Many gaming venues, especially smaller ones, still permit smoking areas indoors. For some, playing cards means smoking often, or prolonged exposure to second or third-hand smoke. There are many health benefits to quitting and staying smoke-free.
While rates of tobacco use, in general, have continued to decline in recent years, some professions still have higher rates of smokers than others. Professional card players may smoke more often than those in other career fields, despite growing concerns about the dangers of tobacco use. Those who smoke in casinos and other facilities, when able, put themselves and others at additional risks.
Reasons Card Players Smoke
The reasons behind smoking among card players are varied. Some reasons are similar to those in any other profession. Many players begin as youths and find it hard to quit later on. Others may turn to smoking as a source of stress relief. While it may not seem like the most stressful career, professional card players actually deal with a lot of anxiety and stress on the job. They often deal with large sums of money, and the risk of losing can cause some players to turn to tobacco products to relieve the tension.
Dangers of Smoking for Card Players
The dangers of smoking are well known. Use of tobacco products has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, lung cancer, emphysema, and shortened life span. Tobacco smoke impacts virtually every system and organ of the body, from the skin and teeth to the colon and even the eyes. This is true for every smoker, regardless of profession, income, or social status. Card players may present special risks to themselves and to those around them while smoking, however. For instance, those who play in a casino or another public venue expose others to second-hand smoke, if smoking is done indoors.
Even those who leave to smoke outdoors may put others at risk through third-hand smoke exposure. Scientists are just uncovering the true dangers of smoke residue and chemicals which cling to hair and clothing. When a smoker enters a room, these chemicals are reemitted into the air where they can be inhaled by those around them. Even worse, the residue may settle and reenter the air over and over again. This effect is compounded when multiple smokers are present, and each time a smoker takes a smoke break.
The dangers of third-hand smoke are not entirely understood, but researchers are discovering that it may lead to asthma and other lung conditions. Children, the elderly, and those with preexisting health conditions (especially conditions of the lungs) are most at risk from third-hand smoke exposure. The Surgeon General states that there is no safe level of tobacco smoke.
Preventing Health Issues
Smoking is more dangerous when combined with other unhealthy habits, such as living a sedentary lifestyle and eating processed food. However, smoking is still the top cause of preventable death in the world, and there is no safe level of tobacco use. The only way to completely remove the risks of smoking is to quit. While this may be challenging for some, there are tricks and tools available to make the process easier. Smoking cessation aids are a good option for many.