Smoke Cigarettes and Die 10 Years Early (study)

smoking kidIt’s hard to admit it, but I once smoked cigarettes. Why? I had heard they were bad for my health.  I was young. Even though my favorite Uncle Bruce, (my mom’s only brother) had died of lung cancer in his early 40’s, I still couldn’t put down those cigarettes back then!

Nicotine is addictive. VERY ADDICTIVE.  Heroin, opiates, methamphetamine, marijuana, and alcohol are too.  Many of us play with some of these dangerous substances and they become our “medicine”.  We can’t relax without them.  They were once our friends, now they are our jailers, we can’t live without them.  That is addiction.  You must fight until you free yourself of this addiction if you find yourself in the bondage of a substance you know is bad for your health.  While heroin kills perhaps the fastest due to overdoses, tobacco is perhaps the most deadly of them all!

The study, “Tobacco smoking and all-cause mortality in a large Australian cohort study: findings from a mature epidemic with current low smoking prevalence,” looked at mortality in over 200,000 Australians over the age of 45. (you can read it here… ).  Here is what they found:

  • Smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers
  • The risk of death was 3x (300%) greater for current smokers than non-smokers (2x if smoking 10/day and 4x for >25 cigarettes a day)
  • 67% (2/3) of deaths in smokers were from smoking related causes.
  • Your risks improved the longer you had been a non-smoker and returned to normal if you quit before age 45.

At the time of the study, 7% were current smokers and 34% past smokers.  The study reported that “current smokers were, on average, younger, less likely to be urban residents, of lower income and education level, and less likely to hold private health insurance; they were more likely to report consuming ≥15 alcoholic drinks/week”.

If you or your loved one smokes or is struggling with an addiction, get help.  If you are in Portland Oregon, under 30 years old, and opiates are your challenge, I have a clinic just for that.  Fair Start:  (503.924.1000).


Dr. Paul



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