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Six reasons to quit smoking

1. You’ll lower your cancer risk. Smoking causes 90 percent of lung cancers and is a major cause of cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, kidney, bladder, pancreas, uterus and cervix.

2. You’ll be able to breathe freely. Smoking causes emphysema, a disease that slowly destroys your ability to breathe.

3. You’ll help prevent heart disease. Almost 180,000 Americans die each year from cardiovascular disease caused by smoking.

4. You’ll protect your unborn baby. Statistics show a direct relation between smoking during pregnancy and stillbirths, death among newborns, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.

5. You’ll look younger. Smoking causes wrinkles.

6. You’ll keep your senses sharp. Smoking diminishes the ability to smell and taste.

It’s never too late to quit. The benefits start 20 minutes after your last cigarette, and after 15 smoke-free years, your risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker, and your risk of dying from lung cancer is only slightly higher than that of a nonsmoker.

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