Lung cancer is not the only cancer smoking cigarettes causes.
The 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report shows that smoking also causes colorectal cancer—the second deadliest cancer after lung cancer.
Sadly, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and more than 50,000 of those diagnosed ultimately die from it. In Wisconsin, more than 2,500 residents are diagnosed annually with colorectal cancer, and nearly 1,000 of them die.
In terms of impact by race, colorectal cancer occurs more frequently in African Americans than any other group, according to the American Cancer Society. Their death rates are also higher.
Perhaps the most tragic thing about these deaths is that many of them are preventable.
In fact, when I think of all the lives lost to tobacco addiction, I feel angry that this issue is not being addressed the way it should be.
Cigarettes kill people. Many people. They can cause cancers that eventually result in fathers and grandfathers dying.
It’s never too late to quit smoking, and the benefits of quitting are numerous. You can cut the risk of getting several cancers in half within a few years.
In other words, you can save your life.
To learn more about local tobacco prevention and control efforts in Milwaukee, contact the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN) at https://www.facebook.com/waatpn/.
Tobacco users that are ready to quit can call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT NOW for free help and medications.