I always tell my smoking patients this same truth whenever I can.
Before, you get the dreaded diagnosis that starts with “C” (Cancer or COPD- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a.k.a. emphysema) in your 50’s and 60’s you will most likely endure decades of suffering from the earlier and more severe onsets of more insidious and deceptively “milder” maladies.
These include more frequent episodes of infections in general, chronic sinus infections, allergies, asthma exacerbations, heartburn, joint pains and nerve problems, oral sores, poor oral health, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Not to mention earlier onset of heart disease symptoms and speeding up the aging process in general. One simple analogy is to quantify one cigarette as aging you an extra day- ie: a pack a day habit would age you 20 days!
The above is definitely not an all inclusive list but is an accurate portrait of the 20-30 years of “health” prior to the lifelong smoker getting a mortal diagnosis.
That’s alot of issues that usually hit earlier and harder- a lot of treatment needed, more cost and loss of productivity and premature death (average 10 years less lifespan) and disability. Now, one can see why insurance for smokers cost more and why those who smoke are riskier to insure in the first place.
Fortunately, more and more knowledge and resources are available (free even) to treat this destructive and highly addictive nicotine addiction.
Does anyone in your inner circle smoke? Do me a favor by sharing this write-up with them.