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Liar, Liar, Cigarette on Fire

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:02 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Elderly Man SmokingIf asked who would be most likely to lie about their smoking habits, I would immediately answer teens. It’s only logical that they, the group most likely to be chastised by their peers and punished by their parents, would not want to own up to a cigarette addiction. But apparently, logic and reality don’t coincide in this case, because those most likely to lie about smoking are the elderly.

An analysis of more than 15,000 self-reported nonsmokers, found that eight percent had self-reported “incorrectly”. And while only six percent of 18 to 34-year-olds denied their habits, 25 percent of individuals over 75 did, proving that with age comes neither wisdom nor honesty, and this, for so many reasons, is concerning.

Half of all smokers die of a smoking-related illness.  Smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, as well as cancer of the mouth, larynx, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, cervix, stomach and pancreas. It heightens the chances of developing bronchitis, pneumonia, Emphysema and similar lung diseases, and puts you at a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and blood vessel disease. It’s not exactly a habit with a limited number of negative, long-term effects.  And when you review the list of conditions, you notice that they all have one other risk factor in common: age.

As people get older, every single one of those diseases becomes a stronger threat. So, why would you even think to lie about something that furthers your risk?

You have to be honest and upfront about all of your habits, particularly when talking with your doctor. That is the only way what needs to be monitored can be monitored. And if you are so ashamed of your cigarette habit that you can’t bring yourself to admit to it, the solution is simple – quit.

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