Believe it or not, seniors are still smoking!
It’s Unhealthy And Expensive Too!
As we age, many systems in the body start to slow down, especially the respiratory system. Things can affect this process even more, including smoking. In fact, about 8% of older adults — those age 65 and up — smoke, according to the CDC. This can lead to a myriad of health issues as they get older. Everyone wants to live their best life and stopping smoking can help. Smoking is an expensive habit with many risks associated with it as we’ll show you along with some advice on breaking the habit.
The respiratory system is affected by the environment of the air one breathes in. Carcinogens in cigarette smoke can attach themselves to clothing, hair, walls, fabric and other objects. This, in turn, leaves a film behind which attracts more dirt and dust to surfaces.
Not only does this reduce air quality, but it can also produce prominent odors in the home. One way to boost cleaner air capabilities is to install a HEPA filter which can block or remove around 99% of smoke particles and particulate pollutants. This can also help with the smell too.
Cigarettes Increase Cancer Risk
Smoking increases an individual’s risk for certain types of cancer, including lung and esophageal. But second-hand smoke is just as harmful, especially for children or those with underdeveloped respiratory systems or underlying lung disease.
Seniors who smoke should have a health checkup every six months to make sure their respiratory system is functioning properly. The doctor may order a chest x-ray and spirometry breathing test to get a complete picture.
Smoking Can Cause Respiratory Ailments
Lung function decreases as we get older, so taking care of those breathing mechanisms should be a priority. Older adults who smoke are at increased risk for:
- COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Asthma and emphysema
- Chronic bronchitis
- Smoker’s cough with increased mucus production
- Heart attack and stroke
The best thing to do is to quit smoking, but keeping the home environment clean helps the smoker and their family as well. A semi-annual air duct cleaning can help. Choose a hypoallergenic cleaning system that removes debris, dander and dust but also uses a solution to disinfect surfaces. This removes trapped allergens that could trigger respiratory distress.
Ways to Quit
Unfortunately, all tobacco products, even smokeless tobacco, can impact breathing and increase cancer risks. Quitting is important for everyone, but especially seniors. Fortunately, some diseases can be improved or even prevented by quitting smoking altogether. Nicotine patches, gums and candies can help. Speak to a health care professional if there is difficulty in quitting cold turkey.
Stopping smoking altogether and avoiding second-hand smoke is the best way to improve respiratory health. Seek out support groups in-person and online to help make smoking cessation a success. Replace cigarettes with healthy activities like walking or gardening. The outcome is a healthier lifestyle for you and your family, and maybe a little extra money in your pocket.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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