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Will Smoking Kill You? New Charts Tell You the Odds

September 27, 2008 | 44,635 views

risk, oddsA 55-year-old man who smokes is as likely to die in the next 10 years as a 65-year-old who has never smoked. Less than 1 woman in 1,000 younger than 50 will die in the next decade from cervical cancer.

New risk charts in a paper published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute provide a broader perspective than most of the risk calculators on the Internet. They cover the risks for 10 different causes of death, and for all causes combined, while differentiating by age and between smokers, nonsmokers and former smokers.

People are often presented with statistics intended to frighten them about a particular disease. But a disease may present a large risk to some and very little to others. These charts can allow you to find out what your own odds really are.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

These charts are somewhat useful if you smoke and are looking for some motivation to quit. A quick glance of the charts show, as most people realize, that smokers have higher risks of many diseases.

That’s about as far as their usefulness goes, though, as they only compare age, gender and whether a person smokes, has formerly smoked or has never smoked. As most of you reading this know, there’s a lot more that goes into your risk of disease than just your age, gender and smoking status.

How about adding in your:

• French fry quota (how many French fries have you eaten in your lifetime?)
• Sun exposure (which will increase your vitamin D level and cut your risk of cancer by 50%)
• Ability to handle stress (do you rage over everything or are you calm and mellow?)
• Cell phone minutes (some experts are already saying that cell phones are just as dangerous as cigarettes)

• Life experiences (has your life been pretty good, or have you suffered emotional traumas -- and more importantly, have you addressed them?)
• Location (do you live somewhere with clean air and plenty of sunshine, or somewhere polluted with little time outside)?
• Physical activity (how often do you exercise)?

Of course the list could go on and on, and that’s just the point I’m trying to make. There is an endless list of factors that influences your risk of disease. I would not count on any chart to give you an adequate feeling of that.

I also wouldn’t spend too long obsessing over whether you’re going to get this disease or that, as focusing your mind on illness is a good way to manifest it in your body. So instead of worrying about what your risk of disease is, I’d suggest you take an interest in what you can do to propel your body toward wellness.

The TOP Three Routes to Health

If your goal is to stay healthy for a long time, or to return to a healthy state after facing some health challenges, these are the most important, “do them right now,” “most bang for your buck” things to do:

1. Start paying attention to what you eat. Not from a calorie or fat perspective, but from a quality, nutrition one. Focus your diet on the foods that are right for your nutritional type, and make sure they are (as much as possible) non-GMO, fresh, pesticide-free, and, often, eaten raw.

2. Get moving. Your body needs to move around to be healthy, and it needs this on a daily basis. Do whatever it takes to get motivated -- get a personal trainer, a gym buddy or some new workout gear -- and start exercising today

3. Resolve your emotional traumas, and keep a positive outlook. Your emotional state may very well be the biggest influence on your health there is, and I can honestly say that you cannot be optimally healthy if you’ve got unresolved emotional issues weighing you down.

I recommend using relaxation techniques and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on a daily basis to keep your stress levels down, and working with an EFT practitioner to help you work through any serious emotional trauma.

Once you have got these down, you will be well on your way to living your life to its fullest -- and longest -- potential.

How Long Can You Actually Live?

It does not seem unrealistic that in the not too distant future, science will be able to add one year of longevity per year, so the AVERAGE life expectancy could be over 100 years in the next 30 years or so.

As for maximum life expectancy, the more I study this area and learn from people like Aubrey De Grey, one of the leading anti-aging researchers, the more I believe the human lifespan could potentially reach well beyond 120 years old.

Ironically, even though most people express an interest in living to their maximum potential, many people refuse to use the available methods that are sure to slow aging and extend your life.

By adhering to the following basic tenets of optimal health, you will not only extend your lifespan, you will build a healthy mind and body, and safeguard yourself against a multitude of health problems and serious diseases.

1. Eat a healthy diet that’s right for your nutritional type (paying very careful attention to keeping your insulin levels down)

2. Drink plenty of clean water

3. Manage your stress

4. Exercise 

5. Get appropriate doses of sunlight

6. Limit toxin exposure

7. Consume healthy fat

8. Eat plenty of raw food

9. Optimize insulin and leptin levels

10. Get plenty of sleep


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