Surgeon general links smoking to even more diseases


Wavebreak Media | ThinkStock

Wavebreak Media | ThinkStock

It was exactly half a century ago that cigarettes were first linked to cancer, and today we are still discovering new health problems caused by smoking.

On January 17, acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak released the 32nd report on tobacco, which finds new links between cigarette smoking and liver and colorectal cancer. The report also finds that those exposed to secondhand smoke have a 20-30 percent increased risk for a stroke. The new report marks the 50th anniversary of the first surgeon general report linking smoking to cancer.

Nurses see the dire effects of smoking perhaps more than others, though that certainly doesn’t mean there are no nurses who smoke. However, the number of smokers is being cut down, both in medical situations and in the general population.

Some hospitals and other medical workplace have put policies in place that refuse to hire employees who smoke. Many enforce this policy by requiring urine tests of employees.

The number of smokers overall has decreased significantly since the surgeon general first linked smoking to cancer. When the report first linking cancer and smoking was released in 1964, 42 percent of American adults smoked. That number had dropped to 18 percent by 2012, according to the CDC.

Lushniak’s goal with the new report is to eliminate the use of tobacco, and he says that “enough is enough,” according to CNN.

Here are a few tips to help you if you are trying to quit. If you’ve already dropped the habit, tell us your own success stories and tips in the comments section.


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