September 17, 2013
Bad Habit: That Saturday-Night Cig
Featuring:Dr. Len Horovitz, Lung Specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital
Every puff floods your pipes with a Molotov cocktail of at least 70 cancer-causing agents, including formaldehyde (used to embalm dead bodies) and benzene, an ingredient in gasoline. Besides being directly responsible for 80 percent of female lung cancer deaths in America every year, cigarette smoke causes damage to the mouth and esophagus, bladder and kidneys, larynx, reproductive organs, pancreas and more. "Even a few a day will increase your risk for cancer and double or triple your risk for heart disease," says Len Horovitz, M.D., an internist and lung specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
You can get away with zip, nada—especially on those nights out: Alcohol and tobacco actually enhance each other's damaging effects, so lighting up while imbibing is even more dangerous than smoking alone. "You need a zero-tolerance policy," says Dr. Horovitz. Quit, and after 10 years your risk of dying from lung cancer will be half that of a current smoker.