The value of a tobacco-free life

Is there any benefit from tobacco products?

The answer is no. Tobacco use—in cigarette form or chewing
tobacco—results in preventable chronic illness, suffering and early death, as well as thousands of dollars spent for medical care that, in most cases, could have been avoided.shutterstock_105030764-compressed

The risks from tobacco use include emphysema, lung cancer, vascular disease, heart attack, stroke, dementia, and bladder, colon and mouth cancers. If you develop emphysema (also known as COPD) you probably will live for a number of years after the diagnosis, but these will not be quality years. During this time, shortness of breath worsens to the point where just walking to the bathroom makes you fatigued. Eventually the lungs give out, infections set in and the individual dies of respiratory failure. Lung cancer, or any of the other diseases that develop as a result of tobacco use may kill you faster than emphysema.

In addition to the medical and quality of life consequences of tobacco use, let’s not forget about the financial complications. It is a fact that smokers use more health care resources and health care dollars. Bills for visits to the doctor, hospitalizations, medications and surgeries add up. All of this places a significant burden on the individual, his or her family, the health care system and society.

So, with all the problems that tobacco use creates, why does our society not outlaw the
use of any and all tobacco products? If we really want health care reform and want to
have a healthier community and country, why not start with the obvious. Let’s not create
products that harm and kill almost everyone who lights up or chews this poison. And if
these products are still produced despite all the above, let’s be smart enough to choose
health and life over disease and death.

We only get one life, so let’s protect it, cherish it and give it good nutrition and exercise
to make us strong and vital. Also, let’s make our health and the health of our businesses
and community a priority. No one can protect your life as well as you can, so remember
you’re worth it. Always do your best at staying healthy.

Stay well!


  • Visit Tobacco Free Lee Coalition for more information on the Lee County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program.
  • Quit Smoking Now – Call 877-819-2357 for information on free smoking cessation classes near you. 

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