The television series "Mad Men" was all too accurate on one count: In 1955 almost 57 percent of men and 30 percent of women smoked cigarettes.
Fortunately, those numbers are down to around 18 percent of the population these days; fewer and fewer kids and teens are even trying cigars or cigarettes, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey.
For those who do smoke cigarettes, the news about the damage it does is ever more alarming.
Not only does smoking trigger COPD and lung cancer, lead to heart attack, and stroke, and increase chronic back pain, it doubles the risk of osteoporosis-related bone fractures.
And older smokers tumble more often than nonsmokers (poorer neuromuscular control), which causes breaks, too.
For women, there's a fivefold and for men an eightfold increase in the risk of death from any cause during the three months post-break.
As if that weren't upsetting enough, according to a new study in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, smoking alters your DNA — some of it for up to 30 years after you stop smoking.
And those changes continue your increased risk for heart disease and cancer.
But even though some risks persist, quitting smoking will make you healthier immediately. Some smoking-altered DNA returns to "never smoked" levels in five years.
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