Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death. According to the World Health Organization, Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year through direct use and second-hand smoking. In fact, tobacco products contain a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer.

Secondhand smoke exposure can also lead to lung cancer and heart disease. It can cause health problems in both adults and children, such as coughing, phlegm, reduced lung function, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk of ear infections, severe asthma, lung infections, and death from sudden infant death syndrome.

People who stop smoking reduce their risk for disease and early death. Although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age.

Quitting smoking has not only benefits for individuals, but also for families and communities.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but with a plan and support it becomes possible. Fortunately, local and national resources are available to help people quit.