Almost everybody recognizes the health problems associated with smoking. Unfortunately, discussions about smoking tend to have a very binary premise. Some people seem to believe that heavier smokers do not face significantly higher Health risks than less frequent smokers. Extensive medical research disputes this presupposition.
People that smoke over a pack a day face a considerably higher risk of heart disease, lung cancer and other health problems than people that only smoke three or four cigarettes a day. Of course, the risk is dramatically lower for non-smokers. However, heavy smokers have the absolute worst long-term outlook. Heavy smokers might want to consider using tobacco free chew from Black Buffalo to cut back on cigarettes.
How Is Cigarette Smoking Linked To Worsening Health?
Health experts have raised the alarm about the dangers of cigarettes since the 1950s. Even early research showed a strong link between smoking and lung cancer.
However, skeptics initially disputed the conclusions. They pointed out some valid methodological flaws with some of the initial studies, which warranted more scientifically rigorous investigations.
The problem with some of the earliest studies connecting cigarette smoking with lung cancer in the middle of the century was that they relied extensively on self-reported data. Critics stated that people with lung cancer were likely to overestimate the number of cigarettes that they smoked, while patients without lung cancer were likely to underreport this figure. Although the findings of these studies would later be affirmed by more extensive research, these criticisms were still valid.
Skepticism was put to rest after Dr. E. Cuyler Hammond and Dr. Daniel Horn, two renowned scientists with the American Cancer Society, began studying the correlation between smoking patterns and lung cancer. These two scientists took a different approach than their colleagues that conducted the earlier studies on the health implications of cigarette smoking. Rather than interview people that already had lung cancer, they tracked the progression of cancer among people over the course of their study. They relied on 22,000 participants for their trials. Over a three-year period, they established that there was a strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer. The study also indicated that people that smoked more frequently had a higher risk of developing the disease.
Although scientists have discovered a strong connection between smoking and health problems, they didn’t start to have a clearer picture of the impact of heavy smoking until fairly recently. Some experts theorized that there was a highly non-linear relationship between cigarette consumption and health risks, which would quickly level off for frequent smokers. According to this reasoning, the risk for heavy smokers would not be substantially higher than that of less frequent smokers.
More recent studies have shown that the correlation between the number of cigarettes smoked each day and the likelihood of developing heart disease and lung cancer is stronger than skeptics initially believed. Earlier this month, the University of South Australia published a study citing a strong link between heavy smoking and health problems.
The study made an alarming conclusion – every cigarette smoked increases the risk of contracting some diseases by over 30%. Heavy smokers had a 1,700% higher risk of developing emphysema, a 650% higher risk of developing lung cancer and an 800% higher risk of developing clogged arteries compared to lighter smokers.
Elina Hypponen, the lead author of the study, emphasized the seriousness of the findings. She pointed out that every cigarette smoked per day increased the risk of cancers, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
Hypponen pointed out that her study only compared heavy smokers with lighter smokers. She stated that the risk factors would be considerably higher if the authors were comparing heavy smokers with people that never smoked at all.
Reducing Cigarette Use Could Reduce Health Risks Considerably
There is extensive research detailing the harmful effects of cigarettes. Smokers should try to quit smoking altogether to reduce the risk of developing emphysema, lung disease, heart disease and a host of other health issues.
However, even people that are struggling to quit entirely should try minimizing cigarette use. They will find that cutting back might dramatically lower health problems. Reducing smoking could also help make it easier to quit entirely over time. However, even people that don’t think they can completely kick the habit should be motivated to reduce consumption.