Last week on the 31st of May the world observed No Tobacco day. Being a passive smoker I thought it a necessity to share my views and experiences regarding smoking along with some facts and general knowledge about the same.
Having been born with weak lungs both my sister and I have gone through a lot of pain throughout our childhood. But when we started coughing and showing signs of Asthma my Dad realized his mistake and decided that his habit which caught hold of him during his teens should not be allowed to harm anyone. We saw him struggle hard to get out of his addiction. It was even more painful seeing him go through the struggle. Gradually he reduced the number of cigarettes he smoked. But even today he has not been able to free himself totally from the clutches of the KILLER habit though the number has come down to one or 2 per day. It still pains our heart when we think about the condition of his lungs and heart and the risk on his health.
It is said that smoking in public places is banned. But still we see so many people puff happily in bus stands, trains, buses, shops, theatre and the list goes on to include each and every public place.. They don’t even care if they see an infant or a pregnant woman sitting next to them. For some people like me cigarette smoke causes suffocation and triggers an allergy within the lungs. But how can you expect a person to bother about others when he is not even bothered about himself? That’s the sad part of the story.
Most of the youngsters smoke. They feel it’s a status symbol. If they don’t smoke they feel like a fish out of water. I’ve personally asked a few friends of mine why they choose to smoke when they know it’s harmful. Always the reply has been one of these- all my friends smoke .so I too join them; its college time and it’s the only time when we get to experiment such things (Wow! What a wonderful experiment! You yourself are the specimen!! )..I have even heard excuses like it’s the most affordable and cheap hobby!!! This habit which they start for fun finally becomes an addiction which will eventually ruin their lives. The only solution to this is to have self determination not to fall into such habits. Be obliged to your family and to your society. Believe that your health is a gift by God and it’s not yours alone. And by smoking you become a threat to the society as well. It’s not just you who is harmed.
Not only smoking but also the intake of tobacco in other forms is equally hazardous to health. You may have heard about smokeless tobacco, a sticky substance that you chew, kind of like gum, with a tobacco flavor. This product is also known as “chewing tobacco,” “spit tobacco,” and “snuff.” Many people think that smokeless tobacco isn’t harmful to your health the way cigarettes are. Not true! Chewing this stuff can cause bleeding gums, sores in the mouth that never heal, and cancer of the mouth. In addition, it may cause bad breath, hiccups, dizziness, nausea and yellow staining of the teeth. Like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco contains Nicotine, which makes it addictive too.
From May 31st all tobacco products are supposed to carry graphic pictorial warnings like the skull and cross-bones or a cancer-disfigured face or diseased lungs to highlight the hazards of tobacco intake. Let’s hope at least these signs will help to increase the awareness about what the people are sacrificing for a few moments of pleasure.
In India, over half of men (57 percent) in the age group of 15-49 years use tobacco in some form and over a tenth (10.9 percent) of women in this age group also use tobacco, according to a National Family Health Survey conducted in 2005-06.
Smoking is the most preventable cause of death. That means many of those who lose their lives because of smoking-related illnesses could probably live much longer if they didn’t smoke. Smoking can damage some of the most important organs in your body, including the lungs, heart and brain. The poisonous chemicals in cigarettes can cause emphysema (a lung disease) and bronchitis (inflammation of air passages to the lungs), heart disease, heart attacks, stroke (an interruption of the blood flow to the brain) and cancer
Here are some other effects that smoking can have on our health:
- Hearing and vision loss
- Chronic coughing, more phlegm (mucus) in your mouth and asthma
- Decrease in athletic performance. Think about it: you can’t run as fast or jump as high if you can’t breathe properly!
- Cancer of the mouth, gum disease, tooth decay, and yellow staining of the teeth
- Peptic ulcers, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, kidney and liver damage
- Decreased circulation in the fingers and toes
- Yellowing of fingernails and toenails
- Bad breath
DEAR SMOKERS… ANY IDEA WHATS A CIGARETTE?? YOU’LL BE STUNNED TO KNOW………
It’s just one cigarette…but wow! That little thing has over 4,000 chemicals in it! You already know that cigarettes contain Nicotine, but did you know that Nicotine is also used in bug spray? Before you decide to light up, you might want to know just what it is that you’re inhaling. Below are just a few of the other chemicals found in cigarettes:
- Tar. This ingredient, which gives cigarettes flavor, is the same thick black substance used to pave roads and driveways.
- Formaldehyde. This is the same stuff used to preserve dead animals, like the frogs dissected in some biology classes.
- Cyanide, which is also a main ingredient in rat poison.
- Lead. It’s also found in some kinds of paint.
- Acetone, which is a common ingredient in paint and nail polish remover.
- Ammonia. Besides the fact that it’s in many household cleaners, it’s also in cigarettes.
- Carbon monoxide, a common pollutant and the same stuff that escapes from the exhaust in cars.
- Hydrazine, a chemical used in jets and rocket fuel.
To give you an idea of the harm these substances can do, picture the thick gooey-ness of tar. The average smoker inhales about one cup of tar a year. Because a smoker’s lungs often don’t work as well as they should, the tar may stick and stay in there for a long time. Tar also hurts the “cilia” in a person’s airway, which are tiny hairs that protect the lungs by sweeping out mucus and germs. Tar, like many of the other chemicals in cigarettes, can cause diseases related to how we breathe, like emphysema and bronchitis.
I do admit that it’s really tough to get out of this habit once you start it. But please understand the hazard and as the first step try to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke. Then try to stop the habit as a whole. All you people who have not started smoking yet PLEASE don’t ever get into this horrible habit. It’s like committing suicide and the worst part is that the death is slow but miserable!
So…..QUIT SMOKING!!! SAY NO TO TOBACCO!!!