Quitting smoking, and tobacco use in general, is difficult, but following through with it can lead to major health benefits and may even prevail an early death. Cigarettes and tobacco kill more Americans each year than drugs, alcohol, firearms, motor vehicles, and HIV combined. Over 480,000 Americans die each year from the drug. That’s more than eight times the number of Americans killed during the Vietnam War. The drug is one the leading causes of preventable death in the world.
Tobacco is a deadly substance that contains hundreds of harmful chemicals and dozens of known carcinogens, all of which can take years off your life. Whether you are 17 years old or 70 years old, quitting tobacco can help improve your overall health and reduce the risk of a number of cancers and diseases. Stopping smoking will give you more energy, ease up the damage to the lungs, and help you live longer overall.
Effects of Smoking Cigarettes
Nicotine the drug that is found naturally in tobacco, is a highly addictive substance and can easily lead to tobacco users becoming dependent upon the substance. Extended cigarette use is poisonous for the body and can lead to disastrous health consequences, including death.
There is a number of health problems associated with using tobacco, including:
According to the CDC, smoking increases the risk of:
- Coronary heart disease
- Experiencing stroke
- Developing lung cancer by 25 times
Smoking causes problems in almost every part of the body including the bladder, blood, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidneys, liver, stomach, and much more.
Despite the damage that occurs all over the body and the increased risks of diseases and cancers, there is one way to avoid all of this: quit.
Halting tobacco use will greatly reduce cardiovascular risks and within a few years of quitting will drop the risk of heart attack, stroke, and more. Stopping smoking creates a number of health benefits such as:
- Lowered risk for multiple types of cancer including lung and colon
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- Reduced respiratory problems and reduced risk of developing a lung disease
Smoking and tobacco use causes a wide number of health problems for anyone using, however, there are some specific issues that seniors deal with from smoking. Also, smoking among elderly individuals was called a “geriatric health issue” at one point.
According to the CDC, older women who smoke see great reductions in bone density. Likewise, men and women who smoke are more likely to deal with an increased risk for hip fractures. Along with problems with the bones, smoking can create vision problems. Smoking is related to the most common type of cataract in the United States and can lead to blindness. Smokers have two to three times the risk of developing cataracts as nonsmokers.
Tips For Quitting
According to the CDC, 68 percent of adult cigarette smokers reported that they wanted to quit. However, quitting can be hard, and many may not know exactly how to start and how to be successful.
Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco is not always successful, in fact, many people require multiple attempts. A lot of people who try and stop using end up going back to tobacco after experiencing the stress and withdrawal symptoms. With that said, that are strategies that you can employ to help you or a loved one quit this harmful habit.
For those looking to quit, the Center For Disease Control has some tips that can make cutting this habit out of your life that much easier. For example, sitting down with a doctor or medical professional to seek advice is a great way to learn more about the dangers of nicotine and addiction. Similarly, talking with others who are trying to quit is a great way to motivate yourself. Joining a group counseling session can be a good way to get in contact with these types of people.
Along with seeking help from others, there are prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help tobacco users quit their substance use. Similarly, there are many nicotine-replacement products that can help tobacco users stop using. For example, nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, prescription inhalers, and prescription nasal sprays can all be effective. Meanwhile, some non-nicotine prescriptions, like Zyban or Chantix, can also help.
Many older adults may believe that it is too late to stop smoking or chewing tobacco because of their age. This is not true, quitting at any point in life will provide health benefits.
Not only will it help to reduce the risk of cancer and help seniors breathe easier, it will reduce the risk of heart disease, a problem that humans are much more likely to deal with as we age. There is evidence that stopping smoking in older adults showed less cognitive decline and brain atrophy than those who continued smoking.
Tobacco use is a nasty and harmful habit. For those struggling with nicotine dependence, even older adults, quitting is the way to go. Quitting could potentially add years to your life and will help to reduce the risks associated with tobacco use such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Tobacco use, whether it is smoking, chewing, or something else, has proven to be dangerous. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco use leads to the death of almost half a million Americans each year. While many tobacco users understand the dangers associated with their habit, it can still be hard to quit. But, learning more about
Tobacco use can cause many harmful diseases and and life-altering problems and while quitting smoking can be difficult, it is necessary to live a long, happy life. If tobacco is a problem for you or a loved one, it may cause problems with living independently. For those struggling with these problems, caregivers or assisted living may be a good idea. Landmark Senior Living is one option for those dealing with these issues. At Landmark our staff and facilities can provide your loved one with the care that they deserve at this stage in your life. If you are interested in learning more about how Landmark can help your loved one, please visit our website and reach out to our admission staff today.