Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco is a bad habit that can lead to disastrous consequences and diseases. Ultimately, cigarettes and tobacco are one of the main causes of death in the country. This problem is not age-specific. Everyone over the age of 18 can have issues with tobacco and cigarettes, including seniors.
While there are obvious dangers related to the use of tobacco, there are, luckily, ways that you can quit. And everyone can quit, it doesn’t matter how old you are.
Dangers Of Smoking
Smoking cigarettes is a pretty dangerous and nasty habit.
Smoking is guaranteed to shorten your life. In fact, it causes about one in every five deaths in the United States each year. Smoking causes a number of different issues including:
Lung disease — Smoking is something that obviously affects the lungs as it goes through the airways in the respiratory system. It can cause a number of different respiratory problems and lung diseases including bronchitis and emphysema.
Heart disease — Tobacco and cigarettes specifically is something that will have an effect on your cardiovascular system.
Cancer — Cigarettes and tobacco are known carcinogens that can lead to many different types of cancer including cancer of the lungs, mouth, esophagus, liver, kidneys, and more.
Respiratory problems — As mentioned before, cigarettes will affect the lungs and lead to respiratory issues. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to suffer from flu, pneumonia, and other infections that can affect your breathing.
Osteoporosis — Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weak and brittle. Smoking is one of the major risk factors that can cause osteoporosis.
Eye Diseases — Smoking is also linked to increased risk of eye diseases and the problem can actually lead to issues such as vision loss and blindness. Specific diseases include cataracts and age-related macular.
Diabetes — It is also important to be aware that smokers are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers. Moreover, smoking can make it harder to control diabetes once you have it.
Recently, e-cigarettes and vaping has become more of a trend in the United States and many think that e-cigarettes hold no or far fewer health risks than cigarettes. However, it is too early to make these types of claims. While they may hold not as many risks as cigarettes they are by no means good for you.
According to the National Institute on Health, e-cigarettes may contain harmful substances and cancer-causing chemicals in addition to nicotine. Some of the flavorings that people use in e-cigarettes have even been linked to lung disease.
Overall, more research is required and scientists still need to study the long-term effects of e-cigarettes before many definitive claims can be made.
As you can see, there are many health risks that come with smoking. You may be sitting there and thinking that it is too late for you and quitting is irrelevant given your age, but this is not the case.
It’s never too late to quit smoking.
While it may be a hard habit to kick, especially if you’ve been doing it for years.
Evidence has shown that quitting at any age can add years to your life, can help you breathe more easily, have more energy, and save money. It can also help with the following:
- Lower your risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and lung disease
- Improve blood circulation
- Improve your sense of taste and smell as nerve endings begin to regenerate.
- Breathing will improve
- Your chance of getting cancer will be lower
There are a number of things that you can do to help yourself quit.
Set A Date — Often people will say they are going to quit smoking and never do, this can be because they say something like “Oh, I’ll quit in a few days” or “I’ll quit sometime soon”. However, if you make the decision more concrete and set a specific date, it will give you more motivation and a better chance at quitting specifically.
Tell Friends — One thing that you can do to improve your chances of quitting successfully would be to tell your friends and family that you are quitting. If you do this, you will be more committed to your success as you don’t want to appear to fail. Moreover, your family and loved ones can help hold you accountable to your success.
Avoid Triggers — Whenever you quit something that you have a dependence on, you will likely be exposed to a number of triggers and stimuli that could make you want to start smoking again. Some of the ways that you can avoid triggers include spending time with non-smokers, avoid caffeine as it will make you feel jittery, change your routine to avoid things that you may associate with smoking. Also, be sure to throw away all your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays before the day that you quit.
If your loved one is trying to quit smoking, you can help them. Holding them accountable and offering to do things with them will help distract them from any cravings or urges that they may be feeling. Smoking can lead to serious illnesses, diseases, and an early death. Unfortunately, seniors can deal with major disabilities that can impede their ability to live independently. If this is the case, it may be best to seek the help of an assisted living facility that can help your loved one as they enter this chapter of their lives.
Landmark Senior Living is one assisted living facility in Hobbs that is dedicated to providing our residents with the highest quality care possible while also giving them the opportunity to experience fun social events. Our employees are here to help your loved one with whatever they might need. One of the most successful programs we offer is our memory care to help seniors who deal with issues related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. If you would like to learn more about Landmark Senior Living and how we can help, please visit our website and schedule a free tour of one of our facilities.