It creates a heavy addiction. In times of joy, as well as sorrow, it’s a man’s best friend. However, tobacco and cigarettes represent serious danger and devastating effects on one’s health and safety.
Like all relationships of this kind, having such a toxic best friend affects a person’s life on all levels. When is it time to move on from this unhealthy, one-way relationship? And what can be done to help our loved ones who suffer from such an addiction to give it up?
Tobacco Dangers: A Few Facts
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills 50% of its users, which means around seven million people worldwide every year. The risk of death and morbidities prove to be higher among older smokers compared to those who don’t have this habit.
Tobacco provokes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary conditions, coronary heart disease, strokes, and it increases the risk of developing dementia.
A study published by Oxford Journals in 2016 revealed that smokers who gave up tobacco around the age of 60 gained around three years of life expectancy as opposed to those who did not.
What Can You Do to Help?
Telling someone to stop smoking is easy. However, keep in mind that the smoker is highly dependent, and that this is a tough process, especially for someone who has had this habit for decades. Addiction goes beyond the physical aspect, the psychological element being maybe the most difficult to combat.
The best way to combat a toxic relationship such as the one with tobacco is by presenting healthier or less toxic alternatives. This, in conjunction with attending a support group or psychotherapy often proves to have positive results.
Some of the alternatives to smoking you can suggest to your senior loved include developing healthy habits, such as:
- Nicotine replacement therapy: These come in the form of different items and devices that contain low levels of nicotine without having the other poisonous chemicals that are found in tobacco-based cigarettes. They may come as gum, nicotine patches, inhalers, or sprays. It is recommended to use a combination of these instead of just one item.
- Get behavioral support: This can include individual counseling, support groups and self-help materials. In this respect, in the U.S., the National Cancer Institute offers assistance for individuals who want to give up smoking through different channels.
- Keep physically active: Physical activities that are suitable for senior citizens, such as yoga, Tai Chi, or aqua gym are great for boosting one’s mental state and maintaining a healthy body. It is important, though, to see a doctor before participating in such activities.
- Smoking e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products like IQOS: Athough the independent specialists’ studies on these subjects remain somewhat controversial, these two alternatives to traditional tobacco use are F.D.A. approved and regulated. The latest studies claim that e-cigarettes or heated tobacco products are less addictive. Furthermore, it is proven that those who use them are more likely to give up smoking than those who use traditional tobacco products.
Smoking and Fires
In the U.S., around 1,000 deaths are caused yearly by fires subsequent to reckless cigarette smoking. Additionally, according to the National Fire Protection Association, there are about 3,000 injuries every year caused by the same unfortunate issue.
A medical alert system can help in this sense, because it can provide a more advanced method of detecting fires. Such a device that features a fire detector function is able to notify an operator when a fire is sensed. Next, if the individual wearing the device cannot be reached, the fire brigade is alerted.
There are some medical alert system devices that feature a smoke detector, as well. This is very helpful for elderly citizens, especially smokers, helping to avoid any fires resulting from dropped cigarettes or sleeping while smoking.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020
|Editor's Choice 2020|