Many older adults use tobacco in a form other than cigarettes.
They may chew tobacco or smoke cigars. If so, they’re not alone. According to a recent study, 1 out of every 5 adults has used tobacco in a form other than cigarettes. In fact, about 4.8 percent of people who responded to the National Health Interview Survey between the years of 2014 and 2018 indicated they use tobacco other than cigarettes. That equates to 7.3 million adults in the United States. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe that using tobacco in its other forms isn’t as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. While it is true that cigarettes are a major risk factor for several diseases, other kinds of tobacco can also have a serious impact on your aging relative’s health.
How Pipes and Cigars Impact Health
Many people who smoke cigars or pipes think they are not at risk for health problems because they only smoke a few a day. They may also think they are safe because they don’t inhale the smoke in the same way that cigarette users do. In truth, studies show that smoking cigars and pipes is just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. It may even be more dangerous.
One cigar can contain as much as half an ounce of tobacco, the same amount in a whole pack of cigarettes. In addition, a cigar has between 100 and 200 milligrams (mg) of nicotine. A cigarette contains just 8 mg.
Some of the conditions that smoking cigars or pipes can raise the risk for are:
Cancer: Cigar smokers are between 4 and 10 times higher risk of dying from the larynx or esophageal cancer than non-smokers are. Cigar and pipe smokers are also at risk for oral cancer, which can start anywhere that the smoke touches.
Lung Disease: Cigar and pipe smokers have double the risk of getting COPD.
Heart Disease: Cigars and pipes make the development of heart disease more likely. In fact, cigar smokers are at a 30 percent higher risk of early death due to heart disease.
The Dangers of Chewing Tobacco
Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, too, so it is addictive. Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco contains many chemicals that have been proven cancerous. As a result, the risk of oral cancer is greatly increased. Chewing tobacco can also cause dental disease because the sugar and other substances in it are abrasive and lead to tooth decay.
If your older family member uses tobacco, senior care can help them to quit. A senior care provider can drive your aging relative to their doctor to discuss cessation treatments and techniques. A senior care provider can also offer a distraction from the urge to smoke or use smokeless tobacco. In fact, having a senior care provider around may make them less likely to use tobacco because they don’t want to use it in front of someone who knows they are supposed to be quitting.
Are you or a loved one considering Home Health Care in Sherwood, AR? First Choice Senior Care can help. Serving all of Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
Please call and talk to our caring staff today. (501) 916-9307