3rd and a half leading cause of house fires

Last week I wrote a bit about the dangers of smoking. I was trying to be careful and not offend people who smoke. This week I would like to be a bit more honest.

I have been an EMT for over 10 years. I worked my way from first responder, to EMT-1 to EMT-2 to EMT-3 to EMT-4 or paramedic. I was a paramedic for 3 years. I have watched many people suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis, or both combined known as COPD (constructive obstructive pulmonary disease) both caused primarily by smoking and/or a hazardous environment (especially common in developing countries caused by cooking over an open fire with certain fuels). I have watched people die from lung cancer.

The following information is from the Center for Disease Control website:

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.
Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths.
Smoking causes more deaths each year than all of these combined:
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Illegal drug use, Alcohol use, Motor vehicle injuries, Firearm-related incidents
More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history.
Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
About 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking.
Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.

Please don’t smoke around you friends or children. Please don’t smoke.
PS. Please don’t start fires with careless smoking.

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