Smoking Seniors – How It Affects Your Health (Guest Post)

The newest generation of young people knows all about the health risks of smoking. They learn
about it in schools, from their parents, and in the media. Many don’t even realize that only a few
decades ago, cigarettes didn’t come with health warnings on the packages. Cigarette ads used
to be targeted towards children with laughing cartoon characters indulging in their smoking habit.

As a result of such messages when they were children, many of today’s seniors are long-time
smokers. Unfortunately, the many decades of long smoking habits lead to many health issues,
making it essential that they quit. Here are some of the health risks involved smoking and more
than enough reasons to quit.


Those who smoke are at a much higher risk for many types of cancer, due to the toxic
chemicals inside of a cigarette. It’s 25 times more likely for somebody who smokes to die of
lung cancer. You also put the people you love at risk of lung cancer with secondhand smoke.
When you quit smoking, you lower the risk of developing bladder, bowel, cervix, colon,
esophagus, kidney, larynx, mouth, pancreas, and throat cancer.


As you get older, your risk of a stroke increases. Strokes are due to a lack of blood flow in the
brain. Smokers have a much higher risk of a stroke, which can lead to larger health problems
like loss of speech, blindness, and partial or full paralysis. The more you smoke, the more of a
risk you’re taking of getting a stroke and having irreparable damage.

Heart and Circulation Issues

Your heart depends on oxygen to do many of its essential actions, but it can’t effectively do its
job when a lack of oxygen is available. The more you smoke, the less oxygen your lungs can
handle, which directly affects the amount of oxygen that gets to your heart. This leads to your
heart beating faster in an attempt to make up for the lack of oxygen. The cigarette smoke can
also block the walls of your blood vessels and arteries, leading to a higher risk of heart attack.

Other Health Issues

Until you quit smoking, your body will be more at risk for oral and lung problems, erectile
dysfunction, trouble sleeping, and cataracts, among many other serious risks. Those who
smoke also age quicker, developing wrinkled and aged skin.


Smokers often find themselves with chronic cough. Coughing is a nuisance in so many ways.
Not only are you coughing up phlegm and feeling constant discomfort, it can also affect your
everyday activities. With a chronic cough, it’s uncomfortable to sit in a movie theater for two
hours or go out to lunch with a friend.

Dulled Senses

Nicotine does a lot to dull your senses. When you’re a smoker, food tastes different– much
blander than for non-smokers. Your sense of smell is also affected. The sooner you stop
smoking, the quicker you’ll get all of your facilities back and in working order.

Less Energy

Many smokers find that they also feel constant fatigue. Once you stop smoking, you’ll find
yourself with more energy than ever before. You’ll finally feel alert enough to do the things that
smoking has kept you from.

It’s never too late to stop smoking, even if you’ve been feeding your habit for over thirty years.
There are tons of resources around for you to use so you can quit that unhealthy addiction.


Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer in Southern California. She is passionate about 
health, and works with Northwest to ensure that senior citizens are as healthy as possible