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Cigarettes, hookas and asbestos combined: a smoking time bomb

Many Louisiana residents develop habits that may not be good for their health. In fact, if you surveyed people in each of the 50 states, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who never engaged in some type of behavior that placed personal health at risk. When it comes to cigarette smoking, hookas and asbestos, however, not only are there confirmed serious health risks, but any combination of the three creates a potential for health-related disaster.

Most people are exposed to trace amounts of asbestos at some point in their lives. Typically, it doesn't pose any type of health problem. If you've worked in an industry that involved extensive exposure on a repetitive basis, that's another story altogether. In fact, building ships, milling, mining or working in home renovations often exposes workers to dangerous levels of asbestos. If these workers are smokers and also develop cancer, it may be more difficult for them to treat their diseases.

How do asbestos and smoking interact in the body?

There are various sizes of fibers in asbestos. The longer, thinner fibers tend to afflict the lower tracts in human lungs. Whereas wider fibers usually enter upper-respiratory sections and may be more easily cleared from the body, those entering lower tracts tend to become lodged in the lungs. Following are facts explaining how a combination of asbestos and smoking negatively affects cancer patients:

  • Studies suggest people exposed to asbestos who are also or were also smokers at some time are 50 -90 times more at risk for lung cancer than smokers who never dealt with asbestos exposure.
  • Studies show that second-hand smoke is just as dangerous as direct smoking.
  • Asbestos exposure often leads to asbestosis, lung damage caused by repetitive scarring.
  • Some researchers believe smoking exacerbates the situation and may cause asbestosis to occur in those whom asbestos has already affected.
  • At least one brand of cigarettes contains evidence of asbestos in the filters of its products.

Since the 1940s, many worker environments in Louisiana and throughout the United States have exposed workers to high levels of asbestos. It's no secret that many people in the nation also smoke cigarettes, despite warning labels on every cigarette package. If you have been exposed to cigarette smoke and also worked in an industry known for high-level asbestos exposure, and have since developed a lung disease, you may want to further investigate whether a correlation between the two exists. There are support networks in place to assist workers suffering lung diseases that may be related to asbestos.

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