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    Killing your Body and Mind: The Effects of Tobacco Usage

    NEWPORT NEWS, VA, UNITED STATES

    05.28.2019

    Story by Seaman Jack Lepien 

    USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73)

    Smoking, health professionals say, is terrible for you, but just how bad is it, and what can you do about it?
    Tobacco and nicotine in all their forms are hazardous to your health, and are a leading cause of disease and death in the world, according to the American Lung Association .
    “Smoking has a significant impact on your health,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Terrance Mayes, from Atlanta, and an independent duty corpsman assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). “Cigarette smoke can cause cancer, irreparable damage to the lungs, and shortness of breath.”
    Cigarettes are not the only dangerous form of nicotine, said Mayes.
    “Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco – they all have different and terrible health consequences,” said Mayes. “Cigarettes cause more respiratory issues, but with chewing tobacco, oral and esophageal cancer are the main threats.”
    Mayes also said that you can avoid these problems by quitting now.
    “Smoking cessation reduces the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases,” said Mayes. “Studies have shown that quitting smoking before the age of 50 can extend your lifespan up to 15 years, and that increases the earlier in life you quit.”
    Aside from a longer life, Mayes said that there are other benefits to smoking cessation.
    “Quitting smoking increases lung capacity, decreases chronic respiratory diseases like obstructive pulmonary disease, and people that have quit often report significant improvements in their respiratory health within the first year,” said Mayes. “Respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, asthma – all of these things can be avoided with smoking cessation.”
    Mayes said that the Navy offers support in smoking cessation.
    “We have several programs to help with smoking cessation,” said Mayes. “We have a clinic where we talk about smoking cessation, and we’ll go through the different activities and medications to form a unique plan for each Sailor.”
    Mayes also said that e-cigarettes use, also known as “vaping,” is a new danger in the world of tobacco and nicotine use.
    “A lot of people think that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to smoking, but that’s not the case,” said Mayes. “[Food and Drug Administration] studies have shown that e-cigarette vapor has cancer-causing agents in it. They’re new, and all the testing hasn’t come back yet, but I would say that smoking e-cigarettes is just as bad a choice.”
    Quitting tobacco may be difficult, but getting help isn’t,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Laura Davis, from Heavener, Oklahoma, and a preventative medicine technician assigned to George Washington. “It’s very easy to sign up.”
    Davis said that there are several ways to get help with smoking cessation.
    “If someone is interested in smoking cessation, just come talk to me in [floating accommodation facility] medical room 232,” said Davis. “You can also make an appointment through email or the appointment box by the front desk.”
    According to Davis, smoking cessation plans are tailored to each individual.
    “We work with each Sailor to ensure that they know all their therapy options,” said Davis.
    However, Davis said the most important thing to keep in mind is resiliency.
    “Don’t quit quitting,” said Davis. “If you try and fail, that’s okay, as long as you don’t stop trying.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.28.2019
    Date Posted: 06.17.2019 12:50
    Story ID: 324197
    Location: NEWPORT NEWS, VA, US 
    Hometown: ATLANTA, GA, US
    Hometown: HEAVENER, OK, US

    Web Views: 6
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