The list of rockers who have lost their hearing includes The Who's Pete Townshend, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, and Ozzy Osbourne.
That’s not surprising because when the music cranks up to 120 decibels, damage to the inner ear is instantaneous, and cumulative exposure to lower but still loud levels eventually does serious harm.
The same is true for smoking cigarettes. A couple of smokes a day or a week may seem harmless, but they are. Whether you puff 20 a day or five a month, you're increasing your risk for disability, and likely cutting your life short.
A study in JAMA Open Network looked at data on more than half a million Americans to see the outcomes for daily and nondaily smokers compared with people who never smoked.
It showed that those who smoked one to six cigarettes a day had an 82% higher risk of dying over about 20 years than never-smokers. And even folks who smoked fewer than five cigarettes a month had an 18% jump in all-cause death.
Another study in BMJ found that going from 20 to around one cigarette a day only cut your very elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in half — not a big reward for a big reduction.
Other data indicate that a pack a day makes you function as if you were 10 years older.
If you've cut down, make it a short stop on your way to quitting completely. For help stopping, visit www.cdc.gov and search for "How to Quit Smoking."