Would an app telling you how much money you are saving help deter you from smoking? The makers of Smoke Free seem to think so.
This fairly basic quitting smoking, Apple compatible application tracks your smoke free days; relaying regenerative data on the decrease of possible heart and lung disease risks alongside how much money you’ve saved since your last smoke.
But the true cost of smoking is more than just what you save per pack – which for the average smoker would be enough to keep your car gassed up for an entire month.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. Half of all those who continue to smoke will die from a smoking-related illness, as habitual smoking or second hand exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction), and diabetes.
The burden of the costs associated with smoking does not lie upon the smoker alone as society pays for smoking-related deaths, diseases, and disabilities. The average price of a pack of cigarettes in the United States exceeds $6. But each pack of cigarettes creates an estimated $35 dollars of health-related costs.
According to the available research statistics from the American Cancer Society, billions of dollars are spent every year on tobacco-related healthcare costs.
For example, between 2000 and 2004, the US alone doled out $96 billion on expenses related to tobacco use – in lieu of spending that money on education, public safety, or life-saving medical research. Respectfully, France spent $16.6 billion; the UK spent $9.5; China spent $6.2; and Canada spent $2.8 billion on tobacco-related healthcare costs. These costs continue to increase annually.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 toxic and addictive chemicals and compounds. At least 69 are cancer causing. When you smoke, you risk developing macular degeneration (blindness), cancer of the oral cavity and lungs, onset of COPD, asthma, heart disease, early menopause, and cancers of both the gastric tract and the reproductive system.
According to whyquit.com and various other quitting smoking sources, 20 minutes after you cease sucking that last carcinogenic draw from your Marlboro, circulating blood pressure and plus rate return to normal.
Eight hours after being smoke free, the remaining nicotine levels within the bloodstream fall drastically. However cotinine levels – a byproduct from metabolized nicotine – can still be found in urine. Nicotine is one of the main chemical components of tobacco use – the primary stimulant that makes smoking cigarettes addictive. Cotinine, which is produced from it, lingers in the body for 15 to 20 hours.
Twelve hours from your last smoke, the blood oxygen and carbon monoxide levels within the body normalize.
Within five to eight days of being smoke free, the average ex-smoker will typically endure three acute craving episodes per day, every day, until the physical and psychological urge to light up wanes.
The worst is usually over by the one month mark as the irritability, anger, impatience, insomnia, and depression side effects associated with being smoke free are less intense. By the third smoke free month heart attack risk, lung function, and circulation begin to improve.
Once former smokers reach their 15 year threshold of non-smoking, their risks for several smoking related diseases declines to that of someone who has never picked up the habit.
[Photo Credit: purpleslog]