Obama Smokes?? The Effects of Smoking on Health and Cancer

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"Obama smokes???" Oh no, I'm thinking... doesn't he know that cigarette smokers are exposing themselves to more than 50 known causes of cancer every time they're sucking on a cigarette?

YIKES!! Now that is TOXIC!

Unfortunately, cigarettes have this really addictive chemical called nicotine in them. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances there is, which makes it VERY difficult to quit smoking.

People always want to know how much a difference it makes if you quit smoking. And what if you only smoke "once in a while". Does it still have a negative effect on your health?

News reports of a a recent study on the effects of smoking on health came out this week. The results are interesting and worth looking at. Let me give you the "Julie's Take Home" version of the study!

Effects of Smoking and Quitting Smoking

  • There is no safe level of tobacco use. Evidence suggests that smoking just one to four cigarettes a day puts people at risk for heart, lung and other problems.
  • Within about three years of quitting, "the risk of heart disease associated with smoking reverts to that of a never-smoker.
  • Unfortunately, that same benefit is not seen in risk for cancer.
  • There's roughly a doubling of the risk of heart disease for people who smoke just 1-4 cigarettes a day compared to people who are not smoking at all.
  • People who stop smoking before the age of 50 cut the risk of dying in the next 15 years in half.

Guilt, Blame and Pointing Fingers

Now, before anyone goes pointing fingers at anyone else I want you to think about what you use for coping. Many people turn to foods, and it's not the healthy ones! I'll leave you with this story:

I'm in my office looking out the window as I see someone leaving the office building next to mine and she lights up a cigarette. She walks to her car, keys in hand, cigarette in mouth as I think "that's too bad that smoking has become her leaving the office routine; it's not good for her".

I then pack up my things, walk out the back door of my office as I put a fun size Snicker's bar in my mouth. As I walk to my car, keys in hand, candybar in mouth I am struck with the image that.... MY CANDYBAR IS THE SAME AS HER CIGARETTE! It had become my leaving the office routine. And not a particularly healthy one!

Before you blame others for their choices, look inward to see where you turn for comfort. Is it a benefit to your body or a detriment?

With all the additional stress that Obama finds in his new job, I hope that he is able to find a healthy outlet!

- Julie

Read the Article from NPR

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Julie Lanford MPH, RD, CSO, LDN published on January 22, 2009 9:34 AM.

Achievable New Years Resolutions! was the previous entry in this blog.

Foods to Boost Immunity and Cut Cancer Risk is the next entry in this blog.

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