Smoking or Health: Choice is Yours!
May 31 - ANTI-SMOKING DAY
YOU CAN QUIT THIS HABIT PROVIDED YOU REALLY WISH AND HAVE THE RESOLVE TO STAND FIRM, WRITES SYED NABIL
“Pleasure which must be enjoyed at the expense of another's pain, can never be enjoyed by a worthy mind. Pleasure's couch is virtue's grave”.
Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body; causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general. Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing more than 430,000 deaths each year. The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. Tobacco use and smoking are very dangerous addictions which commonly cause a wide variety of diseases, cancer and death. The majority of tobacco users and smokers are hooked when they are children. During this time period they are readily affected by peer pressure and easily influenced by advertising.
Studies indicate that nonsmokers are also adversely affected by environmental tobacco smoke. There are 4000 chemicals in tobacco with 100 identified poisons and 63 known drugs which cause cancer. The most talked about drug in tobacco is nicotine. Nicotine is vasoconstrictor and a nerve toxin; it has been classified as a class I insecticide. Other poisons include: Arsenic, Cyanide, Formaldehyde (used to embalm bodies), Ammonia Bromide (a toilet cleaner). Each year, because of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer, and 300,000 children suffer from lower respiratory tract infections.
It is an alarming fact that more than 3 million young people under age 18 smoke half a billion cigarettes each year and that more than one-half of them consider themselves dependent upon cigarettes. The decision to use tobacco is nearly always made in the teen years, and about one-half of young people usually continue to use tobacco products as adults.
Approximately 80% of adult smokers start smoking before the age of 18. Every day, nearly 3,000 young people under the age of 18 become regular smokers.
The annual cost of tobacco use is more than $50 billion in direct medical costs, for a total of 97 billion in health care costs and lost productivity. If every smoker would smoke one cigarette less per day it would cost the tobacco industry one to two billion dollars per year. In 2007, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the heath care costs associated with smoking were $10.28 per pack. Smokers pay twice as much for life insurance and will die an average of over 12 years sooner than non-smokers.
The average cost of treating squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (a cancer caused almost exclusively by smoking) is $25,542 more than the cost of treating other comparable solid tumors.
Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking
Regardless of the tobacco product used, there is an increased risk of cancer, strokes and heart disease.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causally linked to smoking. Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women. The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers. Smoking causes cancers of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.
Cardiovascular Disease (Heart and Circulatory System)
Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. It approximately doubles a person's risk for stroke. It causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries). Smokers are more than ten times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral vascular disease. Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm. Nicotine, the major drug in tobacco constricts blood vessels, increasing blood pressure and the work of the heart. Constricting blood vessels also decreases blood flow to the body's tissues, resulting in decreased healing. These effects are exacerbated by diseases such as diabetes.
Respiratory Disease and Other Effects
Cigarette smoking is associated with a tenfold increase in the risk of dying from chronic obstructive lung disease. About 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking. It has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than never smokers.
Reduction in virility
Smoking is a major factor in impotence. It is also a turnoff to the opposite sex. Cigarette smoking almost doubled the chances of developing moderate or complete erectile dysfunction. Exposure to passive smoke also significantly increased the incidence of erectile dysfunction.
Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, is a complex mixture of gases and particles that includes smoke from the burning cigarette, cigar, or pipe tip (sidestream smoke) and exhaled mainstream smoke. Secondhand smoke contains at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic, including more than 50 that can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke exposure causes heart disease and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30% and their lung cancer risk by 20–30%. Breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk of heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk. Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms in children and slows their lung growth. Secondhand smoke causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children. There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can be dangerous.
You Can Quit Smoking
Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.
Get Support: Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out where you can see them.
Learn new skills and behaviors.
Get medication and use it correctly. Nicotine gum—Available over-the-counter.
Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.
Within twenty minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
Twenty minutes after quitting: your heart rate drops. Twelve hours after Quitting: Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Two weeks to three months after quitting: Your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve. One to nine months after quitting: Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
One year after quitting: your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. Five years after quitting: your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s. Ten years after quitting: your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s. Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases. Fifteen years after quitting
your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.
Charity Begins at Home: Take a Stand
Despite the impact of movies, music, and TV, parents can be the greatest influence in their kids’ lives. Talk directly to children about the risks of tobacco use; if friends or relatives died from tobacco-related illnesses, let your kids know. If you use tobacco, you can still make a difference. Your best move, of course, is to try to quit. Meanwhile, don’t use tobacco in your children’s presence, don’t offer it to them, and don’t leave it where they can easily get it. Start the dialog about tobacco use at age 5 or 6 and continue through their high school years. Many kids start using tobacco by age eleven, and many are addicted by age fourteen. Know if your kids’ friends use tobacco. Talk about ways to refuse tobacco. Discuss with kids the false glamorization of tobacco on billboards and in other media, such as movies, TV, and magazines.
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Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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