Is smoking hazardous to health? What are the ODDS of getting lung cancer or heart disease, if you smoke? Why do MILLIONS smoke despite dire warnings? It is time you knew the answers — they could save your LIFE!
I WAS ONE of the fellows who walked a mile for cigarettes for 40 years. Results — no vocal cords. I just can see, and my hearing is about gone — all that goes hard on a man." So said a man in Jacksonville, Florida, in a letter to us. Another person wrote, "I have been in a wheel chair since 1964 through loss of right leg one and one-half inches above knee due to poor circulation brought about through heavy cigarette smoking after I retired in 1962. I had been smoking since I was eight years old. The tar and nicotine was blocking blood vessels and arteries, just as rust blocked water pipes, cutting down the flow of blood causing gangrene to form in my foot. They had to go above the knee to get away from gangrene." These personal accounts reveal some of the suffering which is caused by cigarette smoking! But are they mere isolated incidents? What is the truth? Is smoking really DANGEROUS to health? Notice a few more heart-rending example.
Smoker's Last Plea
William Talman, a famous television actor, died of lung caner not long ago. Six weeks before his death he taped a one-minute television commercial on the hazards of smoking. Talman had smoked three packs of cigarettes daily for his entire adult life. Talman, the losing prosecutor on the Perry Mason television series said, "You know, I didn't really mind losing those courtroom battles. But I'm in a battle right now I don't want to lose at all, because if I lose it means losing my wife and those kids you just met. I've got lung cancer." In the commercial against smoking, Talman recalled that when he was 8 or 9 years old his father offered him $1,000 and a gold watch if he could get to the age of 21 without smoking. "I lost that case before I was 12," Talman said. "Of all the cases in my whole life that I've lost, of all the bets I've lost, of all the chances I've blown, that one I regret the most today...." During the shooting of the ad, Talman was in obvious pain and was heavily sedated. Talman said, "So take some advice about smoking and losing from someone who's been doing both for years. If you haven't smoked — don't start. If you do smoke — quit. Don't be a loser."
A Smoker's Own Obituary
"Cigarettes were the death of me," wrote veteran newspaper reporter Mark Waters six days before he died of lung cancer. He had smoked for 42 years, beginning at age 14. "I smoked two packs a day, inhaling most of the smoke," he said. Waters recounted in his own obituary how he never really got any real pleasure out of smoking. His mouth always tasted like a birdcage. Smoking brought on emphysema, making it hard to breathe. A few years before the end, he came down with a horrible cough, he became hoarse, and a nasty soreness came upon his left lung. "You have a lung tumor," the doctor told him, Waters concluded his own obituary, "Whether this story will stop anyone from smoking, I don't know. I doubt it. Not a soul I've preached to has quit smoking — not a single, solitary soul. "You always think: 'It will happen to the other guy; never to me.' "But when you get your lung cancer — God help you." The last words he wrote were: "I don't have a ghost of a chance. "It's too late for me. "It may not be for you."
The Army of Smokers
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates there are about 70 million tobacco users in the United States alone. Dr. Daniel Horn, director of the Public Health Service's National Clearinghouse for Smoking and Health, estimated in 1968 that there were about 48 million adult smokers, with about 21 million ex-smokers. Said Dr. Horn, "The country can't afford to have people continue smoking when you realize that ONE-FOURTH of the total illness in the United States can be attributed to cigarette smoking." Nationwide, from 1900 to 1962, per capita consumption of tobacco rose dramatically! From 1910 to 1962, cigarette smoking rose from 138 cigarettes per person in 1910 to 3,958 per person in 1962 — a startling rise. Data provided by the Internal Revenue Service shows that Americans smoked 543.5 billion cigarettes in fiscal 1968. Although this was a slight 0.28 percent decrease per capita from 1967, it still registered an overall consumption record! How many cigarettes is this? What does the figure 500 billion mean to you? If you stuck all these cigarettes end to end, you could have a long supersized cigarette stretching more than 27,000,000 miles in length! It would stretch to the moon and back 54 times. If you wrapped these cigarettes around the earth, you would have a "tobacco road" about 25 feet wide, completely circling the world! That's a lot of cigarettes. Total cigarette production in 1967 was about 580 billion, and the number of cigarettes smoked that year averaged about 4,345 per person, a whopping rise over 1962. The tobacco industry, obviously, is a big business. In 1963 Americans smoked 523 billion cigarettes, bought more than 7.1 billion cigars, used 69.5 million pounds of tobacco in pipes, bought another 64.8 million pounds for chewing and 32.5 million pounds of snuff. In money it came to more than $8 billion. In 1967 sales rose to $9 billion. Tobacco is the nation's fifth largest crop, after cotton, wheat, corn and soybeans. It is grown on 750,000 farms, is processed in 550 factories in 30 states, employing more than 96,000 people. Over 4,500 wholesalers and 1,500,000 retailers are involved in selling the stuff to the consumer. Each year tobacco companies spend about $300,000,000 in various media on cigarette advertising.
Chemistry of Smoking
Some 300 different chemical compounds have been identified in tobacco smoke. One puff of cigarette smoke contains 15 billion particles of matter. Among them are many of the most noxious substances known to man! Here is a partial list: Nicotine, pyridine, methyl alcohol, ammonia, carbon monoxide, furfural, formaldehyde; cancerogenic benzopyrene, phenols, acetone, arsenic; acids such as formic, oxalic, citric, acetic, coffeic, hydrocyanic. Nicotine is one of the quickest, most fatal poisons known. A fatal dose is about 100 milligrams — about what one cigar contains. If 500 milligrams of nicotine were directly injected into the bloodstream, the person would be killed instantly! Tobacco "tars," of course, have been linked with cancer. They are carcinogenic. Tars are formed during the heating of the tobacco leaf. If a mouthful of smoke is blown through a handkerchief, a brown, malodorous stain can be seen — evidence of the tars. A smoker who uses about a pack and a half of cigarettes a day deposits upon the mucous membranes of his mouth, pharynx, larynx and lungs nearly a QUART of tobacco tar in a year! Benzopyrene is one of the most powerful known cancer-causing agents in animals. Arsenic is another cancer-causing chemical found in cigarettes. A man who smokes a pack a day may take as much as 36 milligrams of arsenic into his body every year from smoking alone. The arsenic comes from lead arsenate used as a pesticide on tobacco plants. Every time a smoker smokes, these chemicals invade his system. One of the chemicals — collidine — is used for killing experimental animals. It causes paralysis and death. Another — prussic acid — can kill within minutes. Methyl alcohol causes first blindness, then death. Formaldehyde is used by morticians for embalming dead bodies. Tobacco has an arsenic content 50 times the amount legally permitted in food. Dr. A. C. Ivy, of the University of Illinois, has found that a person smoking a pack a day for 10 years inhales EIGHT QUARTS of tobacco tars during that time.
The PUFF of Death
Is smoking really dangerous to health? If you smoke, what is happening to your body? "Dr. William H. Stewart, U.S. Surgeon General, estimates that someone dies from cigarette smoking in the United States every 105 seconds. The total, he said, is 300,000 per year — SIX TIMES the number killed in auto wrecks and one-sixth of the nation's total deaths" (UPI, Feb. 23, 1969). In one year, Americans reaped an extra 12 million chronic ailments, due to smoking cigarettes! A report released by U. S. Surgeon-General William H. Stewart in 1966 revealed that smoking was responsible for 300,000 extra heart attacks in the U. S.; one million more case's of chronic bronchitis or emphysema; almost two million extra cases of sinus trouble, and more than one million more stomach ulcers. The study covered 42,000 U. S. households and covered the period from July 2, 1964, to July 1, 1965. The study also claimed there are 306,000,000 more man-days of restricted activity among cigarette smokers than among non-smokers. More evidence of health hazards from smoking came from the Welfare Department. In a report to Congress by former Secretary John W. Gardner of the Health, Education and Welfare Department, it was concluded that: 1) Approximately ONE THIRD OF ALL DEATHS of men between 35 and 60 are "excess" deaths in the sense they would not have occurred as early as they did if cigarette smokers had the same death rates as nonsmokers. 2) Seventy-seven million days of work are lost each year in the United States which would not have been lost if smokers had the same rates of illness as nonsmokers! (UPI, July 12, 1967.) In September 1967, U. S. Surgeon-General William H. Steward told a world conference: "The proposition that cigarette smoking is hazardous to human health is NO LONGER CONTROVERSIAL. It's a scientific fact." (Sydney Morning Herald, May 22, 1968). At the world conference held in New York, delegates from 35 countries listened to world leaders and discussed what action could be taken to combat the menace of smoking to health. One speaker called tobacco smoking "the greatest man-made EPIDEMIC in human history." The Chief Medical Officer of the British Ministry for Health, Sir George Bodber, told the conference, "We can be certain that many more than 50,000 deaths a year in England and Wales are directly due to cigarette smoking." If these statistics are not impressive enough, listen to these facts. Dr. Hollis S. Ingraham, New York State's Commissioner of Health, declared that cigarettes are more lethal for Americans than all the bullets, germs and viruses combined! According to the Public Health Service, cigarette smoking can shorten life expectancy by eight years, on the average. Said the PHS, "... evidence herein presented shows that life expectancy among young men is reduced by an average of eight years in 'heavy' cigarette smokers, those who smoke over two packs a day, and an average of four years in 'light' cigarette smokers, those who smoke less than one-half pack per day." Speaking at the world conference on smoking, former Senator Robert F. Kennedy declared, "Every year cigarettes kill more Americans than were killed in World War I, the Korean war, and Vietnam combined. Each year cigarettes kill FIVE TIMES [today, SIX TIMES] more Americans than do traffic accidents. Lung cancer alone kills as many as die on the road" ( L.A. Times, Sept. 12, 1967). Dr. R. T. Ravenhold, director of the State Department's Population Service reported to the conference that the extra deaths caused d by cigarettes and tobacco essentially equal the number of deaths caused by ALL infections, auto and other accidents, diabetes, suicide and murder. "Cigarette disease is now the FOREMOST preventable cause of death in the United States," he declared (AP, Sept. 12, 1967). It is time all the facts, statistics, and warnings were evaluated, and YOU determined what you are going to do about them! Every time you — if you are a smoker — strike a match, light a cigarette, inhale, and take a puff, you are saying "good-bye" to 14 1/2 minutes of your life. Smoke two packs a clay and you will hasten your date with the undertaker by eight years! Therefore, if you smoke, you need to ask yourself the question: Do you enjoy life? Do you really want to LIVE?
The Surgeon-General's Report
January 11, 1964, was a crucial day for cigarette smokers. That was the day the President's Committee made its report entitled Smoking and Health — a thoroughly documented, researched, voluminous report. The Report traced the steady rise of cigarette smoking and compared it with the rise of several different diseases. The Committee evaluated scientific evidence based on numerous animal experiments, observations of thousands of patients and autopsy studies of smokers and nonsmokers, and several population studies. What were the salient conclusions of the report? Here were a few: In men who smoke cigarettes, the death rate from lung cancer is almost 1,000 percent higher than in nonsmokers! Smoking was found to be the most Important cause of chronic bronchitis, increasing the risk of death from that disease and from emphysema. Cigarette smokers have a 70 percent higher death rate from coronary heart disease — the leading cause of death in the United States — than nonsmokers.
The Hammond-Horn Study
For six years in the early 1950's, Dr. E. Cuyler Hammond and Dr. Daniel Horn conducted a massive survey for the American Cancer Society. The survey covered 188,000 American men. Over 22,000 Cancer Society researchers assisted in the monumental task of collecting and collating the mountain of statistics. From the mass of material, Drs. Hammond and Horn developed some astonishing facts and figures which led to the incontrovertible conclusion that — (1) ALL SMOKING SHORTENS LIFE (2) Cigarette smoking shortens life MORE than any other smoking; (3) The more cigarettes a person smokes, the GREATER RISK of an early death! The conclusions of the study were presented to a stunned audience of medical men at the 1957 convention of the American Medical Association. The most dramatic correlation the survey showed was between smoking and death from cancer and heart disease, the two dread killers today. The Hammond-Horn study exploded upon the American public like a bombshell. It showed that death rates from all causes combined are 68 percent greater for cigarette smokers than for nonsmokers. The death rate for less-than-half-a-pack-a-day smokers was 34 percent higher; for a half-to-a-pack-a-day smokers, 70 percent higher; from one-to-two-pack-a-day smokers, 96 percent higher; two or more packs a day 123 percent higher. But what about specific diseases? Lung Cancer; Overall, deaths were 1,000 percent higher among smokers than nonsmokers. But two-pack-a-day smokers ran 64 times the risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers. Even men who smoked less than ten cigarettes a day increased their chances for lung cancer by 15 times! Heart Disease; Cigarette smoking increases a man's chance of dying from a coronary attack by 50 percent — and the risk of a coronary fatality rose with the increase of cigarette consumption. Whereas those who smoked half a pack a day or less had 29 percent more coronary deaths, those who smoked over two packs a day had 141 percent more coronary attacks! Peptic Ulcer: Smokers showed a 116 percent higher death rate from ulcers of the duodenum. There were 51 deaths from stomach ulcers among smokers, but none among the nonsmokers. Other diseases: The death rate of smokers was 93 percent higher than nonsmokers for cirrhosis of the liver; 50 percent higher for cancer of the pancreas; 58 percent higher for cancer of the kidneys; 61 percent higher for cancer of the stomach; 75 percent higher for cancer of the prostate; 117 percent higher for cancer of the bladder; 352 percent higher for cancer of the liver and gall bladder. But the final BOMBSHELL produced by the Hammond-Horn report was the striking fact that when men stopped smoking, the death rate DROPPED AMAZINGLY! Light smokers who had quit the habit for ten years revealed a death rate almost as low as that for nonsmokers. Even heavy smokers who had kicked the habit had a death rate only HALF of that of men who continued to smoke! The truth should be plain. Smoking IS hazardous to health — but if a person quits smoking, his chances of escaping disease rise almost miraculously!
The television cigarette advertisements feature magnificent country, beautiful lakes and streams, young men and women in the pink of health, strolling, happily smoking some cigarette. But this is not the true Cigarette "country." The real cigarette country is the cancer ward of your local hospital, where smokers have undergone surgery for the removal of their throats, mouths, tongues, jaws, chills, noses, pharynxes... These miserable wretches paid a dear price for their smoking habit. But strangely, many of them continue smoking, faithfully puffing away at Brand X or Brand Y. This is the real Cigarette Country. If you are a smoker, and want to stop smoking but haven't managed to muster the courage and will power, take off a few hours and visit the local hospital, especially the cancer ward. Perhaps the miserable sight will be all the added spur and prod you need to quit smoking NOW — before your turn comes up!