On November 11 Amy Lazev, a Fox Chase Cancer
researcher, visited Bucks to inform students about the dangers and real truth
about smoking. She discussed the deathly diseases that smoking causes and
statistics about how many people smoke and why.
After receiving complaints about students smoking and blocking the doorways at Bucks the deans asked student life to take a closer look and see what they can do. So, Amy Lazev came to Bucks and spoke to the students in the Library Auditorium at 11:00 a.m. to talk about the hazards of smoking. Hoping to reach-out to some smokers to quit.
She began the discussion with the statement, "Tobacco is the leading cause of deaths including 440,000 deaths a year." That certainly caught the attention of the audience and ears listened in as she went on to speak about how many people smoke. She mentioned that each year 45,000 people take on the habit of smoking. Today, 46.5 million adults smoke, over a quarter of high school kids smoke, 28.5% of college students smoke, 27% of adults with diplomas smoke and 13% of under graduate adults smoke.
Amy then pointed out to the women in the room stating, "Many women think that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women, however lung cancer actually is the leading cause." Along with lung cancer some other diseases caused from smoking include: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney diseases, aids, aging a lot quicker, blatter and cervical cancer, as well as parts of the body can turn green because smoking ruins the circulation. A man smoked for so many years he got lung cancer and had to have surgery to get his larynx removed and replaced with a tracheotomy tube placed in his neck and yet he still smokes out of the tube. Sigmund Freud over went 30 surgeries with his jaw from smoking and almost got his whole jaw removed.
Knowing all the diseases and health problems associated with smoking, Amy raised the question why do people even start? Well, in the 1960's smoking was said to not be harmful and did not irritate the throat. Adults who have started back then believed it would not harm them and are now far too addicted to just stop. Also smoking is all over the movies, actor and actresses promote that cigarettes make them feel "happy." Kids see this and want to start smoking to feel "happy" and "cool" too. Becky Klein of Warminster and student at Bucks liberal arts major 19 years of age, stated after being asked why she started smoking, "I thought it would be the 'cool' thing to do plus I wanted to know what it was all about." When asked if she ever tried to quit she responded with, "I have tried a few times. I even bought the patches and other crap, I did quit for maybe a week or two but went right back."
Advertisers for cigarettes spend 11.2 billion dollars a year that's 30.7 million dollars a day on advertising for their cigarettes. They know how to pull kids in. The attractive Marlboro man seen in the commercials died himself from smoking. Another reason why many kids start smoking is because with their first cigarette they get a certain "high" that they like and want to keep. But then increased amounts are needed to achieve that desired "high" effect, causing them to get addicted.
Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that causes the addiction, however, there are 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes 400 of which are toxic and 43-cause cancer. Arsenic, mothballs, and toilet bowl cleaner just to name a few are all chemicals found in one cigarette. It is these chemicals that cause the health problems and deaths of smokers not the nicotine. Kristin Kelly of Doylestown another student at Bucks liberal arts major 18 years of age and a smoker, when confronted with the fact that there are all these other chemicals in cigarettes she said, "I had no idea I was smoking toilet bowl cleaner, that just gross. I've tried to quite many times though and was unsuccessful but I really do want to." About 90% of smokers are addicted and only 10% are not addicted. Of the addicted smokers 70% want to quit, 40% made an attempt, and only about 2.5% actually do quit, so Kristin is not alone.
There are products out on the market today that can help smokers quit such as the Nicotine Patch found safe by the FDA also Zibane is another product out to help. Amy stated, "Zibane is slightly more expensive then other products but it works and you spend a lot of money on cigarettes every month anyway. It is about the equivalent of a carton of cigarettes." There is a quit line you can call 1-877-724-1090 that will help while trying to quit. There are many websites available www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov is one to explore and learn more about smoking and quitting. Also they have palm pilots out that can help you. People often associated things with other things, so if you always smoked while you drank your coffee, then coffee will make you want a cigarette. However, the palm pilot goes off at different times so you are not smoking at the same times you were before and associating the cigarettes to anything. Then eventually, you can quite all together. All these products are available and help you quit but according to Amy, "The best way to quit is just to go cold turkey."
The discussion ended with eager students asking questions to hear the truth about cigarettes. Amy was glade to explain in more depth what she discussed earlier and show some gruesome pictures of lungs and hearts infected by smoke.
At the end of the event Matt Simon mentioned that on November 18 there will be another discussion held at Bucks to inform smokers about blocking the doorways and try to help them quit. John Cassidy will be talking and cold turkey sandwiches will be served. Want to quit that smoking habit you picked up? Be around on the 18th of November.