Common, Deadly Habits You Should be Aware Of


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Written by: Steve Fillmore

We all have bad habits. But some habits are worse than others and some can wreak havoc on your health. Unfortunately, chances are pretty high that you fit into at least one of these categories, or know of someone who does.

Here are 30 statistics about some of the most common unhealthy habits. Where do you stack up?

1. In 2010, 19% of all adults in the United States were smokers.

2. A 2010 study found that 10.7% of youths between the ages of 12 and 17 had used tobacco within the past month, down from 15.2% in 2002.

3. It is estimated that 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease (or COPD) are caused by smoking.

4. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who have never smoked and women are 13 times more likely to do the same.

5. Smoking is most commonly associated with lung cancer, but it can also cause numerous other types of cancers. These include acute myeloid leukemia, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and cancers of the mouth and throat.

6. Smoking may be the cause of as many as 30% of all deaths from coronary heart disease each year in the United States and it nearly doubles one’s risk of ischemic stroke.

7. Tobacco kills almost six million people worldwide each year. This translates to one death every six seconds.

8. The average smoker dies 13 to 14 years earlier than the average nonsmoker.

9. According to a 2011 CDC survey, 51.5% of U.S. adults were regular drinkers and 13.6% were occasional drinkers.

10. In a survey conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, 28.8% of women and 43.1% of men admitted to binge drinking at least once in the past year. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks within two hours for men.

11. A 2011 survey found that 39% of high school students had consumed alcohol within the past month. 22% had binge drank, 24% had ridden with a driver who had been drinking and 8% had driven themselves after drinking.

12. According to the Department of Transportation, 31% of drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who were killed in car crashes in 2008 had been drinking.

13. Three out of ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic accident during their lifetime.

14. Excessive alcohol use can lead to a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, depression, gastrointestinal problems and liver diseases. It has also been associated with cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon and breast.

15. Consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks is a common practice among young drinkers. Those who mix these drinks are 3 times more likely to binge drink than the average drinker.

16. 25% of all U.S. drivers and almost 40% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 say that they talk on their cell phones regularly or fairly often while driving.

17. 9% of all U.S. drivers and over 25% of those between the ages of 18 and 29 admit to texting or emailing regularly or fairly often while driving.

18. Using a cell phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity dedicated to driving by 37%.

19. Each time a driver sends or receives a text, he takes his eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At a speed of 55mph, that’s enough time to drive the length of a football field.

20. In 2010, it is estimated that 416,000 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents that involved a distracted driver and 3,092 were killed in such accidents.

21. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. However, in a 2007 survey, nearly 30% of adults said that they average less than six hours of sleep per night.

22. Chronic sleep loss has been linked to a number of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It is also known to contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

23. Frequent wearing of high heels can cause permanent physiological damage. A 2012 study found that women who wear high heels on a regular basis have an altered gait even when they walk barefooted and over time calf muscles, ligaments and tendons shorten.

24. In 2010, 5.6% of American adults said that they had tanned indoors within the past year. Young white females were the most likely to participate in indoor tanning, with 31.8% of 18 to 21 year olds and 29.6% of 22 to 25 year olds doing so.

25. A single indoor tanning session increases the user’s risk of melanoma by 20%. Each additional session within the next year further increases the risk by nearly 2%.

26. Tanning indoors four times per year increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma by 15%.

27. UV radiation from indoor tanning damages DNA in the skin cells and can lead to premature aging, eye problems and suppression of the immune system.

28. A 2011 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average American watches 2.8 hours of television each day.

29. A 2010 study by scientists from the University of Queensland, Australia found that each hour of time spent watching TV could shorten one’s life by 22 minutes.

30. Watching TV is bad for you because it involves long periods of sitting, takes away time that could be spent on physical activity and is linked to overconsumption of unhealthy foods.

The evidence is clear: Habits such as smoking, drinking and watching too much television can lead to serious health problems and shorten your lifespan and impaired or distracted driving can be deadly. These statistics are quite sobering, but if they inspire change, they have served a useful purpose.

Instead of feeling down about where you may be in your life right now, I encourage you to use this information to create awareness and inspire positive change. You can break the cycle and you are worth the effort! 🙂

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Drew Canole

Drew Canole

CEO at
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.

As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
Drew Canole

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