The events of 9/11 caused stress levels to soar. Such emotions can make people pick up old, unhealthy habits. One habit that many reverted to was cigarette smoking.
A recent study found that about 1 million former smokers had started again due to stress from 9/11.
The researcher, Dr. Michael Pesko, analyzed reports showing annual rates of risky personal behavior. They included information about seat belt use, and drinking and smoking habits. The reports also showed the days that people said they felt stressed.
Pesko compared the specific days that people felt stressed against the ones who started smoking again. He found that from the end of 2001 to 2003, the number of former smokers who started again ranged from 950,000 to more than 1 million. They were located all over the country, not just in New York or the surrounding areas.
Pesko looked at the costs of treatment that Medicare and Medicaid covered for patients who had a smoking-related illness. He also examined the tax revenue from cigarette purchases. The government spent between $530 million and $830 million on people who resumed smoking after 9/11 up until 2003.
It’s important to recognize the source of your stress so that you can start helping yourself. If you don’t, stress can lead to more than smoking cigarettes—you may be tempted to use hard drugs or drink alcohol leading you to drug rehab to treat your addiction. Also, stress can take a toll on body organs, like your heart.
When you feel stressed, how do you keep yourself from smoking again? Share below or on our Facebook page.
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