Selena Gomez was spotted smoking cigarettes in rehab, even though tobacco smoke has been associated with several autoimmune diseases, including lupus. The singer’s outbreaks have required chemotherapy to bring under control.
Gomez abruptly cancelled 34 shows in her Revival world tour in August because she was suffering from “anxiety, panic attacks and depression.”
“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness, and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off . . . I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best,” she said at the time.
All are lupus side-effects. Selena was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease in 2012.
She took time off from work in 2013 to get chemotherapy, a common treatment for severe cases, Celebrity Health Fitness reported.
“That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” she said at the time.
Her latest trip to a Nashville, Tenn., facility is to treat mental health issues. “Selena is dealing with lupus, but this break is to focus on her mental health,” sources told UsWeekly. “She can go to a very dark place.”
Her battle with lupus has, at times, been puzzling.
In 2013, she shocked fans by canceling 11 tour stops in Japan, Shanghai, China, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Manila and Australia. She claimed she was suffering from lupus-related “exhaustion.”
She was spotted shortly after partying hard in Las Vegas along with other celebrities to mark the premiere of Britney Spears’ new Planet Hollywood Casino residency. She Showed no signs of “Lupus,” or claimed tour-canceling “exhaustion.”
She partied late into the night at an after-party at Beacher’s Madhouse in Vegas, hosted by Miley Cyrus.
Lupus causes extreme fatigue, headaches, painful or swollen joints and fever, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
Smoking cigarettes has been linked to several auto-immune diseases, including lupus, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“It’s clear that smoking complicates and accelerates the ill effects of lupus. We also know that most of the negative effects are reversible when smoking stops,” according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
“More than any other lifestyle choice you make, quitting cigarettes will have the greatest positive impact on your lupus,” the group says.
Selena’s smoking is shocking, not only because of its links to lupus, but also because she’s allowed to continue the habit in a medical facility. It should be encouraging her to quit.
But she was spotted by paparazzi puffing away in photos published in London’s Daily Mail.
Selena picked up the habit while filming the racy coming-of-age movie “Spring Breakers” in 2013.
She played a bad-ass college kid along with Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens and Rachel Korine.
“I mean, I’d never smoked a cigarette before in my entire life. It was really funny; they had to show me how to do it,” Selena recounted to Interview magazine.
Whether it was the pressures from her on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, or just her desire to present a more mature image and fit in with a fast group of Hollywood friends, Gomez became a smoker.
In July two years ago, she alarmed friends who feared she was becoming a chain-smoker because of her habit.
She was spotted puffing away at the Coachella Music Festival last April, and was spotted last January buying cigarettes near her home the day after Bieber was arrested for DUI in Florida.
If Selena keeps it up she could expose herself to lupus-related respiratory infections like pneumococcal pneumonia and chronic bronchitis.
Smoking also increases the risk of coronary artery disease. “It’s not uncommon for angina (heart muscle pain) and even heart attacks to occur in people with lupus as young as 30,” according to the Lupus Foundation.
A host of other complications can occur affecting the kidneys, liver, digestion and bone health. “Lupus skin disease is more active in smokers than non-smokers,” the organization says.
Selena clearly isn’t doing herself any favors by continuing to smoke. Her rehab facility should be doing everything it can to convince her to quit.
She’s also setting a bad example for fans who may suffer from the disease. For her own sake, hopefully, she’ll wise up to the damaging effects of smoking.
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