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Although very few people in the western world are ignorant to the fact that smoking is a health hazard, I plan to pass this article along to my patients who smoke, to remind them exactly how bad and dangerous their habit is.
Cigarettes are one of the most lethal carcinogens known to man. They are the single most common and preventable cause of cancer in society. Although most people know that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer and other respiratory illness, and some people know it is one of the main causes of heart disease, most people do not grasp the nature and extent of how harmful tobacco is.
Cancer-tobacco causes and increases the risk of the following:
Other diseases tobacco causes or increases the risk of include:
Passive smoking, also known as environmental tobacco smoke in the U.S., causes the following morbidity and mortality each year:
In this "information age," it is surprising that smokers aren't more concerned about their health. Smokers consume more sugar, alcohol, and caffeine than nonsmokers. Smokers do not eat as many fruits and vegetables as nonsmokers. Smokers do not exercise as much as nonsmokers.
Beta carotene (Vitamin A) studies from Finland were the first that demonstrated that high levels of beta carotene alone increased the chances of lung cancer in persons who had been heavy smokers for over 30 years. Within the studies, smokers in the placebo group who ate the most fruits and vegetables in their diet had the lowest rates of cancer
Smokers who refuse to quit, but want to minimize their risk of illness, should consume a minimum of 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and reduce the amount of stressor foods: refined carbohydrates; alcohol; caffeine; saturated fat; and processed foods. They should also take nutritional supplements: vitamin E (400 to 800 IU per day); vitamin C (5-15 mg per pound of body weight daily); and beta carotene (no more than 10,000 IU per day).Other antioxidants worth considering include: grape skin; seed or pine bark extract; lipoic acid; coenzyme Q 10; green tea extract; and inositol six phosphate.
Smokers who are serious about reducing their risk of disease should also engage in regular exercise daily. Of course, quitting smoking would help much more than any food or supplement.
1. Wildman, R. and Medeiros, D. Advanced Human Nutrition. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida 2000.
2. Newcom T. and Carbone P. Health consequences of smoking - cancer. Medical Clinics of North America, March 1992, Volume 76, II.
3. McBride, P. The health consequences of smoking: cardiovascular disease. Medical Clinics of North America, March 1992, Volume 76, II.
4. Davis, R. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke: identifying and protecting those at risk. Journal of American Medical Association, December 9, 1998, Volume 280, XXII.
5. Difranza, J. and Lew, R. Effects of maternal cigarette smoking on pregnancy complications in sudden infant death syndrome. Journal of Family Practice, April 1995, Volume 40, IV.
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I have been a patient of Dr. Pisarek for a few years now. Every morning I have to say "thank you Dr. P.!". Your care and your treatment renew my energy... no more pains in my lower back, knee and foot. With your help I lost 20 pounds and I am keeping it off. I am really grateful to you and your wife Hilda for taking care of me. My retirement got a new meaning, thanks to you.