According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, 19% of adults in Great Britain smoked in 2014 with the average daily consumption per adult being 11 cigarettes. During the same year it was also estimated that up to 78,000 deaths could be attributed to smoking-related complications. The harrowing side effects of smoking have been known for years and although feared by most smokers, it does not always serve as sufficient motivation to quit the nasty habit.
When an elderly person has been smoking for quite some time, the thought of quitting has probably surfaced numerous times, yet never materialised into anything. Quitting is never easy despite the countless therapies designed to make the process easier. It is often only when the risk factors of smoking is weighed against the enjoyment of smoking at an older age that a conscious decision is made to quit and that action is taken to ensure the success of the decision.
Health implications for seniors who smoke
While smoking can cause severe health problems for anyone who smokes, the health burden is even more significant for seniors. Some of the health problems caused by smoking, and that are more serious in older people, include cancer of the lungs, mouth, larynx and esophagus. Brittle and weak bones and the risk of osteoporosis are also increased by smoking, while respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia are contracted more frequently and become harder to treat.
Smoking can cause permanent respiratory damage that leads to emphysema, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking puts added strain on the heart and increases the risk or suffering a heart attack or contracting a number of cardiac diseases. Seniors are already more vulnerable to these conditions with smoking increasing these risks significantly. Seniors who smoke are likely to experience a diminished quality of living and will feel sicker than those who don’t smoke.
Why quit smoking in your later years?
Most people are of the belief that the damage has been done if they have been smoking for a prolonged period of time and that stopping at a later stage in life will hold no health benefits. This theory holds no truth and it is important to realise that, as soon as you quit smoking, your body starts to repair the damage inflicted by smoking. When you quit smoking, even at a later stage in life, you can look forward to countless benefits such as improved tasting and smelling and not constantly smelling of smoke.
You will reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer and have less respiratory illnesses and problems. Exercising, which is an important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a senior, will become a lot easier and you will be left feeling a lot more energetic. Apart from all the health benefits you will also be saving a lot of money when you quit smoking, enabling you to have funds available for things like shopping trips and even holidays.
Many improvements can be felt almost immediately while others will gradually surface. In just a year after quitting your health will have improved remarkably leaving you feeling younger and revitalised. It is never too late to quit smoking, all you need to do is put your mind to it and do what is necessary to improve your quality of life.