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  •  But how? If she stopped, how did... (4+ / 0-)

    she get ill with emphysema?  That's scary.  

    "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." President Barack Obama

    by Jack Dublin on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 09:45:36 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  That's the enigma. (4+ / 0-)

      She hiked and even now still goes to the gym, with her oxygen. In short, she did all the right things to try to rehabilitate her lungs. I have no idea why she got emphysema anyway. She doesn't even live in an industrial area, but rather in a rural area.

    •  It's complicated (6+ / 0-)

      Quitting doesn't mean a free pass, it means (generally) more years of higher quality living.

      If you quit today, your odds of multiple forms of cancer and of COPD will always be higher than a never-smokers.  I'm not sure about heart disease and stroke (if they ever truly match a never-smoker) but those two do get at least close.

      You've damaged yourself. Not all of that damage can be reversed.

      That doesn't mean that you "might as well keep smoking", though.

      MOST of the damage can be reversed.  You can improve your long term odds dramatically (massively).

      Crush the Horror.

      by JesseCW on Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 10:03:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People develop smoking-related illnesses... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timroff, TheFatLadySings

      ...years after quitting all the time. Not just cancers (lung, esophageal/throat, mouth/oral, larynx, and bladder, most often) but illnesses like COPD and Emphysema, too. When you quit smoking, some of your lung function is restored, but it doesn't bring your lifetime likelihood of developing a smoking-related cancer back to zero.

      Likewise, if you've done sufficient damage to your pulmonary system to develop early signs of Emphysema or COPD, you're not going to be able to reverse that, simply stave it off with treatment. You may also have the genetic short straw or environmental factors that make you more suceptable to any of these things. Just because you've quit, doesn't mean you're in the clear - but that's no excuse not to quit, as the sooner you stop, the less continued damage you do to your pulmonary system (and heart, and vascular system, and dental and eye health).

      My Dad (a 50+ year smoker) had chronic bronchitis that was rapidly veering into COPD and severe breathing difficulties. He managed to quit smoking and got rid of the bronchitis, and he has probably added a decade to his life, but that didn't stop him from needing to go on oxygen nine years after quitting.  Damage was already done, the progression is just slower, is all.

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