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Deadly Sin Number 3-Smoking

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QUIT SMOKING.

How many of you made this New Year’s resolution? I hope that EVERY SINGLE PERSON who smokes made this resolution. Even if you do not succeed at first, you should try. Statistics show that it takes the average smoker about 7 times trying before he or she can successfully quit for good, so do not be discouraged if you have tried in the past only to end up smoking again a few weeks later.{{more}} Notice that I jumped right into this one without any leeway? I don’t mess around with smoking. There is no “moderation” in smoking.

Unless you have truly been barred from any news for the past thirty years, you know that smoking causes all kinds of damage to the body. You cannot plead ignorance anymore; you are instead making a conscious decision to do something that is known to be harmful. In diabetics, smoking is even worse-like adding kerosene to a fire; smoking speeds up all the blood vessel damage that you suffer from having diabetes. The chances of heart disease, stroke, an amputation and peripheral vascular disease are even higher in a diabetic smoker than in someone who smokes OR has diabetes (one or the other).

Everyone knows about the increased risk of lung cancer. Those of you who crow about knowing people who smoked all their lives but never developed cancer, please stop that nonsense. Of course, there are some people who never develop cancer, just like there are some people who drive like maniacs but never get into car accidents, and people who use cocaine but never overdose. It does not mean there is no link to damage-it means those people got very, very lucky. I ask you: if you had the option to choose between two vans to get into town, and I said that in the red van you had 22-times higher chance of dying in a crash than if you took the blue van. Would you really choose the red van instead of the other one? That is the chance you take as a man who smokes: you have 22-times higher chance of dying of lung cancer than a man who does not smoke. As a female smoker, you have 12-times higher chance of dying of lung cancer than a woman who does not smoke. Can you die of lung cancer if you never smoked? Of course, just as my beloved mother did years ago. Just as someone who drives carefully can die in a car accident anyway. There are no guarantees in life, but choosing the known riskier version is just not smart.

All of these risks are being directly attributed to smoking:

  • INCREASED RISKS OF LUNG, MOUTH, THROAT AND COLON CANCER (OTHERS AS WELL, SMOKING INCREASES YOUR RISK OF MANY CANCERS)
  • INCREASED CHANCE OF LUNG PROBLEMS SUCH AS EMPHYSEMA, ASTHMA AND BRONCHITIS
  • INCREASED CHANCE OF STROKE, HEART DISEASE, PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE
  • NCREASED CHANCE OF MISCARRIAGE AND PREMATURE BIRTHS IN PREGNANT WOMEN
  •  SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN MEN

And if that isn’t enough, consider those around you. Smoking is known to increase chances of asthma in children exposed to smoke. And people exposed also have higher risks of developing lung cancer. Think of that next time you light up a cigarette next to someone you love.

Next week we will talk a bit about ways you can try to stop smoking. Until then, plan on choosing a quit date, the official day you will stop smoking. It is the best first step.

Anita Ramsetty, MD
[email protected]
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
www.endocrinehelp.com
Tel: 843-798-4227

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