11 Dec Baby Boomers: When Smoking First Hit Hard
Before the Baby Boomer period, no one was convinced that a each cigarette smoked puts the smoker one step closer to lung cancer. It was only in the period between 1946 and 1964 that experts were able to find conclusive evidence linking lung cancer to cigarette smoking.
The years following the boomer age saw the rise of anti-smoking campaigns and today, anti-smoking initiatives are still imposed at an accelerated pace.
According to the National Cancer Institute, cigarette smoking is the main culprit in 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and even plays a significant role in the development of cancers of the larynx, esophagus, bladder, oral cavity and pharynx. Not only that, smoking also increases the risk of suffering from cervical, stomach, kidney, pancreatic, and cervical cancers.
Nonsmokers are also at high-risk because secondhand smoking causes an estimated 3,000 lung cancer deaths among American nonsmokers. Children may also develop respiratory illness due to secondhand smoking and this sends a clear message to parents and guardians to be wary of their habits before it hits their loved ones.
There are more than 60 harmful elements that are known to cause cancer in tobacco smoke and a thousand other chemical agents. Smokers, already wary of the perils of their smoking habit, often seek the help of professionals and are advised to cease the act to decrease the risk of lung and other cancers, stroke, chronic lung disease, and even heart attack.
Stopping the deadly habit has immediate positive effects for both genders and all ages as it immediately begins to reduce the risk of lung and other cancers previously mentioned. Research has shown that the sooner the person quits, the more favorable is the effect. For instance, those who quit before they reach the age of 50 cut off their risk of getting cancer in the following 15 years as compared to those who still continue smoking.
I started smoking when I was in high school. It was the cool thing to do and the hardest habit to break. I finally quit when I wanted to get pregnant. I am reminded of how prevalent smoking was when I watch Mad Men, one of my favorite TV shows that takes place in the 50s. Man, we really thought we looked good as we were killing ourselves!
How about the rest of you boomers? Are you still smoking? Or have you successfully kicked the habit. Come join boomeryearbook and share your comments and experiences. We’d love to hear your stories.
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