Return to site

Smoking - We Can't Ignore the Facts

Maria Palafox, MD

I have no doubt that you have heard it more than once—you need to quit smoking. This article is going to discuss all the ways smoking can harm your health. As a one-time closet smoker, I am not trying to tell you what to do. I will present the medical facts as the Centers for Disease Control does, and you can make the right decision for yourself.

Most patients that I see do not seem to worry too much about the risk of lung cancer. Everyone has a relative who was a smoker who never had a single health problem and lived into their 90s. My great-grandmother was one of those people.

I ask patients to quit smoking anyway because most of us aren’t that lucky. I would also argue that most people have other habits that, when you add them up, put them at higher risk than if they only smoked. When my great-grandmother was young, she walked to school, walked to work and walked to the store. She cooked high protein, high fiber meals like beans and rice, ate organic meats because she killed the pigs and chickens herself, and ate all the vegetables she farmed.

The “Pick McTwo” did not exist; I doubt she was ever over 110 pounds on a five foot frame. Nowadays, we are slowly losing the ability to walk because everything is drive thru or delivered, and our food can sit on a shelf for 10 years without going bad. Vegetable? What’s that? Most of us will not be lucky enough to have great health without the kind of effort people like my bisabuela put out. If you believe smoking is not doing you any harm, you are kidding yourself.

Smokers are at greater risk for heart and blood vessel disease, as well as stroke. Even people who smoke less than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of heart disease. It causes COPD. Smoking can also make it harder for a woman to get pregnant and can affect men’s sperm as well. There is a higher risk of preterm delivery and increase risk of birth defects.

Smoking causes weakening of the bones and causes gum disease and tooth loss, and can cause cataracts. Smoking is a cause of Type II diabetes and can make it harder to control your sugar. The risk of developing diabetes is 30-40 percent higher for smokers than for non-smokers.

Smoking makes it harder for you to fight infection and for you to heal wounds. Smoking is also a cause of rheumatoid arthritis. A recent study was published in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology” that demonstrated that women who continued to smoke after being diagnosed with breast cancer were 25 percent more likely to die than never smokers from breast cancer. They were also more likely to die from respiratory cancer, lung disease or heart disease.

The women who quit after they were diagnosed with breast cancer were much less likely to

die. Smoking also increases your risk of the following cancers: bladder, blood cervix, colon and rectum, esophagus, kidney and ureter, throat, liver, pancreas,stomach and lung cancer.

If nobody smoked, one of every three cancer deaths in the US would not happen.

Please quit smoking.

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly