6 Dangerous Habits That Are as Bad as Smoking

Although not as frowned upon as smoking, there are some habits that we consider harmless, like not getting enough sleep.
6 Dangerous Habits That Are as Bad as Smoking
Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas

Written and verified by the doctor Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Most of us have some dangerous habits that we do every day. Everyone knows that smoking is an addiction that can have serious consequences on our body. However, there are some practices that are just as dangerous that may be a part of your lifestyle and that is putting your health at risk.

Continue reading this article to learn about 6 daily habits that are just as dangerous as smoking.

See also: 5 Nighttime Habits to Feel Less Tired

How bad is smoking?

In order to have a little context, here are some alarming facts about smoking:

Smoking damages almost every organ in the body and is directly responsible for a series of diseases. 

It is estimated that 1 of every 2 smokers will die because of a smoking-related disease.

Every year there are more deaths caused by smoking than for all of the following reasons combined:

  • Motor vehicle accidents.
  • Illegal drug use
  • HIV.
  • Firearm-related accidents
  • Alcohol use

This habit cuts the life of men by about 12 years and the life of women up to 11 years.

Given that information, the following activities could be considered dangerous habits.

1. Drinking soda


Carbonated drinks, known as soda or soft drinks, contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup.

This ingredient is the main culprit for the increased rates of obesity, diabetes, heart conditions and other chronic diseases.

How bad can drinking soda be? Well, just one can of soda a day can add 7kg of weight to our body in just one year. Also, this small dose raises our risk of diabetes by 85 percent.

Adding to that, the million dollar soda industry is known for marketing campaigns focused not only on selling to adults, as is the case with tobacco, but to the entire family, including kids and teens.

2. Sleeping too much…or too little

When it comes to sleeping, the adequate amount is between 7 and 9 hours. 
Studies from the CDC indicate that sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours every night can cause conditions like:

  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression

The study also recommends doing away with repetitive alarms in the morning, since interrupted sleep decreases the benefits of resting. 

This habit can leave us more tired than we would be if we just woke up the first time the alarm went off.

Read also: 6 Habits That Cause Vaginal Yeast Infections

3. Sitting down too much


If you are one of those people that, after eight hours in the office, go home to relax by watching a show, your life could be in great danger.

According to a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, adults that sit down for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% higher risk of dying in a period of three years.

This is in comparison to those who stay seated for less than four hours a day.

Stay in this position for prolonged periods of time increases the risk of:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac diseases

It should be highlighted that these risks do not decrease even if you exercise regularly.

4. Drinking too much coffee

While there is nothing better than starting a long workday with a freshly brewed coffee, drinking more than four cups a day can increase your chance of death by 56 percent.

Research done between 1979 and 1998 studied the medical and personal history of 40,000 people. After studying them for 17 years, more than 2500 participants had died.

Although the cause of death wasn’t excess consumption of coffee, the study found that those who drank greater amounts of it were more likely to smoke.

They also had less healthy hearts and lungs.

Coffee is a source of caffeine, a drug that stimulates the release of epinephrine, inhibiting insulin activity and increasing arterial pressure.

5. Crossing your legs


As harmless as it seems, crossing your legs can damage your circulation and cause blood clots. This can cause complications like:

  • Varicose veins
  • Increased arterial pressure
  • Thrombosis
  • Hip tension
  • Problems with your posture

6. Poor diet

A diet filled with fast food or foods with too many conservatives is just as bad as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco combined, according to GLOPAN.

Unlike tobacco, that only affects some people, poor diet is a global issue that also wreaks havoc on the economies of countries.

Poor diet can lead to:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary disease
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Anemia
  • Other health problems

Do you think you have any dangerous habits?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Becoña, E., & Vézquez, F. L. (1997). La evaluación de la conducta de fumar. Psicologia Conductual.
  • Dussaillant, C., Echeverría, G., Villarroel, L., Marin, P. P., & Rigotti, A. (2015). Una alimentación poco saludable se asocia a mayor prevalencia de síndrome metabólico en la población adulta chilena: Estudio de corte transversal en la Encuesta Nacional de Salud 2009-2010. Nutricion Hospitalaria. https://doi.org/10.3305/nh.2015.32.5.9657
  • Ruvalcaba, C. G., Tucker, K. L., Morita, K., Qiao, N., Hannan, M. T., Cupples, L. A., & Kiel, D. P. (2009). Consumo de refrescos y riesgo de obesidad en adolescentes de Guadalajara, México. Boletín Médico Del Hopital Infantil de México.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.