A statewide effort to get Tennesseans to kick the habit is underway. Nearly a fourth of residents across the volunteer state light up compared to 18 percent nationwide.
Janie Burley, Hamilton County Health Dept. says, "If someone was to quit smoking today they're probably going to gain 10 years of life."
And while that should be reason enough, it's not. Janie Burley, the Tobacco Settlement Fund Coordinator with the Hamilton County Health Department, says quitting requires multiple attempts because nicotine is so addictive.
And in addition to being highly addictive, cigarettes are extremely dangerous. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Some of these harmful effects are immediate.
Smoking is estimated to increase the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
But smokers aren't the only ones at risk, second and third-hand smoke can be just as dangerous.
Janie says, "Unfortunately, people think that rolling the window down will help the smoke get out of the car, but it is affecting that child, they can't remove themselves out of the situation.."
Kids who breathe second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from breathing problems and ear infections.
To try and kick the habit, more smokers are turning to vaping, but Janie says that doesn't necessarily solve the problem.
Janie Burley says, "What we encourage is that they need to put the vaping products down as well at some point so they are not addicted to nicotine which is detrimenal to their health."
There is help available, but you have to take the first step. It could save your life.
Click here for resources to help you quit or call 1-800-784-8669.