Green tea may save your lungs from smoking

A study conducted by I-Hsin Lin of the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan found that drinking green tea can help to counteract the lung cancer causing damage wrought by smoking cigarettes.

The study found that participants who didn't drink green tea had a fivefold greater risk of lung cancer than people who drank at least one cup a day. Smokers who didn't drink green tea had a 13-fold higher risk of the cancer than smokers who did drink green tea.

The research is certainly interesting, but the risk is that smokers will read it and use it to rationalize not quitting smoking by drinking green tea to mitigate the effects of smoking.

But here's one problem with smoking that no amount of green tea can solve: smoking will make you poor.

In 2004, Duke University health economists calculated that the total cost of smoking -- including expenses for cigarettes and excise taxes, for life and property insurance, medical care for the smoker and for the smoker's family, and lost earnings due to disability -- reaches $220,000 for a man and $106,000 for a woman.

And that doesn't even include the opportunity cost: What if you invested that cigarette money instead of spending on stuff that makes you smell bad and have yellow teeth? Use this calculator from AOL to calculate your own -- or your spouse's, or your parents, or your kid's -- lifetime cost of smoking.

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