50th Anniversary of Surgeon Generals Campaign Against Smoking
MARION -- This month marks a milestone in the fight against smoking. It's the 50th anniversary of the first report linking cigarettes to cancer.
On Friday the Surgeon Genera released a new report on other dangers from smoking and efforts to convince people to quit. The new report says more than 20 million Americans have died from smoking in the past 50 years; cigarettes kill nearly half a million people in the U.S. every year.
One local mother says it's hard to quit, but she doesn't want smoking to kill her. The process of rolling her own cigarette is frustrating for long time smoker Delynn Willett. She does it save money. Willett used to smoke two packs of Marlboros a day, but that was costing around $3,000 dollars a year.
"A lot of people can't afford smoking so they have quit. My advice to people is stop smoking. I'm going to try again to stop smoking." said Willett.
Now that she makes her own cigarettes, she smokes less. Willett says she tried quitting several times but nothing seems to stick.
"Maybe more will power. Maybe the government finding a better solution than e-cigarettes. All these people making e-cigarettes. There's got to be something to help people quit easier," said Willett.
The new Surgeon General's report reveals that smoking is more dangerous than originally thought.
The research links smoking to a host of diseases including diabetes, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, and erectile dysfunction. Researchers also found smoking increases the failure rate of cancer treatments.
The American Cancer Society reports about 44 million Americans smoke, and each day more than 3,000 kids in this country try their first cigarette.
"The tobacco industry constantly comes out with new products that can be made to be very attractive to people. And we have to stay ahead of that game. Educate people about the dangers of smoking tobacco," said American Cancer Society chief executive John R. Seffrin.
Willet's parents and grandmother were smokers, and now her 20-year-old daughter Jolene smokes.
"Oh, I want to be done with this. It's so hard to keep smoking. But then there are days when I'm like, 'Oh , I need a cigarette or I'm going to freak out," said Jolene.
Delynn said, as a parent, she hates seeing her daughter smoke. So she wants to stop, not only for herself, but for her kids.
"I don't want my children to smoke. I think that it's really good that they got a new law that they can't smoke in a vehicle with your children, because people don't really realize the effects that it's having on your children," she said.
According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco costs the nation $96 billion in healthcare costs every year. Delynn says at age 41, she's already seeing the affects of smoking on her health.
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