OK readers, today we are going to discuss cigarette smoking and the short and long-term benefits of quitting. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed the placement of graphic images on cigarette packaging in hopes to deter people from smoking. Many of the those who commented on the FitSugar article regarding this recent news story seem to think that the graphic images will most likely not deter people from smoking. However, the health risks associated with cigarette smoking are serious and can be life-shortening and life-threatening. If one does decide to quit smoking, there are many benefits for both the short and long-term. To learn more about the benefits of quitting smoking, keep reading
Smoking is a bad habit and a serious health risk. It's dangerous even if you're not a smoker: 3,000 nonsmokers die in the US every year due to complications arising from secondhand smoke. Things aren't looking better for us nonsmokers either. A new study suggests that this number has the potential to rise because of risks associated with "thirdhand smoke."
Thirdhand smoke is the residue left behind after a cigarette is put out. It's invisible and settles into clothes, skin, and surfaces, often leaving behind a faint scent of cigarettes. My nose is pretty adept at picking up the scent of cigarettes on clothing, in a room, or even in a car, so I'm pretty certain that I've been around thirdhand smoke before. It's not pleasant, but I never thought that it could pose a risk to my health.
To find out about the dangers associated with thirdhand smoke, read more
If you're not already eating your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day then you may want to start, especially if you're a smoker.
New research has found that people who ate three servings of vegetables a day were 1.6 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who didn't eat three servings. People who ate three or more servings of fruit were one-fold less likely to develop lung cancer. Researchers think that this is due to the fact that fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that stop the development of blood vessels that feed tumors.
Now that's not to say that if you are a smoker that eating fruits and vegetables can enable you to continue smoking and still be protected against lung cancer. The absolute best defense against lung cancer (not to mention a whole slough of other health risks associated with smoking) is to quit smoking altogether.
There is a long held belief, by many a stoner, that smoking marijuana poses no health threats, just possible legal troubles. Well, I hate to "bum anyone's high" but new studies indicate that regularly smoking pot poses an increased risk for cancer. It seems that smoking a doobie is bad for your lungs.
Researchers in New Zealand found that smoking one joint is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes because joints have no filter. Plus, pot smokers tend to hold the smoke in the lungs increasing their exposure time to the smoke. Cannabis smoke not only contains twice the amount of carcinogens as tobacco smoke, but pot smokers end up with five times more carbon monoxide in their blood stream when compared to tobacco smokers.
To see how much weed makes for the danger zone, just read more
A while back, I told you that eating red meat and processed meats could increase your risk of breast cancer. Well, unfortunately, US researchers discovered that it could increase your risk for developing lung cancer too. They also found a link between eating a lot of red meat and cancers of the liver, esophagus and pancreas.
The study involved 500,000 people ages 50 to 71. The participants of the study followed specific diets, ranging from some meat to a lot of meat.
After eight years, 53,396 cases of cancer were diagnosed. Those people eating the highest amount of red meat had a 20 to 60 percent increased risk of developing esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer.
This study doesn't really mention specific amounts of meat intake, but it does mention that red meat is a high source of saturated fat and iron, both of which have been associated with cancer risk.
Red meat includes all types of beef, pork and lamb. Processed meats include bacon, red meat sausage, poultry sausage, luncheon meats, cold cuts, ham and most types of hot dogs including turkey dogs. This study isn't urging you to become a vegetarian, but it's good to keep in mind moderation when it comes to eating red and processed meats.
It being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I have been reading a lot about cancer. I was surprised that after all my research there were some basic facts about women and cancer that I was still missing. I learned a lot from this article What Women Don't Know About Cancer and here are a few facts you should know.
- The vast majority of cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease. According to the American Cancer Society only five to ten percent of breast cancers are hereditary. So family history may be part of the equation, but most cancers occur in women with no family history at all.
- Taking oral contraceptives is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian, uterine, and possibly colorectal cancer
- Though more women get more breast cancer than lung cancer, far fewer breast cancer patients die. Eighty percent of lung cancers in women are caused by smoking. I am going to say it one more time, quitting smoking is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.
It's still a tobacco product like cigarettes, right, so I think you know what the answer is. Large cigars typically contain between 5 and 17 grams of tobacco. Some premium brands have as much tobacco in 1 cigar as in a whole pack of cigarettes! Plus, the tobacco in cigars is different than what's found in cigarettes. It's fermented tobacco, so it has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds. When smoked, these compounds give off several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), some of the most potent human carcinogens known. Also, because the cigar wrapper is less porous than cigarette paper, the tobacco doesn't burn as completely. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and tar -- all very harmful substances. What about secondhand smoke? To hear all about it read more
When you smoke a cigar, you're only supposed to suck the smoke into your mouth then blow the smoke out. So does that means it's any better for you than cigarettes?
It's still a tobacco product like cigarettes, right, so I think you know what the answer is. Large cigars typically contain between 5 and 17 grams of tobacco. Some premium brands have as much tobacco in 1 cigar as in a whole pack of cigarettes!
Plus, the tobacco in cigars is different than what's found in cigarettes. It's fermented tobacco, so it has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds. When smoked, these compounds give off several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), some of the most potent human carcinogens known. Also, because the cigar wrapper is less porous than cigarette paper, the tobacco doesn't burn as completely. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon monoxide, and tar -- all very harmful substances.
What about secondhand smoke? To hear all about it read more
I have heard the query recently - "Are light cigarettes better for me?" Interesting question, but I'm fairly certain we all know the answer to that one.
NO - "Light" or "Low-tar" cigarettes are NOT better for you because they are still cigarettes, and they still contain nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, and other toxic chemicals. Inhaling these poisonous toxins causes emphysema, and many kinds of cancer including lung, bladder, kidney, cervix, throat, mouth, esophagus, pancreas and stomach and some types of leukemia (cancer of the blood). Smoking also causes wrinkles, makes your breath stink, stains your teeth and causes asthma and other respiratory problems. "Light" cigarettes are no different.
Here's the proof: A recent study performed in Turkey tested 62 adults in their 20s - 20 who smoked regular cigarettes, 20 who used light cigarettes and 22 who’d never smoked.
The researchers tested the participants coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR), a measure of how well blood flow speeds up to aid the heart when it’s under increased demands. CFVR reflects the overall functioning of the network of small blood vessels that feed the heart.
Even before the test began, the researchers found that smokers already have poorer CFVR levels than non-smokers. After smoking a few cigarettes, their CFVR levels decreased even more.
What was the study's conclusion? The decrease in CFVR was virtually the same whether the cigarettes were "Light" or "Regular."
Fit's Tips: If you smoke and you're looking to quit, here are some tips for dealing with the cravings. You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to www.smokefree.gov for more info on how to quit. Quitting smoking is way too hard to do alone, so you my want to think about joining a support group.
Let's start with the basics on this one, and the basics are scary. Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas and you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
It gets scarier. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second on the list of causes of lung cancer, right there behind smoking. That is why the Surgeon General released a national health advisory about radon in 2005, urging people to test the air quality of inside their homes. This was news to me.
Want to read about how to test for it? Then read more