Cancer Sticks And Coffin Nails- How To Keep Them From Killing You?

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So you are huddled outside the nice warm building, in the freezing rain, while you are sucking on your cancer stick together with the other pariahs from the office. Later, at dinner with your significant other, you find yourself staring at your date from the outside of the restaurant as you are once again sucking on your coffin nail. Finally it hits you: smoking is not as cool anymore as it once was. As a matter of fact, the times of James Dean, the Marlboro cowboy, and John Wayne are long since gone, and the era of the surgeon general has arrived. The latter has come up with some uncanny and disturbing information:

Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of deadly lung cancer.

Cigarette smoke contains a variety of carcinogens, which have the ability to form all kinds of cancers, such as cancer of the esophagus, bladder, and larynx.

The new low tar cigarette you bought on New Year?s Eve to placate the nagging feeling of guilt is basically worthless in your effort of not having the habit kill you. The risk reduction for lung cancer is negligible.

Cigar smoke, pipe smoke, and chewing tobacco have their own hazards and may lead to cancers of the mouth and pharynx.

Smokers are found to be in greater peril than their non-smoking counterparts when it came to suffering a post-operative infection or respiratory illness.

The only way to keep the cancer stick from finally killing you is to keep it out of your mouth and out of your life for good. Yet if, for whatever reason, you are determined to throw caution to the wind, and continue on your path of nicotine addiction, there are some caveats that may help you to stay a littler healthier a little longer:

For example, a rather disturbing study out of France suggests that beta-carotene supplements may quite possibly increase the risk of cancer development for smokers. The same is true for former smokers, as it appears that the intake of these supplements has been associated with higher instances of colorectal, thyroid and lung cancers. The researchers were very clear in stating that smokers should not stay away from beta-carotene rich fruits and vegetables, but only their supplement counterparts. Non-smokers will quite often take this supplement to prevent coronary heart disease and also atherosclerosis.

Smoking has been linked not only to various cancers, but also to the development of osteoporosis and bone fractures. In part, this is due to increasing a woman?s risk to have an earlier onset of menopause, as well as the lack of estrogen production that goes along with that. Smokers and non-smokers alike need to ensure that they have a sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake to counteract this silent disease. Food sources are best to begin the intake of the mineral and vitamin, but supplementation is a good idea all the way around. Smokers need to be especially alert for osteoporosis, and thus may need to discuss an increase in calcium supplementation with a physician.

Another study has shown that smokers show an alarming propensity for vitamin C deficiency, as well as a lower ratio of folic acid in their systems. Vitamin supplementation may help, but a diet rich in these substances is highly recommended. Because of the findings on beta-carotene, researchers are a bit hesitant to recommend vitamin supplements for smokers.

As you can see, smokers face a variety of health risks each day, yet some are more hidden, and may even come as a surprise in an individual who thought they were doing something good for her or his body. If you are a smoker, please be sure to let your doctor know about the supplements you are taking. Further, if you are a smoker, please quit! The latter is the only way to keep the habit from killing you slowly and methodically. Yes, we all know about Uncle Albert who smoked three packs a day and lived to be ninety years old, but let?s face it, his story is an aberration, which is quite possibly the reason it is told over and over, and not the norm. The norms are hospital rooms filled with coughing and wheezing patients, underweight children, and the despair of nicotine addiction.