Heidelberg (DPA / Congratulations) The number of young smokers has been decreasing for years. Thankful development. But at the same time, more and more older people are hanging out on a cigarette: In the case of men, the proportion of smokers in the 55-74 age group increased by almost nine percent between 2009 and 2017, to almost a quarter, as many as 80 to 18.3 percent for women. Due to health consequences, this is an urgent problem from the point of view of health professionals.
The reason for the increase in older smokers is simply demographic development"The increased proportion of smokers in older age groups can be explained by the fact that middle-aged smokers are moving to older age groups," says Ute Mons, Head of Cancer Prevention at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. Because in old age, hardly anyone starts smoking again. The large increase in women is due to the fact that before the 1960s, the 1970s, women very rarely resorted to the plight of misery, explains Mons.
Many smokers in their 50s or 60s may think, "It doesn't matter now, it's no longer worth stopping." That's a mistake, Mons says. Only shortness of breath, coughing and poor performance improved after a few days and a few weeks. Even with serious illness, it doesn't take many years to show positive effects. "If the 60-year-old bans interruption of life, the risk of stroke and heart attack will be significantly less within five to ten years"says Mons. After 20 years, the risk of receiving such cardiovascular disease is equal to the risk of non-smokers. Even with cancer, abstinence works wonders: 10 to 20 years after the last phage, the risk of cancer is significantly reduced, the health scientist explains. The risk of lung cancer halved within 10 years.
Pulmonologist Robert Loddenkemper also thinks quitting is worth it even in old age: "It's never too late to stop." Exhalation measurements already showed in 1977, That abstinence, even at the age of 65, can delay death and disability by about five years. With smoking cessation at age 45, the delay is about ten years.
Also on the cardiology side, it is advisable to say goodbye to the smoke. Quitting smoking after bypass, which is usually performed on elderly patients, extends the life expectancy of studies by three years, says Helmut Gohlke of the German Cardiac Stirrer Board of Directors. "The stopping effect is greater than the intervention."
Because nicotine is a very potent drug, quitting smoking is very difficult in the long run. Withdrawal was associated with irritability, sweating and poor sleep – symptoms that stopped after one to two weeks, Mons says. Mental addiction is even more of a problem. Smoking is associated with certain everyday situations, such as a coffee cigarette or while waiting for a bus, so you are constantly seduced. Apples or chewing gum as a substitute can help. Mons advises quitting courses. Their doctor and family doctors would have to relate to each other, but even better.
Quitting Glimmstängel is not easy for smokers in this country, according to Mons. "Germany is the only country in the EU where cinema and outdoor advertising, as well as cigarette distribution at events, are allowed." As a reason, Mons doubts the power of the tobacco lobby. Although tobacco is hardly grown in Germany, it is one of the largest tobacco importers and the largest exporter of cigarettes, according to Mons. In addition, they exist in Germany because it is the largest manufacturer of cigarette manufacturing machines. Cardiologist Gohlke agrees with a DKFZ expert. There is virtually no commitment to smoking in the Bundestag and the Ministry of Health.
The most promising way of reducing or eliminating smoke is, according to Mons., A wallet. Consumer billing should be more painful after homeopathic doses than the tobacco tax increase in 2005. At that time, the number of smokers decreased significantly, and young people did not even come up with ideas. Mons argues for a further significant increase: "A ten percent tax increase brings a five percent drop in spending."
Unfortunately, former federal chancellor and chain smoker Helmut Schmidt has always ignored the findings on the health effects of smoking, said Loddenkemper, a former president of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine. His public appearances with a cigarette in his hand were counterproductive. "I don't want to know how many seniors he stopped." Schmidt died in 2015 at the age of 96 – the consequences of circulatory disorders are colloquially known as the smoker's leg.