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REDUCING YOUR RISK OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE: WHO SMOKES—AND WHY?

by admin - July 3rd, 2011.
Filed under: Cardio & Blood-Cholesterol.

The percentage of people in the United States who smoke has gradually declined during the past 2 decades. The probable reasons are an increasing awareness of health concerns, non-smokers becoming more outspoken and unaccepting of smokers, and more restrictions on  smoking in  public places. Nevertheless, nearly a third of men and a fourth of all women smoked in 1988. If current trends continue, by the turn of the century the prevalence of smoking in this country will be about 20 percent, but by then more women than men will be smoking. Although that is an improvement in the overall number of people smoking, it still will represent a large percentage of the population and a very large number of people.Why do people expose themselves to this risk? For many established smokers, the answer is that they have developed a repetitive behavior that is triggered by many cues—stress, meals, conversations on the telephone. Smokers also develop a physical need for the constituents of tobacco, especially nicotine, to function comfortably and to avoid withdrawal. This behavior pattern and addiction can be overcome.Despite all that is known about the dangers of smoking, an estimated 3,000 children begin smoking every day. More children are likely to die ultimately from cigarettes than from drugs or alcohol. Of course, future health problems seem remote or nonexistent to young people.When young people start smoking, underlying motives are likely to include a combination of factors such as peer group acceptance, rebelliousness against authority, and a perception that smoking imparts an image of jaunty individuality. Smoking has been considered by some to be an outward expression of exercising one’s rights. All of these attitudes have been capitalized on by advertising, but they are progressively changing. Increasingly, smoking is being perceived by young people and adults as an annoying, dangerous habit.*232\252\8*

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