Gastroenterology

World No Tobacco Day 2018: How quitting tobacco can help your colon health




Related imageWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, but quitting tobacco now can decrease your chances of developing colon cancer. And with World No Tobacco Day coming up on May 31, we thought that now is as good a time as any to remind you that you should (AND CAN!) quit tobacco once and for all.

Tobacco use accounts for so many health issues and complications, it’s hard to know where to start. But for us, our main concern is spreading the word about its effects on the digestive system.

“Tobacco and smoking have significant effects throughout the gastrointestinal tract,” says Dr. John Weber.

Tobacco doesn’t just create issues, it makes existing ones worse. “Patients who smoke also have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease,” says Dr. Weber. “And smokers with Crohn’s have more severe symptoms and complications from their disease.”

And when it comes to colon cancer, smokers are less likely to survive the disease than nonsmokers, even when it’s caught at the same time.

“Many diseases that people acquire are beyond their control,” says Dr. Weber. “The risk of developing certain diseases, however, can be decreased by lifestyle choices including diet, exercise and nutrition.”

But we also know that quitting tobacco isn’t easy. And you’re far more likely to be successful at kicking the habit if you enlist your medical professional for help. They’ll be able to find the right program or treatment that’ll work for you and your lifestyle.

“Quitting tobacco is not easy as tobacco dependence is a cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena,” says the World Health Organization. “Very few tobacco users can successfully quit the habit in their first attempt. But the evidence is strong that it can be done. From quit lines to counselling to prescription medicines, there are numerous effective ways to quit.”

However, you’ll have to commit to be truthful with your doctor in order to get the help you need. If you don’t admit the extent of your use, they won’t be able to find a program that will work for you.

The bottom line is that tobacco is bad and you should quit as soon as possible. And if you’re serious, you should ask your medical professional for help.

Let’s use this World Tobacco Day to continue to fight the good fight and recruit as many quitters as we can get.

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