The BMJ (British Medical Journal) studies suggest that there is no smoking pattern that will allow you to stay on the safe side. Many smokers think that if you smoke only one cigarette a day, you will have one twentieth risk as compared to those who smoke a whole pack a day, but the scientists have arrived at a conclusion that it is absolutely wrong. According to the research, even if you smoke only one cigarette per day, you still have a 50% higher risk of getting a CVD and a 30% higher risk of having a stroke as opposed to people who don’t smoke at all.
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Tobacco addiction kills more than 7 million people a year: 6 million of them die from direct smoking and 890 000 from secondhand smoking. It is nicotine that makes one addicted and tar that actually kills.
It is generally believed that smokers die from cancer but in fact cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of premature deaths among tobacco users. If to talk about lung cancer there is a linear relation between the number of cigarettes smoked a day and the risk of lung cancer but it is not true for CVD.
Cardiovascular disease extinguishes lives of about 17,7 million people a year in the world. CVDs are disorders that include a number of conditions as cerebrovascular disease, coronary heart disease, rheumatic heart, etc. Smoking cigarettes is among the biggest risk factors for development of CVD.
Due to carbon monoxide smoking prevents oxygen from getting to heart, while increasing the heart rate at the same time. The hearts starts to crave for oxygen but it can’t get it because of carbon monoxide. So it beats even faster to bring more oxygen to blood which means getting heart strain eventually which is a precursor of heart failure.
The researches have shown that men who had only one cigarette a day were 48% more prone to get coronary heart disease and had a 25% higher risk of a stroke. As for women, the risks turned out to be even higher: 57% – heart disease and 31% – stroke.
Even if you are around people who smoke which means being a secondhand smoker, it is equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes per day.
Cutting down doesn’t lessen the risk of getting two most common disorders among smokers. You have to stop smoking completely if you want to reduce most of the risks connected with heart disease or stroke. There can’t be any half measures.
At the same time Paul Aveyard, Oxford University professor, says that it is wrong to believe that smoking less is not beneficial at all. People who try to smoke less aim to quit smoking eventually, and once they have done it the risks from smoking are reduced significantly.
After 1-2 years of non-smoking the risk of a heart attack is more than a half decreased, and in 3-4 years the risk is the same as for anyone who has never smoked.
Kick the Habit
Today there is a great number of ways to kick the habit including quit nicotine replacement therapy (gum, sprays, patches, inhalers, etc.), behavioral therapy, so called “cold turkey” method (when you quit smoking without outside help), medications, combination therapies, etc.
As many tobacco treatment specialists say the first and most important thing is to have a quit smoking plan that will fit you. They say that it takes three weeks to get rid of any habit, so pick up the date and try to reach it without cigarettes. Another good idea is to get support from your family and friends. Tell everyone that you quit, and pay attention to situations when you feel a desire to have a smoke. Try to find a way to deal with these situations. Becoming a non-smoker is the best gift you can make to your body and your family.