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News

Good news and bad news for Men’s Health Month

George Haws

First the good news: the adult smoking rate is down. The bad news, for Men’s Health Month, is that a lot of men are still suffering the consequences of smoking.

In Lincoln County, the overall adult smoking rate has dropped from 19% in 2011, to 17% today (countyhealthrankings.org ) .

Smoking makes life worse: start with bad breath and inability to taste your food, and move right on to higher risks of erectile dysfunction! 

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can damage every part of the body. It can cause stroke, coronary heart disease, pneumonia and gum disease. Smoking increases the risks of developing diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration and other diseases.

It has been known for over 50 years, that smoking causes lung cancer. The CDC reports that smokers are also at greater risk for cancers of the throat, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, colon and rectum.

Smokers get sick more often and have a harder time recovering from surgery and illness.

Some men decide the costs, and risks, are too great, and decide it’s time – to quit. It takes an entire mental shift. There are local groups who can help. Great Plains Health has free classes. Call (308) 568-7530. Free coaching and counseling are available by calling the Nebraska Quit Line at (800) QUIT NOW. The Quit Line also provides free nicotine replacement products to those who qualify.

Community Connections - Tobacco Free Lincoln County is a local group that is funded by Tobacco Free Nebraska (Nebraska Health& Human Services). They provide information about tobacco and secondhand smoke, and quitting.  They are at www.CommunityConnectionsLC.org or 696-3356.