Second-Hand Smoke Harms Your Bones

Another reason you'll want to talk to a friend or a family member about quitting smoking immediately, besides all the obvious ones: Second-hand smoke boosts a man's and woman's risks of osteoporosis.

To test their theory, researchers reviewed the medical histories of more than 14,000 Chinese men and women (before and after menopause) for non-spine fractures, smoking habits and hip bone mineral densities. The numbers tell the real story:

  • Non-smoking pre-menopausal women more than doubled their risk of osteoporosis when living with a smoker as compared to a non-smoker.
  • Patients living with two smokers or more tripled their odds of osteoporosis.
  • The risk of non-spine bone fractures were elevated more than 2.5 above the norm.

What's more, in a separate study monitoring the health of 1,000 young male adults, the bone density in the spines, hips and bodies of smokers fell too, reducing the thickness of their cortical bones, especially in the hips.

No doubt, smoking is a bad habit that hurts you and, especially, those you love, not to mention how it depletes your pocketbook.

The safest and best way to quit is by committing to complete abstinence, not gradual reduction. And that's a tough road made far easier and safer than any drug by using an energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.

BBC News August 6, 2006

Forbes.com August 6, 2006

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