Reasons Why Homeless People Smoke
The majority of homeless individuals were reported to use tobacco or vaping products before totally losing their houses. According to Eurovap, Those who were already addicted to smoking even before they became homeless had higher chances of being a chain smoker.
As cited by Dr. Travis Baggett of the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, around 2 to 3.5 million people who continue to smoke are from the homeless community.
These homeless people usually have higher stress levels because they face various emotional and psychological issues given their situation. According to studies, they vape or smoke in order to temporarily forget about their unpleasant circumstances and to feel good. Thus, this may be a contributing factor to why they tend to be addicted to smoking or vaping.
There was also an instance when the tobacco business targeted the homeless of America to promote their products. These companies gave free blankets, free cigarettes with their tobacco branding printed on these goods. Moreover, they usually offer financial aid to homeless shelters.
Smoking or vaping is generally dangerous for everybody but health problems more likely arise in the homeless populace.
These groups of individuals are at an increased risk for health problems because they have poor living circumstances. They live in crowded areas where illnesses can easily spread.
Moreover, most of the time the homeless do not have health insurance that allows them to see a doctor for annual medical examinations or for necessary medical procedures once symptoms of illness arise. Thus, discovering critical conditions in their earlier stages like lung disease is difficult.
Effects of Smoking and the Homeless
Tobacco as well as the products used in vaping have thousands of harmful chemicals that cause the human body to deteriorate. Large doses of tobacco may lead to fainting, heart attack, seizures, coma, and loss of consciousness.
Meanwhile, low doses of tobacco can cause mild euphoria, increased alertness, initial stimulation, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, coughing, headaches, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dizziness, bad breath, loss of appetite, bad breath, decreased temperature, and decreased blood flow to fingers/toes.
Those who smoke for a long time and for longer periods can develop trachea and lung cancer. Other deadly diseases caused by smoking are obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic asthma, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer (of the liver, bladder, mouth, stomach, pancreas, rectum, colon, cervix, etc.).
Homeless Smokers Needs Support
The National Coalition for the Homeless emphasized that approximately 80% of the homeless who are in America are smoking cigarettes. Indeed, smoking is a critical issue among the homeless community that must not be neglected but rather given full attention. For the past years, physicians realized that the number of homeless smokers has been increasing at an alarming rate. Thus, we must strive and do our best to decrease this percentage.
Fortunately, there has been an improved public awareness regarding this matter. Health officials have formulated steps and programs to help reduce the number of smokers coming from the homeless group.