Break the Chain
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.
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.