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Possible after 60 years?

Discussion in 'Tobacco / Nicotine' started by LoyalServant, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Member

    Good afternoon,

    My grandfather, who is now 82 has consistently been smoking for the past 60 years. Though he is armed with legendary health the past couple of years have been very difficult for him, both on a physical but also on a mental level. His doctor diagnosed him with level 1 emphysema and his brother, who was also a heavy smoker, past away from lung cancer 3 months ago. Needless to say my grandfather is having a harder time breathing and most physical activities have become a thing of the past.

    Regardless, he keeps on smoking! He is aware smoking is having terrible effects on him but that it also hurts my grandmother. The reality is that he desperately wishes to stop but cannot seem to persevere for more than 2-3 days after which he vigorously begins smoking again.

    Smoking is a habit that has lived with him for over 60 years. He knows how dangerous cigarettes are, he sees the negative effects they have on his life but he just can't seem to stop. Among all the publicity that surrounds smoking and the different tactics employed to help people stop - I started thinking: is it to late for my grandfather? Should he continue smoking without worrying about the effects instead of continuously trying to fight this uncontrollable urge? What do you guys think - is there an age where you shouldn't stop smoking?

    rabst likes this.
  2. leahcim132

    leahcim132 Member

    Is is sad to hear that smoking is effecting you grandma as well.
    Maybe a healthier(?) alternative is to use a e-cigarette? I mean, it has been a while since he first started smoking so why not use something less harmful? Give it a shot, it might work.

    Just my 2 cents.
    rabst likes this.
  3. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I know someone who has been smoking for 60 years. Although he hasn't been diagnosed with any smoking-related health illnesses, he did have a lot of tests done recently to make sure. Upon discussing the situation with his doctor, the doctor advised him that it could be more dangerous to attempt giving up smoking than it would be to just carry on, due to the fact that he had been smoking for so long.
    rabst likes this.
  4. allswl

    allswl Member

    The thing about smoking is that like any other addiction, its effects are different for different people and right now no one knows why some people suffer almost immediately while others the effects take longer and are gradual. i hope your grandfather will get some help to stop smoking, if not to extend his life a while longer.
  5. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There's no right age to beat an addiction. Most people who are old think that since they've been using a substance for as long as they can remember it would be impossible to stop.

    It's the attitude that makes it difficult. For your grandfather's case though since he's been smoking for a very long time, quitting cold turkey won't be a good solution. He'll need to gradually cut down on the cigars he smokes every day and after some time stop smoking completely. It won't be easy but if he's willing to fight the addiction then it's possible for him to stop smoking eventually.
  6. juliaintheclouds

    juliaintheclouds Active Contributor

    I am sorry to hear about your grandfather's health and even worse to hear it's affecting your grandmother. It's a tough situation for someone that old. I smoked for 17 years and it was very hard for me to stop, I can't imagine what it would be like after 60. The habit really becomes part of your existence and even your identity. If he sees the effects on his health and wants to stop it's possible that he can, but if he's resistant to the idea I'm afraid you'll just have to step back and allow him to make his own decisions.
  7. Davienna

    Davienna Community Champion

    This is going to be a great challenge but it is possible, just pray about it and keep encouraging him. I see he has taken a wrong approach, by not smoking for two to three days, that may do more harm than good. He should try and reduce his intake gradually, it is a process and not an over night thing. My grandpa died at age 82 after being diagnosed with lung cancer for two months, he smoked until he could not get access to cigars but he would not have let it go otherwise.
  8. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    If he's going to go ahead and try to quit, then he should definitely do it gradually. Giving up too suddenly after smoking for so long can potentially be quite dangerous. Once free of smoking, the lungs can replenish within seven years.
  9. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    At 82 he's in his sunset years and considering that he has been smoking for the last 60 years,i think the best approach would be to minimize the number of sticks he smokes on a daily basis and maybe encourage him to stick to a healthy diet to counter the effects of smoking in his system.
  10. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    I think that you can never be too old to quit an addiction for good. An elderly friend of mine faced a similar problem like your grandfather. His doctor prescribed him some special drugs that suppressed his need to smoke after every other method of trying to give away the smokes, failed. Whenever he lit up a cigarette the effect from the tablets would kick in and make him feel sick. Needless to say that he only did it a few times before he saw the point.
    Personally, I wouldn't recommend pharmaceuticals to stop smoking, but in my friend's case it seemed to be necessary as he had been smoking for over 35 years one and a half packets of cigarettes a day...
  11. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    My grandpa quit smoking after a life-long habit, but he went to chewing tobacco, so he tried one vice for another. In a way I suppose chew is better. At least others around you don't have to breathe it. Years later, he got cancer, and was given a year to live. He went back to smoking until he died. Your grandpa still has time life. He also has emphysema, and that is only going to be aggravated by smoking. I would suggest you gently coaxed your grandpa away from it, if you can. I can't see anything good coming from cigarettes...ever.
  12. MissLisa

    MissLisa Member

    I don't think that it is ever too late, and although the body may not reverse it's affects, there could be a change of living a little longer. He may need help with quiting. he may need to start off using some kind of safe substitute before he could go cold turkey.
  13. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I once heard of a man who needed an oxygen mask to breathe because of years of heavy smoking and yet he still smoked. I don't think it's ever too late to stop but it takes a lot of willpower and dedication and it will probably take a lot more from someone who is that old and possibly has a little less to lose than most. I would recommend trying to get him to switch to vaporizers because it's available now and it might just do the trick. It's at least worth a try because it exists now as an alternative and I think it would be a waste not to look into it.
  14. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I read that you begin getting health benefits immediately after quitting. You start breathing better in a matter of weeks, as the crud starts to clear out. I am doubting that you will ever be 100% of your healthy state, before smoking, but it most definitely would prolong your life longer than continuing to smoke.
  15. bluedressed

    bluedressed Community Champion

    I also don't think it's ever too late... They say that every cig takes about 4 minutes of your life, on average. Even at 80, it's not too late to get a couple of hours, days or weeks back! That said, stopping to smoke is different for every person. We all know (kind of!) those people with throat problem that keep smoking through the hole in their throat, just as we know this one person who wakes up one day and never touches another cigarette in their life and never one second regrets it!

    I think stopping to smoke is twofold: first, getting the nicotine out of the body (it is an addictive substance, after all!), second, breaking the triggers, which can be hard and might be the ground of falling back anytime. My granny stopped to smoke for months; then my dad came along and offered her a smoke to get on the balcony and before you know it, they were there coughing and she was back to being a chain smoker.

    Urgh. I do wish the best for your grandpa! If he looks like he wants it, it's a good first step, and I hope your granny will be fine, too.
  16. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    What causes him to smoke? Is it just the habit? just 'well, the cigarettes are there, and the lighter is there ... must be time to light up!'? Can you- or somebody else-just sneak-in a crossword-book and a pen (or maybe some Altoids or Dum-Dums or other candy) where he normally keeps his cigarettes & lighter?
  17. kita

    kita Member

    I think it is possible even after 80 years if the person is willing to try and dedicate themselves to that decision. However, judging from your post, your grandfather does not strike me as someone ready to quit. Speak to him and let him know how much his smoking worries you. I suggest you introduce him to 'healthier' alternatives like e-cigarettes. And if he doesn't quit or at least try your suggestions, do not be too hard on him. To quit smoking is really, really difficult.
  18. rabst

    rabst Active Contributor

    It's kinda like not scratching the back of your head ... the secret is to stop the itch. (How do you stop the itch? Let it alone, and it stops itself).

    Also like the real way to stop thinking of the Pink Elephant ... start thinking about the Purple Rhinocerous! (I'm sitting here with my toddler-nieces, so I'm using some really trippy logic.)


    This group on Facebook made me think of ANOTHER aide in quitting - the fellowship of others who are trying to quit!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
  19. emily0531

    emily0531 Member


    I'm sorry to hear that your grandfather is having such a difficult time quitting smoking. My dad, age 69, also smoked for many decades. He tried, repeatedly, to quit but would end up starting again. It took an extreme health crisis to make him give up cigarettes. For him, the crisis that occurred was that he developed blood clots in his lungs after coming down with the shingles virus. His doctor believes that the combination of having shingles, smoking, and sitting in a car for many hours as he was doing some traveling, caused the life-threatening blood clots. I don't think people are aware that smoking can cause serious complications when combined with other adverse health conditions. I hope that your grandfather can find a way to quit. If he has a doctor that he likes, maybe he can ask him/her for help.
    rabst likes this.
  20. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    After 60 years of smoking, it's certainly harder to stop smoking. Almost every smoker knows that cigarettes are harmful, but that isn't always enough to make somebody stop. Your grandfather is 82 years old, and also this is a sad way of thinking, a lot of elder smokers at that age sometimes just take the excuse that they are already so old that it isn't worth stopping anymore. Maybe he also believes he can't stop and doesn't even try because he doesn't want to fail and disappoint everyone who believed in him. Cigarettes are addictive, especially if you have smoked for so long since they became a habit a long time ago. Maybe you could try to find a substitute for your grandfather, like these cigarettes that you get at the pharmacy that are supposed to help you stop smoking, or electronic cigarettes (I don't know a lot about them to be honest so maybe check if they aren't actually worse then normal cigarettes). However if your grandfather really wants to stop I hope he will get there. Best of Luck.
    rabst likes this.