Medical Q&As

Smoker - concerned about my health?

I am a 36-year-old female and am concerned about my health. I smoke approximately 8 cigarettes per day and drink about 2 to 3 bottles of wine in a week. What can I do to improve my health apart from giving up smoking?

I donít wish to appear facetious in my answer but your question sounds a little bit like asking how do I reduce my risk of having a road traffic accident while continuing to drive in excess of the speed limit. The single most important thing you can do to improve your health is to reduce your consumption of cigarettes and preferably to give them up altogether. The harmful effects of cigarettes are dose related, which means that the more you smoke the greater the risk of developing a smoking related disease. Conversely if you reduce your level of smoking you reduce the level of risk. I would suggest that you visit your GP to discuss your specific health concerns. Your doctor can advise you on these matters and if appropriate can perform suitable tests. Your doctor can also assist you to stop smoking. I donít underestimate the difficulties involved in giving up cigarettes because nicotine is a highly addictive drug. However, stopping cigarette smoking is the single most important step you could take for the betterment of your health. I am not concerned about your level of wine consumption, which is within acceptable limits.