'Cigarette smoking is injurious to health". This is a common line that you can see on even a cigarette packet. We all read them even smokers also read them but they ignore this warning. Why? Because they don't want to quit smoking. They have got habitual of cigarette. They also know that cigarette not only causes pollution but cause health hazards too. It is one of the main causes behind lung cancer. The smoke of a burning cigarette is really very dangerous. Not only the smoker is in danger but the other person who is standing nearby him is also at the same risk. This is called Passive Smoking.
What Tobacco consists?
Nicotine - this is not carcinogenic. However, it is highly addictive. Smokers find it very hard to quit because they are hooked on the nicotine. Nicotine is an extremely fast-acting drug. It reaches the brain within 15 seconds of being inhaled. If cigarettes and other tobacco products had no nicotine, the number of people who smoke every day would drop drastically. Without nicotine, the tobacco industry would collapse.
Nicotine is used as a highly controlled insecticide. Exposure to sufficient amounts can lead to vomiting, seizures,depression of the CNS (central nervous system), and growth retardation. It can also undermine a fetus' proper development.
Carbon Monoxide - this is a poisonous gas. It has no smell or taste. The body finds it hard to differentiate carbon monoxide from oxygen and absorbs it into the bloodstream. Faulty boilers emit dangerous carbon monoxide, as do car exhausts.
If there is enough carbon monoxide around you and you inhale it, you can go into a coma and die. Carbon monoxide decreases muscle and heart function, it causes fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. It is especially toxic for babies still in the womb, infants and individuals with heart or lung disease.
Tar - consists of several cancer-causing chemicals. When a smoker inhales cigarette smoke, 70% of the tar remains in the lungs. Try the handkerchief test. Fill the mouth with smoke, don't inhale, and blow the smoke through the handkerchief. There will be a sticky, brown stain on the cloth. Do this again, but this time inhale and the blow the smoke through the cloth, there will only be a very faint light brown stain.
Effects of Smoking on Body:
Heart : Smoking is the biggest risk factor for all heart diseases. It accelerates the process of fat deposition in the inner walls of arteries (atherosclerosis). It increases blood pressure and heart rate. Not only these, smoking increases tendency for the blood to clot. It reduces the capacity of a person to exercise. (Exercises always keep heart healthy).
Lungs : Smoking destroys small hairs present in upper parts of airways. In normal persons these hairs protect lungs from germs, dust and other harmful particles. When this natural cleaning system is damaged germs, dust, smoke and other harmful chemicals enter lungs causing infection, cough and lung cancer. The air sacs of lungs (alveoli) get permanently damaged causing difficulty in breathing.
Digestive system: Smoking causes heart burn ,delays healing of peptic ulcers, increases risk of crohn’s disease and formation of gall stones. It affects liver and increases chances of stomach cancer.
Legs: Smoking affects blood vessels of legs causing chronic pain in legs. This may further progress to cause gangrene of toes or feet.
Eyes: The sensitive blood vessels of eye are easily damaged by smoking. This causes blood shot appearance of eyes and itching. In heavy smokers it may lead to degeneration and loss of eyesight. Smokers are at an increased risk of cataracts.
Skin : Due to smoking the skin is deprived of oxygen and it loses its texture. An average smoker looks 5 years older than his healthy non smoking counterparts. The skin loses its healthy glow and takes on a yellowish-gray cast. The more cigarettes smoked, the worse skin will look. Wrinkles start appearing very quickly as smoking affects elastic tissues of skin.
Bones: It accelerates the process of osteoporosis
Cancer: Smoking causes cancer of lungs,
Reproductive system: Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women.
In women: Smoking imbalances estrogen hormone in women. It causes dryness of vagina and reduces blood flow to genital organs. Women who smoke can get diseases of fallopian tubes and their egg production is affected. Smoking can cause abortion. It accelerates aging process and can cause early menopause. The growth of baby retards when mother smokes in pregnancy. It affects the brain development of baby and reduces IQ. This happens even when mother is a passive smoker. The chances of miscarriage, premature birth and fetal death increase.
In men: Smoking impairs erections and can become a reason for erectile dysfunction. It also reduces sperm count and impairs sperm motility. But these are reversed after stopping smoking.
On the basis of current smoking patterns, approximately 1 billion people will be killed in the twenty-first century by smoking. Without widespread cessation, around 450 million people alive today will be killed by smoking in 2000–2050. At least half will die aged 30–69 years, losing decades of productive life, and those who smoke throughout adult life can expect to lose around 1 decade of life compared with non-smokers. Smoking-attributable cancer and total deaths have fallen sharply in high-income countries but will rise globally unless the current smokers, most of whom live in low- and middle-income countries, stop smoking before or during middle age. Tripling taxes on tobacco could rapidly increase cessation rates and deter smoking initiation. Higher taxes, regulations on smoking and information for consumers could avoid at least 115 million smoking deaths in the next few decades, including at least 25 million cancer deaths.