By: Dr. Abhishek Kumar Pandey, Asstt. Editor-ICN
Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use
Smoking is an extremely addictive habit that usually forms in the early teen years. People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their family members or friends smoke. So, more or less , smoking becomes a fashion now a days.
“Smoking doesn’t make you cool, sorry…..”
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that causes smokers to continue to smoke. Addicted smokers need enough nicotine over a day to ‘feel normal’ – to satisfy cravings or control their mood. How much nicotine a smoker needs determines how much smoke they are likely to inhale, no matter what type of cigarette they smoke.
By smoking, you can cause health problems not only for yourself but also for those around you.
Members, co-workers, and others who breathe the smoker’s cigarette smoke, called second hand smoke or passive smoke. Exposure to passive smoke can also cause cancer. Smoking is also harmful to the unborn fetus. If a pregnant woman smokes, her foetus is at an increased risk of miscarriage, early delivery (prematurity), stillbirth, infant death, and low birth weight.
Tobacco smoke contains over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general.
The most damaging components of tobacco smoke are- tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, oxidizing chemicals, metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead, and some radioactive compounds. It is well known that smoking is hazardous to our health, no matter how much you smoke it. The substances you inhale don’t just affect your lungs. They can affect your entire body. Smoking can lead to a variety of ongoing complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on your body systems.
EFFECTS OF SMOKING ON THE BODY –
- Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of lung airways and presence of excess mucous.
- Impairment of lungs clearance system, leading to build up of poisonous substances.
- Increased risk of lung infection and symptoms like coughing and wheezing.
- Irritation of trachea (Windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
- Constriction of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to extremities.
- Damage to lining of arteries resulting in atherosclerosis.
- Increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Reduced bone density.
- Irritation and inflammation of stomach and intestines.
- Cancer of lung, mouth, larynx, tongue, oesophagus, stomach etc.
- Lung diseases like COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema etc.
- Ulcers of digestive system.
- Smoking also raises blood pressure, weakens blood vessel walls, and increases blood clots.
EFFECTS OF SMOKING ON ORAL HEALTH-
- One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco.
- Smoking can also lead to gum disease. People who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums don’t heal.
- Bad breath
- Inflammation of the salivary gland openings on the roof of the mouth
- Delayed healing process following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery.
- Lower success rate of dental implant procedures.
- Increased risk of developing oral cancer.
“So, Smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide, without actually dying.”
Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients, many of which can also be found in cigars and hookahs. When these ingredients burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association. Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them are linked to cancer.
One of the ingredients in tobacco is a mood-altering drug called nicotine. Nicotine reaches your brain in mere seconds and makes you feel more energized for a while. But as that effect wears off, you feel tired and crave more.
Nicotine is extremely habit-forming, which is why people find smoking so difficult to quit. Physical withdrawal from nicotine can impair your cognitive functioning and make you feel anxious, irritated, and depressed. Withdrawal can also cause headaches and sleep problems.
There is no sure cure for smoking. Quitting smoking is difficult, but not impossible Every method of stopping cigarette requires willingness, dedication and will power. Smokers should recognise the serious health risks which they are facing every time they light a cigarette. There are many treatments that can help to quit smoking like Nicotine replacement therapy. It comes in lots of different forms and helps to overcome the nicotine cravings. It includes patches, lozenges, chewing gums, inhaler, spray etc.
“Smoking is like committing suicide, Quit smoking and give life, a chance.”
“Stop smoking, before smoke stops you.”