Reporter: Shannon Samson
There was a time that smoking was not only widely accepted, it was promoted by celebrities on television.
These days most Americans know that smoking is unhealthy. But how much do you really know? Let's test your smoking I.Q:
Question 1 - Is the number of smokers in the U.S. going up, down or staying the same? Actually it's not going up, but it's not going down either. In the 70s and 80s the number of smokers dropped, but today some 50 million people still smoke. That's equal to the entire population of 26 different states!
Question 2 - When you take a puff from a cigarette, how many different compounds are you inhaling? Dr. Karen Ahijevych, with the Nursing Center for Tobacco Prevention says, "Believe it or not, you inhale more than 4,000 compounds from a burning cigarette. In that amount are 50 carcinogens." Ahijevuch studies the effects of smoking at the Ohio State University's James Cancer Hospital.
Question 3 - Of the 4,000 compounds you inhale, most people are familiar with nicotine. True or false...It's the nicotine in tobacco that causes cancer? Dr. Ahijevych says, "Nicotine itself is not carcinogenic. But there are other ingredients in the cigarette smoke that are." Ingredients like ammonia and carbon monoxide and smokers, literally pay a dear price for those ingredients.
Question 4 - If you smoke a pack and a half a day and quit now, in ten years how much money could you save? The answer is nearly $22,000! So the next time you want to light up, just remember how much money is going up in smoke.
If you or someone you know is trying to quit, experts recommend getting help. Only three percent of people successfully quit each year, but studies show using things like nicotine patches or gum can increase your odds of success.
For more information, call the James Cancer Hospital James Line: 1-800-293-5066 or go to: www.jamesline.com and click on "Video News Releases & Breakthroughs".