Editorial - Costs of smoking go beyond health
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 07:09
July 1, 2013, smoking and all other forms of tobacco use will be banned across West Virginia University’s campus. The ban, which was approved by the WVU Board of Governors this summer, was a great step toward making the University a healthier, more comfortable environment for all students. With this move, WVU will become one of more than 500 smoke-free campuses across the nation.
In preparing for this big change, the University should also invest in and promote programs to help WVU’s smokers cope with the ban and set them on the path to ultimately quit smoking.
The WELLWVU: The Students’ Center of Health website currently encourages everyone considering quitting smoking to schedule an appointment with them. If you are thinking about quitting, take this first step, and learn more about your options. If you currently smoke and are not yet looking into the possibility of quitting, you should take the time to consider the tremendous costs smoking inflicts on you and those around you.
First, the obvious harm you are doing by smoking is to yourself. Smoking increases your risk for lung cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke and various other lung diseases. According to the Center for Disease Control, the adverse health effects of smoking lead to more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, making it the number one cause of preventable deaths in the country. Close to 50,000 of those deaths are nonsmokers who were harmed by secondhand smoke.
Even if you have made the illogical decision that you are willing to deal with the vast array of health problems smoking causes, are you comfortable with the fact that you are also potentially hurting those closest to you?
Furthermore, the cost of smoking goes far beyond you and the people around you. Every year, nearly $100 billion is spent treating the assortment of ailments caused by smoking. Most of that money comes from publicly funded health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. The entire country – literally – is left to pick up the tab for your poor decision to light up.
Just some facts to consider before you buy your next pack.