Smoking: A Habit That’s Hard to Digest

Many people, especially young adults, tend to think that it’s OK to smoke if you don’t smoke heavily. But that’s not true. According to a new study, people who smoke only a few cigarettes per day have a significantly higher risk of early death compared with nonsmokers.

Quit SmokingAny Level of Smoking Has Risks

The study involved nearly 300,000 older adults. About 22 percent of them reported smoking between one and 10 cigarettes per day throughout their lives. Researchers tracked the participants for seven years.

Compared with nonsmokers, people who smoked 10 cigarettes a day or less had an 87 percent higher risk for dying during the study. Even occasional smoking significantly increased the risk for early death in the study.

The results were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It’s Never Too Late to Quit

Smoking causes a variety of illnesses, including lung cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. No matter how much you smoke, quitting will improve your health and lower your risk for early death. And the effects happen quickly:

  • Twelve hours after you quit, the levels of carbon monoxide in your blood return to normal.
  • Three months after you quit, your risk for heart attack begins to decrease.
  • One year after you quit, your risk for heart disease is cut by half.

Struggling to quit? WCHN offers smoking cessation programs that can help. 

Call us to learn more:

  • Danbury/New Milford Hospital: 203-739-8328
  • Norwalk Hospital: 203-852-2476