A second factor of aging is clearly tobacco. What was the herb of wisdom in American Indians is proving to be a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Probably, as in many cases, certain subjects are more sensitive than others. Some people will, if they smoke, be victims of tobacco almost certainly, it is a matter of time, the duration of exposure to risk. But others, who are not likely to do so, could smoke without being in danger! It is even possible that tobacco will protect those who do not kill, delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease and certain bowel diseases! It is useless to rely on isolated cases to extrapolate to your own case. You may know a centenarian who, after more than 100 years, still smokes. We too! But we are not equal in the face of different risks. And we are incapable of predicting anything valid about us. Smoking, so we played Russian roulette, only instead of having a single ball and five empty seats in the bracket, it would be rather the other way around. Epidemiological studies are starting to build susceptibility profiles for different risks.
Therefore, there will come a day when there will be tailored, personalized tips. Some will be able to smoke, others will not. However, some lessons can be drawn from the story of his own family. With two or three direct ascending smokers who died of lung cancer, the risk of having the same disease is undoubtedly important.
It is possible that in the future, if there is a gene for protection against the carcinogenic power of tobacco or against lung cancer, it may be transmitted by gene therapy to those who do not. But in the meantime, smoking cessation is the only safe method. Part of the French population has managed a change in behavior, targeting so-called light cigarettes. It means that I recognize the risk of smoking as serious. And it also means not going all the way!
Female smoking has its characteristics. Smoking women are becoming more numerous and starting from an increasingly younger age. Will tobacco cause them to lose the net advantage they have over men, that cardiovascular protection they owe, until menopause, to their hormones?
Although the cardiovascular risks of tobacco and certain contraceptive pills do not add up, they still multiply! But there is nothing to prove that women have a smoking susceptibility comparable to that of men. It may be, as in many other cases, more resistant by nature. They also started smoking relatively recently, in an era when cigarettes were weaker in nicotine and tar. This new tobacco would not have the same toxicity. Although less irritating, their smoke is inhaled deeper and reaches even the smallest bronchi, where a long-term asymptomatic cancer may be detected late.
Finally, if the female cardiovascular risk is increased, it is diminished by the menopausal hormone replacement treatment. This treatment tends, and not only for this reason, to become widespread among the "50s".
The epidemiology of contemporary diseases, difficult when the way of life changes rapidly, offers some formal conclusions. Not smoking significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (especially myocardial infarction) and cancer of the bronchi and lungs. If it decreases the likelihood (among other things) of having cancer, it also means that smoking only increases the likelihood! It does not represent the certainty of being sick. But it is already enough! If it were a certainty (a smoker = a cancer), tobacco would probably have been totally banned. Tobacco causes for a shorter or longer period a tanning and a chronic emphysema. It is a certainty (a smoker = a bronchopneumopathy). In all forms, this disease will relieve the old age of smokers and the regrets will be (too) late.
It will poison the lives of those around you, who do not support early morning coughing, then almost permanent. The lung is a fragile organ especially subject to aging. It must be protected from all aggression (those of age are sufficient!). Pneumonias (bacterial infections of the lung parenchyma), bronchitis and influenza are common at older ages and in this area the smoker is nonetheless disadvantaged. Its functional respiratory performance (the volume of air inhaled and exhaled) is lower than that of non-smokers. Finally, without tobacco, your voice and skin are much cleaner! Here are the immediate or very rapid gains that can encourage changing habits. It is never too late to stop smoking and whatever the age, there will be a benefit. Jeanne Calment stopped at 117! It is not advisable to wait an old age to make a decision and especially to respect it. If our grandparents were not informed about the ills of tobacco, this is not the case today. It is hard to be an innocent smoker, an unhappy smoker or a selfless smoker.
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