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The older adults have a high propensity of suffering the heart related conditions and other effects of prolonged smoking. Main reasons for the development of the complications come from the fact that the elderly smokers are more less seasoned smoker with many years of exposure. On average, the old smokers have been exposed to the smoking habits for over 40 years. The high tolerance of their bodies to nicotine tends to make them heavy smokers. Therefore, the exposure coupled with the high tolerance to the nicotine makes them more problematic patients to deal with. It also increases their propensity of developing health complications from the exposure.
Another issue that comes with the prolonged exposure to smoking is the resistance to the advice that smoking will harm their health (Ojeda, 2002). Elderly people are most likely to have developed the habit of smoking at their younger years. Some of the generations born at the time when smoking was a fad assumed the trend in the society and had all along sought means of upholding it. It is also likely that the reduced awareness campaigns on the effects of smoking during their induction led to their adoption of the smoking behavior as another lifestyle. Few older adults started smoking at the old age hence the average of years of exposure.
Assuming that the older adults have been exposed to smoking for forty years, this make the average introduction age to smoking to be 25 since the definition of an older adult is anyone that is above 65 years. However, the majority of the people may have been inducted into the habit in high school or the college. The same reasons for smoking that motivate the younger people to join the practice apply in the case of the old people since their induction period is the same. Therefore, older adults are mostly comprised of the young smokers that persisted with the habit until their old age. Time factors and the fads in the society also affected their development of the practice (Ojeda, 2002).
Smoking among the adults creates unique issues that are precipitated by the age factor of the smokers. The issues are also linked to the age, perception, prevalence and persistence of the older adult smokers. The age factor brings in issues of the other health conditions that come with the age. Most of the old people have health conditions that may be aggravated by the increased exposure to smoking. Most of the elderly people suffer from lifestyle conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The conditions weaken the body. Smoking aggravates the situation since it increases the effects of the condition (Leung et al., 2004).
Age of the older adult smokers also creates other issues such as the increased exposure. Most of the older adults have been engaging in smoking for long. Continued exposure to smoking makes the older people more to be more high-risk individuals. Older people that have been smoking for a significant part of their life often have a higher chance of continued smoking. The addiction levels of the older smokers are higher than, the younger smokers (Ojeda, 2002). Therefore, the complications of dealing with adult smoking are also related to the age and the period of exposure to smoking. Propensity of smoking among the older adults is higher depending on the time they were introduced to the habit.
The second issue with smoking among the senior citizens comes from the motivator for smoking. Most likely, during the younger years of the smokers, there were fads about smoking. Smoking was by large perceived to be a good habit that made one a classy person. There are still fads on smoking that are primarily promoted in the traditional media. As the depictions of smoking trends changed, there are smokers that have been changing with them. Some of the smokers started the trend on smoking whereby the smoking of the pipe was a fad (Leung et al., 2004). As the people progressed towards the association of smoking cigars with the debonair members of the society, some of the older smokers shifted their focus to the smoking of the same (Leung et al., 2004).
The depiction of smoking is one of the main motivators for the adoption of smoking. Therefore, the older citizens may have adopted the smoking fads and assumed that they were part of life. The little awareness on the adverse effects of smoking did not help. It is imperative that the majority of the elderly smoker adopted the habit since it was depicted in the popular culture of their younger days in a particular light (Ojeda, 2002).
The age factor of the older smokers also affects the way that they view perceptions that are deemed to be new. For instance, it is impossible for the older members to understand the risks of the smoking habits that they have adopted. Owing to this factor, they are most likely to continue with the smoking habits regardless of the renewed actions in the campaigns against smoking. Habitual smokers often cite the fact that they have been doing it for the longest time yet they have not been affected (Leung et al., 2004). Rigidity in focus and the unwillingness of the old to accept new perceptions affects their cessation or consideration of the negative and destructive effects of smoking.
As a result, the smokers have ended up adoption an experiential approach to smoking whereby they have to experience any of the side effects of smoking before they can consider the merits of the arguments against smoking (Leung et al., 2004). Rigid and experiential approach to the cessation campaigns is a detriment to the entire management of the smoking tendencies. The ideal that smoking cannot harm them is misleading too since the evidence collected from years of research indicates that the case is different. Development of a new focus towards the old is called for in order to deal with issues of old age smoking. Failure of which the entire campaign stands to collapse.
Habitual smoking also creates unique biological detriments. The body may not have developed the medical conditions. However, there is no way of telling that it will not develop them in the future. The premise of the arguments of the old people against cessation could be valid for the one that have not improved the health conditions yet (Ojeda, 2002).
However, there is no guarantee that they will not produce the same conditions later on in life. It could be that they have already developed the condition only that their noticing it is pending diagnosis after the indication of the most common symptoms (Leung et al., 2004). However, convincing the old to change is one of the most daunting tasks in the management since, by nature, old people are more resistant to change and they are most likely going to rely on their experiences as the basis for their decisions.
Numerous interventions can be adopted by the health services in handling the issues of elderly smoking. One of the most effective approaches towards the problem is teaching the old on the management of their smoking habit and the detriments. Most of the aged smokers did not undergo through a formal system of education that focused on the other issues of life such as drug use.
Therefore, they are most likely unaware of the adverse effects of smoking. Education through seminars on the effects of smoking to the old is an instrumental tool in the management of smoking habits among the old. According the old, the right education on the effects of smoking presents them with the empowerment to make their decisions regarding smoking. Therefore, a lot of emphases ought to be placed on the promotion of the healthy living by exposing the harmful effects of smoking.
Cessation of smoking habits does not feature automatically. There are complications that might arise from the continued smoking and immediate cessation (Leung et al., 2004). Therefore, the education approach to smoking its effects also has to incorporate the strategies that they can use to come up with the least stressful cessation. The foods and approaches to use towards cessation ought to be promoted in order to create the information on termination.
During cessation, training a lot of emphases ought to be placed on the procedural cessation. Procedural cessation of smoking focuses on the reduction of the number of cigarettes sticks that one smokes per day (Ojeda, 2002). Gradual reduction scale leads to the development of the right approach towards smoking that does not entail the rapid reduction of the nicotine intake. Cessation training ought to focus development of a program on cessation that is dependent on the individual. The level of addiction to smoking ought to be used when designing the procedural cessation program. Customization of the individual cessation leads to the eventual reduction of the level of smoking that the individual has.
The other intervention that can be used in a reduction of the smoking tendencies is finding alternative sources of nicotine for the individuals. Cigarette addiction can be controlled by extraction of nicotine and provision of the same in another form that does not involve smoking (Leung et al., 2004). Nicotine patches and gums are ideal alternatives to the traditional smoking. Use of the alternatives will sustain their desire for nicotine while eliminating the need to smoke. Nicotine patches and gum do not have the other chemicals in the tobacco that one takes in through smoking. For instance, tar from the cigarettes smoke is responsible for the development of cancer.
Cessation of smoking is not an ideal situation for the smokers. Therefore, the management of the condition of addiction ought to focus more on the other issues that affect the health of the elderly. The ideal is to ensure that the entire management interventions are handled in the most efficient manner (Williams, 2002). The combination of the whole gamut of intervention is called for in order for the cessation and handling of the smoking and nicotine addiction to be effective. The training on the management of the issues is called for in order to create the best ideal to the older adults. Therefore, effective management will even start on the quality of training the health officials have.
There are various teaching on smoking that can be instrumental in handling elderly smoking. One of the most prevalent teachings is the carcinogenic properties of the practice. Smoking increases the exposure of the smoker to the carcinogenic properties of smoking. Tar from the smoke can be deposited in the respiratory system leading to the development of cancers such as lung cancer, mouth cancer and throat cancer (Ojeda, 2002).
Smoking also increases the flow of other chemical components to the body impairing the normal functionality (Leung et al., 2004). In addition to the carcinogenic aspects of smoking, smokers take in nicotine, which is one of the most active components of the cigarette smoke. Intake of nicotine increases the chances for the development of cardiovascular condition such as high blood pressure and heart diseases. Smoking also affects the expectant mothers leading to the chances of the development of underweight children.
Smoking leads to the release of secondary smoke. Secondary smoke is the smoke that a smoker lets out after a puff (Williams, 2002). This smoke has reduced effects since the majority of the tar and soot is lodged in the respiratory system of the smokers (Williams, 2002). However, there are other effects of smoking that manifest with the increased exposure to secondary smoke. The third party smoker end up consuming a refined version of the smoke. As a result, the people that are not traditional smokers end up suffering from the same effects of smoking that affect the regular smokers.
There are other aesthetic effects of smoking (Leung et al., 2004). For instance, smoking leads to the development of body odor that can make the existence of the smokers and other people difficult. Smoking leads to the staining of teeth. This affects the personal appearance of the smoker making him or her less appealing.
In conclusion, smoking is detrimental effects to the health of the people that are exposure to it. Smoking affects all smokers in the end. However, the older smokers have a high chance of suffering from the effects of smoking more. Peculiar circumstances surrounding the smoking habits by the old makes them more likely to form complications. Old people are more exposed to smoking given their prolonged exposure (Leung et al., 2004).
They are also more likely to be affected by the negative effects since their body tissues have been weakened by the age and prolonged exposure (Williams, 2002). Cessation of smoking habits is, therefore, a requirement. The management of smoking among the elderly can assume education of the adverse effects of smoking, the cessation training, procedural cessation and use of alternatives. The ideal approach to the management of smoking among the adults is the total cessation since the other solutions are intermediate goals.
Leung, C., Li, T., Lam, T., Yew, W., Law, W., & Tam, C. et al. (2004). Smoking and Tuberculosis among the Elderly in Hong Kong. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 170(9), 1027-1033.
Ojeda, A. (2002). Smoking. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.
Williams, M. (2000). Smoking. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press.
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