We sat down with Dr. Justin Pandoo to chat with him about the importance of quitting smoking plus his thoughts on vaping.
Why is quitting smoking important?
Smoking cessation is so important because there are so many people that have plans for later on in life. Unfortunately, with smoking when you start people don’t feel the effects right away. Effects usually happen later when they’re like hey you know what, when I finish working, this is when I’m going to start. And then, unfortunately, you get things like lung cancer or COPD and all their plans that they had are all changed.
“Oh, it’ll never happen to me” and then all the sudden when it does it really, really, does hurt them for the rest of their life so it’s something that you want to try and stop before you can start.
But the human body is pretty amazing. It actually can kind of regenerate so as long as you give it a break, you’re reducing risks of stroke and heart attack. All those things plus your risk of lung cancer actually decreases within a few years. Not exactly perfect but it drops down and every year you don’t smoke that kind of continues. The risk keeps getting less and less.
What’s the best thing someone should do in regard to smoking?
My advice is don’t start if you can. It’s much easier to not start something than having to quit using it because the way the body works, the reason people are addicted to it, is it’s one of the best drugs that they’ve created in terms of how the body gets addicted to it and it’s very, very, hard to turn it off so if you can avoid it you prevent anything from happening.
It’s better to do something in terms of preventing something from happening than actually dealing with it after the fact so it’s usually the best way to help yourself.
What are your thoughts on vaping?
So, I think one of the issues with vaping is, one, we don’t have enough studies. It’s new so you don’t have enough information to say hey it’s bad or good for you. And I think with that again it still kind of reinforces the habit of smoking. It’s still saying hey you know what you try this, and it is supposed to be okay.
One thing that used to happen in the past initially with cigarettes, the types of filters they used, the particles would hit the central parts of the lung and then they changed it to smaller filters and now it hits the smaller parts of the lung so I mean that just goes to show you that even though they have something new where they’ve done something to try and improve something it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better or safer for you. So, I would think that would definitely be something that the vaping is. People will think of it, “Well it’s just vaping, it’s just okay” but chances are it’s probably not going to be. It’s inhalation, it’s going into the lungs and that is usually going to cause a problem. The body doesn’t like that very much.
Need help quitting? Click here to sign up for our Freedom from Smoking class! The first ten people to sign up will have the fee for the class covered by the CMC Foundation.