It is never too late to quit smoking, but of course the longer you smoke the more damage is done to your body. Smoking is deadly for seniors, as the health risks from smoking are multiplied in seniors because of the challenges of aging.
Why Seniors Should Quit Smoking
If you have made it into your senior years and are still puffing away at cigarettes, here are some real good reasons for you to quit.
Smoking is a Preventable Killer
Every year In the United States smoking tobacco cigarettes is responsible for about one out of every five deaths that could have been prevented.
Smoking Causes Lung Diseases
Smoking damages the lungs and this leads to lung diseases like asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD consists mainly of one or two diseases – chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
Smoking Makes you More Vulnerable to the Flu and Pneumonia
Smoking not only makes you more vulnerable to viral diseases like the flu, but you are also more likely to get a bad case of the flu with serious complications like pneumonia.
Smoking Raises the Risk for Cardiovascular Events
Smoking raises the risk for cardiovascular events like a heart attack or stroke. The nicotine in tobacco causes blood vessels to become narrower and this causes high blood pressure, which forces the heart to work harder. High blood pressure is the number one risk for a stroke or heart attack.
Smoking raises the risk for osteoporosis (porous bones). Osteoporosis is an age-related silent disease that mainly affects post-menopausal women and men over the age of 75. The bones become more thin and brittle which leads to fractures. Sometimes a fracture is the only way that a senior learns that they have osteoporosis.
Vision Problems and Blindness
Smoking irritates the eyes and this can raise the risk for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Smoking is the Leading Preventable Cause for 12 Different Types of Cancer
A study published June 15, 2015 in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) showed that smoking tobacco is the leading preventable cause for 12 different types of cancers.
Deaths from 12 Different Types of Cancer Caused by Smoking Beginning with Lung, Bronchus and Trachea Cancer
Lung, Bronchus and Trachea
Liver & bile Duct
Oral Cavity & Pharynx
Kidney and renal pelvis
See our blog post from March 7. 2019, for more ways that a good lifestyle can prevent cancer.
Cigars and Pipes Just as Dangerous as Cigarettes
Besides smoking tobacco in cigarettes, smoking tobacco in pipes and cigars can also lead to cancers of the lips, mouth, throat, tongue, voice box, esophagus (food tube), and bladder. If people who use pipes and cigars inhale the smoke, they are also in danger of lung cancer.
Danger from Second-hand Smoke
There is also danger from second-hand cigarette smoke and it is just as bad if it comes from pipes and cigars. Second-hand smoke is especially bad for people who already have heart or lung disease. For seniors and small children, it is especially dangerous to be in a room with smokers or to sit next to them. Even smoke that is caught by the wind poses a danger.
Smokeless Tobacco is also Extremely Hazardous
Some of you may think that smokeless tobacco is safer, but it is not. While chewing tobacco and sniffing snuff are smokeless, they are also extremely hazardous. Smokeless tobacco can cause cancers of the mouth, pancreas and pre-cancerous lesions (oral leukoplakia) and gum problems. Smokeless tobacco is also just as addictive as smoking cigarettes.
Other kinds of smokeless tobacco are electronic cigarettes or E-cigarettes. These also contain nicotine and other chemicals, which you inhale without getting smoke. However, you can still become addicted to nicotine.
Make up your Mind to Quit Smoking
You have to make up our mind to quit smoking. Quitting is not easy because nicotine is addictive. It takes time for the body to get rid of the nicotine and in fact, nicotine addiction can cause withdrawal symptoms in people trying to kick the habit, such as feeling tired, being extra hungry, feeling irritable and depressed and unable to fall asleep.
Smoke Free 60+
There are all kinds of online tools at Smoke Free 60+ to help you or your loved one to quit smoking. You can also call their 24/7 support phone to speak to an expert:
All states have quit lines with counselors who are trained specifically to help smokers quit. Call this number to connect directly to your state’s quit line. Hours of operation and services vary from state to state.
The National Cancer Institute’s trained counselors also provide information and support for quitting in English and Spanish. Call Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Connect with a National Cancer Institute LiveHelp information specialist. Get immediate information and answers about quitting smoking. LiveHelp is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. LiveHelp also is available in Spanish.
Benefits you Gain when you Quit Smoking
- You will feel good knowing that you lowered your risk for heart attacks, cancer and strokes.
- You will have a healthy appetite and eat better foods. Also foods will taste and smell better.
- You and your clothes will not reek of cigarette smoke.
- You will be a wonderful example to your loved ones.
- You will save money. Instead of spending money on something that can harm you, there will be extra money now for some pampering and maybe a nice little vacation.
- Your pets, and loved ones will be healthier in your smoke-free home.
When there is a Need for Short-term Rehabilitation or Long-term Skilled Nursing Care
When you or your loved one Need short-term rehabilitation or long-term skilled nursing care, the Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers expert care at the hands of a warm and caring staff.
Smoking is so bad for the health of everyone no matter how old or young they are. However, in seniors who are anyways facing challenges from aging, the bad effects of smoking are multiplied. Second hand smoke also has a very bad effect on family pets and grandchildren who come to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Every senior who smokes should do everything to quit.