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New research conducted by the Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island has shown that smoking is significantly more prevalent among people with reduced mobility. The study of over 13,000 people showed that people with mobility problems were far more likely to be smokers than those without restricted mobility.

New research conducted by the Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island has shown that smoking is significantly more prevalent among people with reduced mobility. The study of over 13,000 people showed that people with mobility problems were far more likely to be smokers than those without restricted mobility.

Not only are people with mobility issues more likely to smoke, but it is also generally the case that they will find it more difficult to give up smoking and will require more support with quitting than people who have full mobility. Worse still, smoking can lead to health problems which can worsen mobility issues 

Smoking With Reduced Mobility and Other Conditions
Smoking can exacerbate existing health problems

Smoking and other conditions

Everyone is familiar with the clear link between smoking and lung cancer in later life, but research now demonstrates that smoking can also increase the risk of developing other conditions. For smokers there is a higher likelihood of developing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other medical issues which result in reduced mobility. Osteoporosis is another condition which can be aggravated by smoking.

One of the problems is that the toxins in cigarette smoke have an adverse effect on the balance of hormones in the body, which can result in the liver producing enzymes which cause bone loss. According to Primal Kaur, a leading osteoporosis expert based in Philadelphia, smoking can also increase the production of the hormone cortisol, which in high quantities can lead to bone damage. Smoking also causes damage to nerves, including those in the feet and toes. This can lead to an increased risk of falls, potentially resulting in further loss of mobility.

Other benefits of giving up smoking

Some benefits are very quick, while others give improved health and reduced risk over time. According to NHS advice, giving up smoking can help to reduce blood pressure within hours. After just three days people start to experience a boost to energy levels and within 12 weeks people can expect to have better circulation.

One year after stopping smoking, a person's risk of having a heart attack will have decreased by 50%. It's also never too late to reduce the risk of lung cancer. A person who gives up smoking at the age of 30 can gain 10 years of life, and quitting at 60 can still gain a person an extra 3 years on average.

There is plenty of help available for those who want to give up smoking. For ideas and support groups relating to quitting smoking visit NHS Livewell.

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