Help Me To Educate

Right – got a bit of a problem. I have a cousin who is 18 and has been smoking since she was 15. She does smoke round a pack a day and I am preparing an educational document with the effects of the smoking and some youtube clips. Her argument is that she has done her research and as long as she quits by the age of 35 her risks are the same as a non-smoker by 50, which is when most smokers start to develop diseases. I have also seen this plastered all over the net and really find it difficult to believe.

medicalnewstoday.com/articl...

I can’t believe a heavy smoker can smoke till 35 and by the age of 50 have the same risks as a non-smoker. I need a definitive argument against that. Can anyone help me with some links? My current argument is well what if you don’t live up to 30, but need something more concrete, to try and scare her to quit NOW.

18 Replies

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  • Hi Vish - your best intentions are there but unfortuately until your cousin is ready to quit she won't give two hoots about what you say.

    I know for a fact that when before I first tried to quit smoking, I hated non/ex smokers preaching to me about effects on health. I knew that, it's on the back of every fag packet. I think all smokers just think it won't happen to them.

    Maybe you could direct to the forum and she could read some of our posts which may inspire her?

    Like I said your intentions and reasoning is great but she has to want to do it and be ready to quit.

    Tinks :)

  • I know what you are saying and I agree with you. But I don't think people that age truly appreciate how bad it really is. At the end of the document I have said I am not telling her to stop I am educating her on the consequences of her choice to smoke and she can do what she wants with that information. The aim of this is to scare her. I think the fact that she has agreed to listen to what I have to say means that she does want to quit on some level. There is just this one argument of hers I need to find a solid argument against. Saying stuff like quit when you are 35 and you will lead the same life as a non-smoker on the net is just plain wrong. I find it very hard to believe. I am sure it really depends on the genetics of the individual. Shame I don't know any lung/heart doctors.

    I don't have kids but when/if I do, I think the most important thing is educating kids on the effects of smoking and telling them to make up their own mind. I don't think it's done enough at school.

  • I completely understand and respect and agree with what you are saying. And if she is preapred to have a read/listen then perhaps you're right. I was just trying to look at it from her prespective (how I and probably many others would have felt when we were professional smokers). There is some great information in the link in my signature and I'll have a look around now for you to about the 35 age thing. I too thinks that's a load of namby pamby.

    I'll get back as soon as I can

  • quit.org.uk/guides/mythsgui...

    Here you go - page 6 states about the age myth

    Good luck and I hope it helps

  • Hi Vish.

    you might try the whyquit.com website if you're looking for images/info about the nasty side-effects.

    Also article on BBC website about permanent changes to the genes caused by smoking:

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/...

    This paper would indicate there is some truth in the theory that if you give up younger your risk of lung cancer is not so high:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/844...

    But what she won't be taking into account is the longer she smokes, the harder ingrained is the habit, and the harder it is to quit. I started at 19 and never for a moment dreamed I'd be so weak as to still be smoking in my forties. Also, this deals with lung cancer only, not the other cancers and health implications that can be caused by smoking.

    However, I agree with Tinks - you can know all the stuff there is to know and still live in a state of complete denial when you're a smoker. You have to want to stop. And that's something nobody else can do for you.

  • You have to want to stop. And that's something nobody else can do for you.

    Unfortunately that's so true as there's no magic cure.

  • I know what you are saying but I am confident I can scare her enough - to be honest it's not that hard. I just need a good argument for 'well I plan on quit when I am 30'. Cheers for all the links. I am going to leverage that cancer argument and stress that although after 15 years heart attack risks are the same as a non-smoker all other risk factors and health conditions are still at an increased risk, unfortunately. The amount of risk is directly related to what age you started, how much you smoke and how many years you have been smoking for. The longer you smoke the more at risk you are and harder it is to give up. THat's my basis. Cheers for all the help

  • Hey,

    I almost done with this report but need some stats. I am looking for recent figures on the number of smoking related diseases and/or deaths in the UK for people aged between 30 and 40. Anyone have any ideas where I could get something like that from?

    Cheers

  • Latest stats I could find were 'Around 83,900 deaths (18 per cent of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over) in England in 2008 were estimated to be caused by smoking.'

    Full information here;

    ic.nhs.uk/pubs/smoking09

  • Hey - thanks.

    I had found that but am looking for under 35. Any luck on that?

    The last thing I am trying to do to counter the 'I plan on stopping at 30' argument is find facts on smoking related deaths/diseases for people under 35.

  • Wow - just found this table of figures for all drug related deaths in 2006. What a statistic!!!:eek:

    Heroin and morphine--------------------------713

    Methadone ----------------------------------241

    Cocaine (including crack)----------------- 190

    All amphetamines -----------------------------92

    (of which MDMA/ecstasy)----------------------48

    Cannabis -----------------------------------17

    Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) -------------7

    All benzodiazepines ----------------------177

    Zopiclone/Zolpidem -----------------------39

    Barbiturates -----------------------------17

    All antidepressants ----------------------336

    Paracetamol (including compound formulations) 287

    Codeine (non-compound formulation) -----------60

    Dihydrocodeine (non-compound formulation)-----96

    Aspirin ----------------------------------------22

    ********--------------------------------------81

    Alcohol*-----------------------------------6,627

    Tobacco**-------------------------------86,500

  • I have a similar one for the US -

    Cause of DeathHow to Prevent These Deaths 2006 Deaths

    AIDScondoms, education, research12,113

    Asthmano prevention, only treatment3,613

    Auto Accidentsseatbelts, airbags, highway safety, training45,316

    Bike Accidentsreflectors, lights, helmets and training714

    Breast Cancermammography and medical research41,210

    Diabetesmedical research72,449

    Drowninglife jackets, swimming lessons, supervision3,579

    Influenzatreatment, vaccines849

    Fallsawareness, safety harnesses and helmets20,823

    Fires & Burnsalarms, extinguishers, education and planning3,109

    Gun Accidentsdeprive children of access and hunter training642

    Hepatitisvaccine (A&B) and clean needles & testing (C)7,250

    Illegal/Legal Drugsmotivation, education and support24,400

    Leukemiaresearch, exercise, diet, and no tobacco21,944

    Lighteningstay indoors and wear rubber shoes57

    Liver Diseasesound diet, max. 2 oz. of alcohol, research27,555

    Meningitisvaccinations634

    Murderpolice, courts, prisons, awareness18,573

    Poisoningsecure cleaning fluids, poisons and pills27,531

    Prostate Cancertesting, exercise, diet, research28,372

    Shark Attacksawareness, education1

    Skin Cancerlimit sun exposure, use screening products8,441

    Snake Bitesawareness, boots, vaccines5

    Suicide counseling, medication and love33,300

    Syphilisabstinence, condoms, education36

    Tuberculosistreatment, vaccine, education652

    Ulcersavoid tobacco, alcohol and caffeine3,323

    397,479

    TOTAL OF ALL OF THE ABOVE

    SMOKINGTOTAL ANNUAL U.S. SMOKING DEATHS443,00

  • You can find lung cancer mortality rates here:

    info.cancerresearchuk.org/c...

    The bald fact is that the vast majority of smoking related deaths happen in people over 35, although it is possible to find some pretty hideous stories of individuals who have died in their thirties here (www.whyquit.com) and elsewhere.

    However, I'm sure your niece is intelligent enough to grasp that smoking at any age can have an impact on your risk of developing the disease later in life. It's just very hard, especially in the young who think they are immortal, to 'care' about this when addiction has you in its grip.

  • You can find lung cancer mortality rates here:

    info.cancerresearchuk.org/c...

    The bald fact is that the vast majority of smoking related deaths happen in people over 35, although it is possible to find some pretty hideous stories of individuals who have died in their thirties here (www.whyquit.com) and elsewhere.

    However, I'm sure your niece is intelligent enough to grasp that smoking at any age can have an impact on your risk of developing the disease later in life. It's just very hard, especially in the young who think they are immortal, to 'care' about this when addiction has you in its grip.

    Hm... okay maybe not a good route to go down. I'll exclude the stats.

    Well my cousin does know it's bad for her but she keeps saying, well I've done my research and as long I quit before 35 my body will fully recover in 10 years.

    I fail to see the point in sites posting this 'quit before 35 and all your risks drop by 90%' this anyway. Surely it depends on the individual's ethnicity/genes/What age they started/how long/fitness/how many etc etc. There's no way it's so black and white as the studies indicate.

  • A couple of points:

    Statistically being scared into a quit doesn't seem to have good results.

    Quitting hang-gliding, motor-racing or rock-climbing as examples before 35 and relinquishing the 'buzz' is understandable as the body starts to lose it's reflexes etc.

    Continuing to smoke until 35 suggests that there is something positive to be gained from smoking that finally has to be abandoned, the old "I enjoy smoking chestnut."

    If I was trying to steer a smoker to the joys of quitting I'd be working hard on demonstrating how much they despise smoking despite maintaining the pretence of enjoying it...

    Just my take on it... :)

  • Pennies worth

    And here is mine.................

    If I was trying to convince someone to stop smoking I would ask them to type 2 words into Google.....................

    Operation Berkshire.

    Read all you can on the subject and tell me the manufacturers of this evil weed believe there is no health risks to anyone - over or under 35, and all this from 35 years ago..........hmmmmm :mad:

  • Cheers for all the help guys - will definitely incorporate all that.

  • Tobacco Pictorial Warnings

    Hi there,

    I'm doing doing a research survey on the effects of tobacco warning labels towards non-smokers and smokers.

    Maybe this survey can enlighten more info on the adverse effects of tobacco use.

    The survey will only take a minute long.

    surveymonkey.com/s/XP8XV6Q

    And your input will be appreciated!!

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