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5 ways smoking will ruin your Valentine's Day date

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Thu, Feb 7th 2019 04:35 pm

Smokers can benefit by talking with their health care providers, calling New York State Smokers' Quitline for help becoming tobacco-free

Guest Editorial by the New York State Smokers' Quitline

Valentine's Day: a holiday for romance and memorable dates. But for those couples looking to turn up the "heat," cigarettes can make the encounter go up in smoke.

Cigarettes harm your heart health and contain more than 70 known cancer-causing chemicals, yet they are date-killers, too. Consider these five ways that smoking can turn your Valentine's Day sour in a hurry:

  • Bad breath
  • Frequent breaks
  • The smell permeates
  • Lack of stamina
  • Impotence and infertility 

Bad breath – There's an old saying, "Kissing someone who smokes is like licking an ashtray." New York state smokers who have successfully quit through help from their health care provider and/or the New York State Smokers' Quitline often say they are thankful to no longer have "smokers' breath and cough." Besides bad breath, smoking causes dry mouth, stained teeth and many other oral maladies.

Frequent breaks – There's nothing that ruins the vibe of a romantic conversation quite like an interruption. Smokers often need frequent breaks due to nicotine withdrawal. Recent television ads called "How You're Seen" from the New York State Department of Health further illustrate the frustration of frequent cigarette breaks.

The smell permeates – Foul breath is bad enough; the smell of cigarette smoke lingers, too. Besides the well-documented dangers of secondhand smoke, thirdhand smoke – the lingering nicotine and chemicals that seeps in to clothing and surfaces – can permeate odors in a romantic date setting.

Lack of stamina – A Valentine's Day date might include physical activity, such as a hike or dancing. Smoking, however, will lead to a shortness of breath and diminished lung capacity. Even worse, smoking can lead to COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – for which there is no cure. The 2014 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking & Health states nearly eight of 10 COPD deaths are a result of smoking.

Impotence and infertility – Forget procreating – more like "no creating." For couples looking to add to their family, Valentine's Day might set the mood. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is a cause of erectile dysfunction for males and increases the chances of infertility or delayed conception for females.

To overcome these barriers for Valentine's Day, smokers are encouraged to talk with their health care providers and call the New York State Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). Health care providers may be able to provide prescriptions for stop-smoking medications – most of which are covered by health insurance plans.

With the New York State Smokers' Quitlline, Quit Coaches can provide personalized coaching support and check eligibility for a starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy. Thousands of New Yorkers successfully quit using the nicotine patch, which is designed to deliver a continuous supply of "clean" nicotine into the body while gradually lowering cravings and dependence.

Better breath, fewer interruptions, no lingering odor, more lung capacity and improved performance can all enhance the romance on a Valentine's Day date. And these are just some of many reasons to quit smoking today. Learn more at www.nysmokefree.com.

About New York State Smokers' Quitline

The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to more than 2.5 million calls since its inception in 1999. The Quitline encourages tobacco users to talk with their health care providers and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.

About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or [email protected].

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