7 Habits That Are Just As Bad (Or Worse) As Smoking

Burning gas on kitchen gas stove

Smoking cigarettes is bad. We all know that. There are commercials for it. Billboards for it. Shoot, even on the label of every pack of cigarettes tells you that from the Surgeon General, yet people still do it. And for those who don’t do it, you think you may be better off? Well think again.

If you’re doing any of these see seemingly harmless things, you could be worse than a smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

1. Sitting all day

Sitting for lengthy periods of time causes many health problems, whether you are sitting at your desk at work, on your couch in front of the TV or in your car.

According to 2014 research, inactivity is associated with almost 160,000 cases of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer every year – this is around two-thirds as many cases as caused by smoking.

In addition to cancer, you are also at risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even premature death – even if you exercise regularly! Try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods and take frequent breaks at work.

2. Using Vegetable Oil

Who knew cooking could pollute the air? Apparently a number of studies in residential and restaurant kitchens have found that high-heat cooking with vegetable oil, also known as shortening or soybean oil, releases particulate matter, aldehydes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are all found in cigarette smoke and have been linked to airway inflammation. Instead of veggie oil, switch to olive oil.

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3. Cooking with natural gas

There’s a few words missing with the title of this one: make sure you use a vent hood. Did you know that every time you cook, you get a dose of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde? Those are the same contaminants present in secondhand cigarette smoke. Use a vent hood to reduce the pollution levels if you can’t discontinue using a gas stove.

4. Not getting enough sleep

Sleep deprivation not only makes you cranky and inefficient, it also hampers your body productivity in a multitude of other ways.

Lack of sleep can trigger high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and obesity; and even fragmented sleep can accelerate the growth of tumours. A study suggests that getting less than six or seven hours of sleep led to mortality rates equivalent to those in cigarette smokers.

5. Smoking Hookah

The social aspect of smoking is one of the reasons many people get started in the first place. The same is true of smoking hookah, which many believe to be better for your body than cigarettes. Sadly, this method of inhaling tobacco is just as bad, actually worse. One 2013 study revealed the water pipes actually expose users to higher levels of benzene, which has been linked to leukemia.