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San Francisco is First US City to Ban Flavored Tobacco Products

Next year the clamps on tobacco will get tighter in San Francisco, thanks to a new city ban on all sales of flavored tobacco, including menthol, New Scientist reports. San Francisco is the first U.S. city to do this; the California Tobacco Control Program says almost three-quarters of black adult smokers and half of gay smokers buy menthol cigarettes. Menthol has been shown to increase addictiveness, New Scientist added.

This law may distress anyone who’s especially addicted to tobacco, but the good news is it’s not only never too late to quit, but quitting can also give you improved health benefits, no matter your age. In fact, research has shown that people between 50 and 74 years old demonstrate improved health benefits each year after quitting — when you quit smoking your body repairs the damage done by the toxic chemicals in the cigarettes, reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers each year you remain smoke free.

Even if you’ve never smoked, if you are exposed to secondhand smoke, your health still suffers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 41,000 people die each year in the U.S. after exposure to secondhand smoke, which triggers heart disease or lung cancer, as secondhand smoke contains hundreds of different toxic chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene, arsenic and cyanide.

Happily, when you quit smoking or stop being exposed to it, your body has an amazing ability to heal and repair damage when supported with good nutrition, adequate quality sleep and consistent movement. Improvements are noticeable even 12 hours after your last smoke, and after one year, your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke drops by 50 percent and continues to drop each year you don’t smoke.
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