23 September 2005

One Cigarette Is All It Takes

According to a new study, one cigarette a day is all it takes for you to triple your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.

Let's pierce the thought bubbles of most smokers who often use flimsy reasoning tactics like:

"Who you talkin' to? Me? Hey, I'm a light-smoker, man. I smoke 1-2 sticks per day. What harm can that do?"

The same study also says that women are at more risk than men, even when they smoke less than a pack a week.

Second-hand smokers, whom I've always defined as good people in the wrong place at the wrong time, are also at risk.
"In both sexes, smoking 1 to 4 cigarettes per day was associated with a significantly higher risk of dying from ischaemic heart disease and from all causes, and from lung cancer in women," said Dr Aage Tverdal.

The dangers of smoking are well documented. Previous research has shown that smokers die on average 10 years earlier than non-smokers but stopping, even in middle age, can halve the risk.

Tverdal and his colleague Dr Kjell Bjartveit, of the National Health Screening Service in Oslo said health officials must emphasise more strongly that light smokers are also endangering their health.

[Daily Mail, Sept 22 2005]

If you are male and you smoke 1 to 5 cigarettes daily, you are 3 times more likely to be killed by lung cancer than non-smokers.

If you are female and you smoke 1 to 5 cigarettes daily, you are 5 times more likely to be killed by lung cancer than non-smokers.

Do you think this sounds scary enough for smokers to decide to quit smoking now?

I doubt it. I doubt it very much.

15 reactions:

Rygel said...

*sigh* its hard to convince others to quit! even if they experience chronic cough, frequent URIs they still stick to it. when the big C comes thats when they get the idea - but by then its always too late! *sigh*

Duke said...

hi doc!

my uncle died of lung cancer and it was horrible. I use to smoke but stopped after seeing the horrors of lunch cancer. A lot of people say it is not easy to stop smoking but I raely think it is all in the mind and will power. If everyone can only see how their health is at risk when they smoke!

bayi said...

I doubt this post will have any effect on smokers for them to give up smoking.

My late father smoked 2 packs (20 sticks) a day and only when he was hit by a massive stroke did he kick his habit. But as most stories go, it was too late. The stroke did extensive damage to his body and he never fully recovered, regretting his smoking habit until the day he died.

For many smokers, it has to be a personal tragedy to make this message relevant to them. This in itself is tragic.

Major Tom said...

I never thought it was that bad...just one smoke to triple the risk. Then, it must be more reason for any of us to evade those packs of cigarrettes.

Dr. Emer said...

I have the same problem myself Rygel.

I'm so sorry to hear that, Duke. I'd like to add something on what you said...if only smokers can see how their lungs look like now!

Bayi, I know of smokers unaffected even by personal tragedies and continue smoking. It is difficult to fight an addiction.

Amen to that Major Tom. Help us spread the word. Thanks.

jey said...

my tita died of lung cancer. she never smoked. but she has been exposed to smokers.:(

and i wish these smokers realize that people die because of them

beajerry said...

What the hell is it with respiratory therapists and smoking?
Is it me or do most of them smoke?

Dr. Emer said...

That's second-hand smoke, Jey. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Doctors, too, Beajerry. Respiratory therapists and doctors. I wouldn't say most of them smoke, but the fact that even some of them do also does not sit well with me. Crazy, huh?

eye said...

"I doubt it. I doubt it very much. " -- oh well, i agree 101%. it seems like every time you warn these smokers on the health risks, all they hear is "blah blah blah".

everytime we climb mountains, my #1 rule is: do not smoke when eye is around. hehehe! masungit at mataray at sensitive talaga ako sa amoy niyan, not to mention masama sa lungs ko :D

BatJay said...

hirap talaga mag quit ng smoking. it took me over 20 years to stop. i was almost a 1 pack a day smoker when i quit. i am glad i did.

it got to a point where i already had shortness of breath and a bad smoker's cough.

Dr. Emer said...

Much as these smokers would want to quit, I think they're already hooked, Eye. It will take lots of discipline and perseverance --- as Jay himself here tells us --- to quit permanently.

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- JOE said...

Nice info, i already knew most of that. Ive been smoking for over a year and a half, at first not so much but now im a major fein. I don't think ill die but even if i smoked for only 2 years lets say, will it still take me 10 years to clear out my lungs at the same rate of someone who has smoked their hole life??

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