How Does Smoking Make You Age Faster?

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Smoking cigarettes makes people age faster in that it causes intolerance of exercise, increases the likelihood of respiratory illness or influenza, and decreases the ability to function. Learn about the ways that smoking can make a person old before their time with help from a pulmonary disease research expert in this free video on the effects of smoking.

Part of the Video Series: Effects of Smoking
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Video Transcript

Hello. I am Dr. Davis Burns. I am a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of medicine. One of the common myths about cigarette smoking is that while it may cause you to die earlier. Many young people say they don't want to live to old age, because they would be infirm or unhealthy in old age and they don't miss or are going to regret giving up those years. The problem is that that's not actually the way cigarette smoking works. The way cigarette smoking works to injury the person is that it makes you old before your time. As a young person it decreases your exercise tolerate and makes you less capable of functioning as well as more likely to develop sicknesses like respiratory illnesses or influenza. Then as you get older what happens is you appear based on your level of disability or inability to function to be ten years older than your actual age. So, rather than taking away the ten years at your oldest years when you're more disabled what smoking does is advance those years into those younger years where if you hadn't been a smoker you wouldn't be disabled at all. So, rather than dieing earlier what happens is you become older earlier if you smoke cigarettes.


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