Break the Chain

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - EDUCATION -

Smok­ing has reached a Cri­sis Sit­u­a­tion in In­dia & may soon ac­count for 20 per­cent of all male deaths and 5 per­cent of all fe­male deaths among In­di­ans be­tween the ages of 30 and 69. 900,000 peo­ple die ev­ery year in In­dia due to Smok­ing, and un­less cor­rec­tive ac­tion is taken soon that num­ber will in­crease to 1 mil­lion. About 61 per­cent of men who smoke can ex­pect to die be­tween the ages of 30 and 69, com­pared with only 41 per­cent of non-smok­ing men who are sim­i­lar in other ways. About 62 per­cent of women who smoke can ex­pect to die be­tween the ages of 30 and 69, com­pared to only 38 per­cent of non-smok­ing women. On av­er­age, men who smoke bidi- the pop­u­lar han­drolled cig­a­rettes that con­tain about one-quar­ter as much to­bacco as a full­sized cig­a­rette- shorten their lives by about six years. Men who smoke full-sized cig­a­rettes lose about 10 years of life. Smok­ing deaths are on the rise in de­vel­op­ing na­tions world­wide with Lung Can­cer be­ing the lead­ing cause. Twenty-five years ago, nearly 70 per­cent of the lung can­cer deaths world­wide oc­curred in high-in­come na­tions. To­day, 50 per­cent of lung can­cer deaths oc­cur in low-in­come na­tions, and by 2030 that num­ber is ex­pected to in­crease to 70 per­cent. To­bacco com­pa­nies have mounted ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paigns in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, where there are few re­stric­tions on how they sell or advertise their prod­ucts, to help com­pen­sate for de­creased smok­ing rates and lower prof­its in de­vel­oped na­tions. WHO has started a global ef­fort to re­duce can­cer deaths world­wide-aim­ing to pre­vent 8 mil­lion can­cer deaths by 2015-and a pri­mary fo­cus of that ini­tia­tive is to lower to­bacco use in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Even if smok­ing rates stayed the same world­wide, we would see a huge in­crease in can­cer in­ci­dence in the next decades just be­cause of the growth and ag­ing of the pop­u­la­tion. Whereas there were 100 mil­lion deaths in the 20th cen­tury caused by to­bacco, if cur­rent trends con­tinue, there will be 1 bil­lion in the 21st cen­tury. To­bacco is the big­gest en­emy we face." To­bacco's catch­ing them young… es­pe­cially in ru­ral In­dia Ma­jor­ity of house­holds in cer­tain parts of ru­ral In­dia have Beedi users in­clud­ing women. The habit af­fects a large num­ber of young chil­dren. Out of it,29-79 per­cent chil­dren are af­fected from in­house pas­sive smok­ing, while 48-84 per­cent are af­fected from out­side pas­sive smok­ing. The re­ports in­di­cate that around 36.9 per­cent chil­dren in the coun­try de­velop the habit of smok­ing be­fore reach­ing the age of 10. Ev­ery year around 55,000 chil­dren be­come ad­dicted to to­bacco con­sump­tion in the coun­try. Around 37 per­cent chil­dren (smok­ers) in the coun­try ini­ti­ate smok­ing be­fore the age of 10 years. Around 14 per­cent school chil­dren con­sume to­bacco prod­ucts. Chil­dren aged be­tween 13-15 years are most af­fected from pas­sive smok­ing. Out of it, 29-79 per cent are af­fected from in­house smok­ing, while 48-84 per­cent are af­fected from out­side smok­ing. Re­sults of pas­sive smok­ing in young chil­dren are - Ir­ri­ta­tion and burn­ing sen­sa­tion in eyes, nose and throat, de­creased oxy­gen ab­sorp­tion ca­pac­ity of lungs, breath­ing prob­lems in­clud­ing asthma, res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems, de­creased blood pres­sure in coro­nary artery.

What does nico­tine do to the body ?

Af­ter a rel­a­tively short time, a smoker is of­ten al­ready sig­nif­i­cantly de­pen­dent on nico­tine. Smok­ers who have an ad­dic­tion prob­lem usu­ally smoke a cig­a­rette in the morn­ing - of­ten within half an hour of wak­ing up. They can stop smok­ing, if they try, but only for a few weeks at a time. Ad­dic­tion is an emo­tion­ally charged word that is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with us­ing drugs. But smok­ing also shares all the ef­fects on the body of other ad­dic­tive drugs. When a smoker feels the need to smoke and feels un­com­fort­able, the rea­son is that the level of nico­tine in the body has been re­duced be­low some value. Af­ter the first puff on a new cig­a­rette, nico­tine is back in the brain within 7 sec­onds. So the ef­fect of a new dose of nico­tine is quickly no­tice­able. This way the nico­tine causes phys­i­cal de­pen­dence. The body wants to get the new sub­stance over and over again. The smoker of­ten deals with a dou­ble ad­dic­tion. In ad­di­tion to the di­rect ef­fect of nico­tine on the body, as de­scribed above, there are all kinds of mo­ments, all day long, that more or less ask for a cig­a­rette. It is very hard for many smok­ers to break that pat­tern; it is a form of men­tal de­pen­dence. Be­cause smok­ers smoke af­ter eat­ing, when drink­ing cof­fee, while hav­ing a drink, dur­ing a phone call, in the car, at work, dur­ing a break, af­ter hav­ing sex, in front of the tele­vi­sion, af­ter a game, when not? And even if there is not a di­rect rea­son to smoke, they do. Just be­cause they are used to it. A smoker who stops smok­ing sits with empty hands on many oc­ca­sions, and at first, that feels very un­com­fort­able.

Why does Smok­ing cause ad­dic­tion?

To­bacco is a stim­u­lat­ing sub­stance, although many smok­ers may feel it has a calm­ing ef­fect on them. How­ever, this calm­ing ef­fect is not a char­ac­ter­is­tic of to­bacco. To­bacco is, af­ter all, a stim­u­lat­ing sub­stance that makes peo­ple rest­less. The calm­ing ef­fect is due to the fact that peo­ple have be­come phys­i­cally de­pen­dent on to­bacco. Be­cause of ha­bit­ual smok­ing, the body has got­ten used to a cer­tain level of nico­tine. When this level goes down the body re­acts with with­drawal symp­toms. One of those with­drawal symp­toms is rest­less­ness. This with­drawal symp­tom can be tem­po­rar­ily sup­pressed by in­creas­ing the nico­tine level. You do that by smok­ing again. The rest­less­ness dis­ap­pears, and you feel calm. This ex­plains the calm­ing ef­fect of to­bacco. You think that to­bacco calms you down, but you for­get that the tran­quil­ity is in fact noth­ing more than dis­ap­peared feel­ings of rest­less­ness. This rest­less­ness is caused in the first place by to­bacco. To­bacco brings you into a vi­cious cir­cle. To­bacco causes rest­less­ness which you tem­po­rar­ily sup­press with to­bacco. By smok­ing again, your body gets used to the nico­tine, how­ever, and your feel­ings of rest­less­ness and your need for to­bacco will only in­crease.

Why is smok­ing harm­ful?

in­gre­di­ent of to­bacco, is a mild cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem stim­u­lant and a stronger car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem stim­u­lant. It con­stricts blood ves­sels, in­creas­ing the blood pres­sure and stim­u­lat­ing the heart, and raises the blood fat lev­els. In its liq­uid form, nico­tine is a pow­er­ful poi­son­the in­jec­tion of even one drop would be deadly. It is the nico­tine, not the smoke, that causes peo­ple to con­tinue to smoke cig­a­rettes, but it is the cig­a­rette smoke that causes many of the prob­lems. Cig­a­rette smoke is a com­bi­na­tion of lethal gases-car­bon monox­ide, hy­dro­gen cyanide, and ni­tro­gen and sul­fur ox­ides-and tars, which con­tain an es­ti­mated 4,000 chem­i­cals. Some of these chem­i­cal agents are in­tro­duced by cur­rent to­bacco man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. Although to­bacco has been smoked for cen­turies, only re­cently has it moved from the nat­u­rally grown and dried process. It ap­pears that in the last cen­tury the neg­a­tive ef­fects of smok­ing have sky­rock­eted. Dan­gers in mod­ern to­bacco prod­ucts in­clude pes­ti­cides used dur­ing growth and chem­i­cals added to the to­bacco to make it burn bet­ter or taste dif­fer­ent. Other toxic con­tam­i­nants in cig­a­rettes in­clude cad­mium (which af­fects the kid­neys, ar­ter­ies, and blood pres­sure), lead, ar­senic, cyanide, and nickel. Dioxin, the most toxic pes­ti­cide chem­i­cal known to date, has been found in cig­a­rettes. Ace­toni­trile, an­other pes­ti­cide, is also found in to­bacco. The ni­tro­gen gases from cig­a­rettes gen­er­ate car­cino­genic nitrosamines in the body tis­sues. The tars in smoke con­tain polynu­clear aro­matic hy­dro­car­bons (PAH), car­cino­genic ma­te­ri­als that bind with cel­lu­lar DNA to cause dam­age. An­tiox­i­dant ther­apy, par­tic­u­larly with vi­ta­min C, is pro­tec­tive against both PAH and nitrosamines, and ex­tra C also blocks the ir­ri­tat­ing ef­fects of smoke. Smok­ing it­self re­duces vi­ta­min C ab­sorp­tion; blood lev­els of ascor­bic acid av­er­age about 30-40 per­cent lower in smok­ers than in non­smok­ers. Ra­dioac­tive ma­te­ri­als are also found in cig­a­rette smoke; polo­nium is the most com­mon. Some au­thor­i­ties be­lieve that cig­a­rettes are our great­est source of ra­di­a­tion. A smoker of one and a half packs per day may be ex­posed to ra­di­a­tion equal to 300 chest x-rays a year. Ra­di­a­tion is a strong ag­ing fac­tor. Ac­etalde­hyde, a chem­i­cal re­leased dur­ing smok­ing, causes ag­ing, es­pe­cially of the skin, as it af­fects the cross-link­ing bonds that hold our tis­sues to­gether.

Smok­ing & Can­cer :

To­bacco use is the lead­ing cause of pre­ventable ill­ness and death. It causes many dif­fer­ent can­cers as well as chronic lung dis­eases, such as em­phy­sema and bron­chi­tis, and heart dis­ease. Lung can­cer is the lead­ing cause of can­cer death among both men and women in the United States. Smok­ing causes many other types of can­cer, in­clud­ing can­cers of the throat, mouth, nasal cav­ity, esoph­a­gus, stom­ach, pan­creas, kid­ney, blad­der, and cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia. Peo­ple who smoke are up to six times more likely to suf­fer a heart at­tack than non­smok­ers, and the risk in­creases with the num­ber of cig­a­rettes smoked. Smok­ing also causes most cases of chronic lung dis­ease.

How does cig­a­rette smoke af­fect the lungs?

Dam­age to the lungs be­gins early in smok­ers but it may take years for the prob­lem to be­come no­tice­able enough for lung dis­ease to be di­ag­nosed. Cig­a­rette smok­ers have a lower level of lung func­tion than non-smok­ers of the same age & it con­tin­ues to worsen as long as the per­son smokes. Cig­a­rette smok­ing causes many lung dis­eases that can be nearly as bad as lung can­cer. Chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease: Chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease (COPD) is a name for long-term lung dis­ease which in­cludes both chronic bron­chi­tis and em­phy­sema. Smok­ing is the main risk fac­tor for COPD, though it can also be caused by other fac­tors such as sec­ond­hand smoke. More than 75% of COPD deaths are caused by smok­ing. COPD most of­ten starts un­no­ticed in young smok­ers, and usu­ally gets far worse be­fore it is di­ag­nosed. Noises in the chest (such as wheez­ing rat­tling or whistling), short­ness of breath dur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties like walk­ing up a flight of stairs, and cough­ing up mu­cus (phlegm) are some of the ear­lier signs of COPD. Over time, COPD can make it hard to breathe even at rest. It lim­its ac­tiv­i­ties and causes se­ri­ous health prob­lems. The late stage of chronic lung dis­ease is one of the most mis­er­able of all ill­nesses. It makes peo­ple gasp for breath and feel as if they are drown­ing.

Lung Can­cer:

Up to one-fourth of all peo­ple with lung can­cer may have no symp­toms when the can­cer is di­ag­nosed. These can­cers usu­ally are iden­ti­fied in­ci­den­tally when a chest X-ray is per­formed for an­other rea­son. Symp­toms of pri­mary lung can­cers in­clude: A new cough in a smoker or a for­mer smoker should raise con­cern for lung can­cer. A cough that does not go away or gets worse over time.

Cough­ing up blood Chest pain in about one­fourth of peo­ple with lung can­cer. The pain is dull, aching, and per­sis­tent. Short­ness of breath that usu­ally re­sults from a block­age to the flow of air in part of the lung, col­lec­tion of fluid around the lung or the spread of tu­mor through­out the lungs. Wheez­ing or hoarse­ness may sig­nal block­age or in­flam­ma­tion in the lungs that may go along with can­cer. Re­peated res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, such as bron­chi­tis or pneu­mo­nia, can be a sign of lung can­cer.

Sec­ond hand smoke, a Con­cern

Also called En­vi­ron­men­tal To­bacco Smoke ( ETS) is in­haled in­vol­un­tar­ily or pas­sively by some­one who is not smok­ing. It was clas­si­fied as a "known hu­man car­cino­gen" by the US gov­ern­ment in 2000, based on the re­la­tion­ship ob­served be­tween pas­sive ex­po­sure to to­bacco smoke and hu­man lung can­cer. To be more con­crete, if some­one in your house or res­tau­rant or of­fice or any­where around you smokes, you are smok­ing, too. You, too, can get lung can­cer and the other dis­eases now known to be as­so­ci­ated with smok­ing.

De­cid­ing to Quit Smok­ing:

It takes courage to put down that last cig­a­rette and quit smok­ing. Most peo­ple feel an in­tense com­bi­na­tion of fear and ex­cite­ment lead­ing up to their quit date. Feel­ing afraid to quit smok­ing is com­pletely nor­mal, and is a by-prod­uct of ad­dic­tion. Don't let that fear par­a­lyze you, how­ever, be­cause the ben­e­fits you'll ex­pe­ri­ence once you quit are well worth the work it takes to achieve. It is never too late to quit smok­ing. What hap­pens in­side our bod­ies when we quit us­ing to­bacco? Have all of the years of smok­ing or chew­ing caused too much dam­age for quit­ting to be of any ben­e­fit? Not at all. The hu­man body is amaz­ingly re­silient. Within the first 20 min­utes of quit­ting, the heal­ing process be­gins. The ben­e­fits will con­tinue to im­prove your health and qual­ity of life for years. At 20 min­utes af­ter quit­ting: Blood pres­sure de­creases, Pulse rate drops, Body tem­per­a­ture of hands and feet in­creases.

At 8 hours:

Car­bon monox­ide level in blood drops to nor­mal, Oxy­gen level in blood in­creases to nor­mal

At 24 hours:

Chance of a heart at­tack de­creases

At 48 hours:

Nerve end­ings be­gin re­growth, abil­ity to smell and taste im­proves

Be­tween 2 weeks and 3 months:

Cir­cu­la­tion im­proves, Walkin be­comes eas­ier, Lung func­tion in­creases. The worst of nico­tine with­drawal symp­toms sub­side within the first month. Fol­low­ing that, the fo­cus shifts to learn­ing how to de­ci­pher and re­pro­gram the psy­cho­log­i­cal tugs or urges to smoke that we've all built up over the years. Be­tween 1 to 9 months smoke-free: Start­ing as early as a month af­ter you quit smok­ing, and con­tin­u­ing for the next sev­eral months, you may no­tice sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in these ar­eas: cough­ing, si­nus con­ges­tion, fa­tigue, short­ness of breath. At One Year Smoke-Free: Your ex­cess risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease is de­creased to half that of a smoker af­ter one year. Cig­a­rette smok­ing is di­rectly linked to 30% of all heart dis­ease deaths in the United States each year. It plays a part in coro­nary heart dis­ease and causes dam­age by de­creas­ing oxy­gen to the heart. Smok­ing in­creases blood pres­sure and heart rate, both of which are hard on the heart. Quit­ting to­bacco is the ab­so­lute best thing you can do for your heart and for your health over­all. If you've put a year be­tween you and the last cig­a­rette you smoked, con­grat­u­la­tions! Be grate­ful for the free­dom you have cre­ated for your­self. Pro­tect and nur­ture it.

At 5 years smoke­free: At 10 years smoke­free:

Risk of lung can­cer drops to as lit­tle as one-half that of con­tin­u­ing smok­ers. Risk of can­cer of the mouth, throat, esoph­a­gus, blad­der, kid­ney, and pan­creas de­creases. Risk of ul­cers de­creases.

At 15 years smoke­free:

Risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease is now sim­i­lar to that of peo­ple who have never smoked. Risk of death re­turns to nearly the level of peo­ple who have never smoked. Risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease is now sim­i­lar to that of peo­ple who have never smoked. Risk of death re­turns to nearly the level of peo­ple who have never smoked. If you are cur­rently smok­ing, it may be hard to imag­ine your­self as an ex-smoker with 15 years of free­dom from the habit. Quit­ting can seem like a moun­tain. It's pos­si­ble though, and you can quit just as surely as any­one else. It all starts with that first step of mak­ing the com­mit­ment to quit, and tak­ing ac­tion. From there, learn­ing to live your life free of the ad­dic­tion you've been chained to for so many years is just a day- by- day process. Don't let smok­ing waste any more of your pre­cious life. Quit now and get this jour­ney un­der­way.

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