How Does Smoking Affect An Older Adult’s Health?

[Music] – Health problems start
when individuals are really in the very early stages of smoking. They can detect
changes in the body that are indicating the start
of health problems or damage. However, it’s really
when individuals start to get over the age of 50
that a lot of the things that are of really big concern begin to take root. Fundamentally,
the damage from smoking impacts almost every single part of your body, from your skin,
to your brain, to all of your organs,
to your immune system function. In fact, there are very,
very few parts of your body that are spared the negative
effects of tobacco. Now, some of the real
common things that most people already
know about include cancer. And there are about a dozen
different types of cancer that are associated
with smoking. ANNOUNCER: Smoking increases
your risk for: There are other things
that can also be impacted. Clearly, your lungs, ranging from
that smoker’s cough to very significant permanent
lung problems that can occur that would never get better
once they happen. Smoking also damages
your heart. And this can include damage
to the actual heart muscle, but it also includes
increasing the plaque that builds up
in your bloodstream. This is the stuff
that when it breaks off causes heart attacks
or strokes. In addition to that, anybody who has
an infectious disease, their ability to
fight off that infection is also damaged by smoking. So cancer is really
just the tip of the iceberg of the many,
many parts of your body that can be damaged
by smoking. ANNOUNCER: If you or someone you
know wants help to quit smoking, call the National Cancer
Institute’s smoking quit line toll free
at 1-877-44u-quit. That’s 1-877-448-7848. You may also visit To learn more about quit
smoking tips for adults 50+, visit the “Quitting Smoking
for Older Adults” topic on the NIHSeniorHealth website at