Time to Kick the Butt

Published: 30th May 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2015 12:21 AM   |  A+A-


World No Tobacco Day was first introduced by the World Health Organization  to be observed as a most recognized event all over the world to make people     aware of all the problems and health complications caused by chewing or  smoking tobacco to prevent health hazards.

As per figures, over 35 per cent of the Indian population uses tobacco, of these 21 percent use smokeless tobacco. Smokeless tobacco use in India is among the highest in the world and more Indians use it than cigarettes and bidis combined. More than 40 percent of male cancer patients in Kerala are tobacco users.

Tobacco kills up to half its users, nearly 6 million people each year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 6,00,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year . Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths.

TIM Kick.jpgTobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Breathing even a little tobacco smoke can be harmful. Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 69 can cause cancer.

Nicotine is a drug that is naturally present in the tobacco plant and is primarily responsible for a person’s addiction to tobacco products, including cigarettes. The addiction to cigarettes and other tobacco products that nicotine causes is similar to the addiction produced by using drugs such as heroin and cocaine.It prepares the brain to send false message about the need of nicotine to the body as necessary as other survival activities like eating and drinking food and liquids.

Smoking causes more deaths each year than all of these combined including  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor  vehicle injuries  and firearm-related incidents. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Smoking   is estimated to increase the risk-For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times. For stroke by 2 to 4 times.Of men developing lung cancer by 25 times. Of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times

Smoking can cause lung disease by damaging your airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in your lungs. Lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can trigger an attack or make an attack worse. Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers. COPD is a progressive destruction of lung leading to persistent breathlessness and cough. No effective treatment exists for this debilitating disease other than quitting smoking.

The immediate health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial. Heart rate and blood pressure, which are abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal. Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline. (Carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Within a few weeks, people who quit smoking have improved circulation, produce less phlegm, and don’t cough or wheeze as often. Quitting smoking cuts cardiovascular risks. Just one year after quitting smoking, your risk for a heart attack drops sharply.

Within 2 to 5 years  after quitting smoking, your risk for stroke could fall to about the same as a nonsmoker’s. If you quit smoking, your risks for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder drop by half within 5 years. Ten years after you quit smoking, your risk for lung cancer drops by half.

But, should someone already diagnosed with cancer bother to quit smoking?Yes. Cigarette smoking has a profound adverse impact on health outcomes in cancer patients. For patients with some cancers, quitting smoking at the time of diagnosis may reduce the risk of dying by 30 percent to 40 percent . For those having surgery, chemotherapy, or other treatments, quitting smoking helps improve the body’s ability to heal and respond to therapy.

Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counselling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.


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