Smoking: Is it really worth it?

In Health and Safety by Elizabeth ShawLeave a Comment

Smoking

Cigarette / freeimages.com

Smoking is bad. All of us are continually reminded of this from a large number of statistics and gimmicks to try to get people to stop, but how bad is it really? The answer is very bad, in a life altering way. Despite this, there always seems to be the case of someone who has smoked all their adult life, never gotten lung cancer or a respiratory disease of any kind and lived to tell the tale of how smoking didn’t “lick them.” “George Burns, the famous comedian, who lived to be 100 hundred years old, often remarked “I smoke ten to fifteen cigars a day. At my age I have to hold on to something”.

Be that as it may, these individuals are very much the rare exception and certainly not the rule. It is very important to remember that on average, smokers die twelve years sooner than non-smokers. Yes, twelve years, more than a decade! This means life for smokers is more than ten percent shorter than for non-smokers. A big number.

Is this just an afraid and slightly paranoid voice speaking, or could these numbers make up a concrete statement? The answer is yes. These numbers are real, the data is in, and stronger than ever.

“No other preventable cause of illness or death is more important than smoking. This is the clear message of two new studies that investigated the overall impact of smoking across a very large cohort of Americans. The studies, conducted by Jha et al1 and by Thun et al 2 along with an editorial by Schroeder3, were published by the New England Journal of Medicine on January 24, 2013. They support earlier studies that came to similar conclusions based on smaller numbers of observed individuals. “

Here are the facts of the matter. “ According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States and that, in 2011, an estimated 19 percent of U.S. adults were cigarette smokers.4 This is down from over 40% a few decades ago.” This is good progress, but for those of the population who do smoke, they’re still in hot water.

Mortality rates are nearly 3 times greater for those of smokers than of nonsmokers, and are basically equal between males and females. Smokers are up to 6 times likelier to suffer a heart attack, and the risk only increases with the number of cigarettes that are smoked.

Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including an estimated 49,000 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.

“Smoking also causes most cases of chronic obstructive lung disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80 percent of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking currently or in the past. Certain diseases, such as ischemic heart disease (heart attacks and related coronary artery disease), stroke, chronic lung disease and lung cancer, have been clearly linked to smoking and were found to be the cause of death in approximately 60% of the smokers’ in these studies.”

Besides this, smoking causes or predisposes to many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia.

The chance that a young person will live to age 80 is about 70% for nonsmokers but only 35% for smokers.Sadly, the NCI’s 2011 report confirms that nearly 16 percent of high school students smoke cigarettes.

These numbers cannot keep climbing. This extremely dangerous addiction is deadly and there is no reason that logical people should continue to smoke with these staggering statistics hanging over their heads. For those who smoke or have friends or relatives who smoke, it would be extremely advisable to take these very real statistics and re-evaluate their dependence on something that, plainly and realistically put, is killing them.

Source: Medical News Today

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth enjoys teaching and dancing as well as being a violinist in a local orchestra. She loves reading and writing materials that range everywhere from short stories and poetry to medical dictionaries and encyclopedias. She enjoys sharing her talent for the written word by being a regular contributor and test and training editor here at ProTrainings.

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