Altered brain chemistry- decreasing the dopamine receptors in the brain which tell cells how to function. Dopamine, when released, gives a person the sense of reward. Decreasing dopamine receptors is thought to leave a person with longer, more intense cravings for what they like. (in this case, nicotine in tobacco)
Respiratory conditions- bronchospasm (abnormal tightening of airways), increased phlegm, persistent cough
- People who smoke die 13 to 14 years earlier than non-smokers
Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die and die suddenly (within 1 hour) than are nonsmokers.
- For women, using tobacco can make it more difficult to become pregnant. For women who become pregnant, tobacco use can cause many complications with the pregnancy, including miscarriage. (For more information see the Pregnancy and Tobacco page.)
- For men, using tobacco can cause impotence, the inability to achieve or keep an erection. Tobacco use also lowers the sperm count and can cause abnormalities in sperm shape and function. (For more information on tobacco use and reproductive health see the fact sheet.)
Children who breathe secondhand smoke:
LUNG CANCER SCREENING & EARLY DETECTION
- Lung & Bronchus cancer ranks 3rd in types of cancer for all races and ethnicities. It ranks 2nd in Asian/Pacific Islander. (Connecticut)
- The incidence for lung & bronchus in Connecticut is higher than the national average.
- New Haven, New London, Windham and Middlesex counties have the highest incidence of lung & bronchus cancer for all races combined. National Cancer Institute, National Vital Statistics System data from 2009-2013
Talk to your doctor about if lung cancer screening is right for you if you are a current smoker or have been a smoker in the past. Studies have shown that a Low Dose CT Scan (LDCT) which scans the body using low dose radiation to make detailed pictures of the lungs, can help detect lung cancer at an early stage when it's most treatable, decreasing the risk of dying from lung cancer.
The US Preventive Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening with LDCT for people whom meet the following criteria:
- Have a history of smoking 30 pack years or more (a pack year is smoking an average of one pack of cigarettes per day for one year).
- Currently smoking, or have quit within the past 15 years.
- Between the ages of 55 and 80 years old
Information on Low Dose CT scan and patient resources can be accessed from The American Lung Association. This site incudes an interactive web screening tool that can be helpful for patient and provider decision making. The Low Dose CT Scan is covered by Medicare. Computed Technology (CT) Scan is covered by Connecticut Medicaid Husky program.
State Cancer Rates (2013)