Smoking Addiction

Smoking can cause various health problems like heart attacks, asthma and even stroke. It is the nicotine present in each cigar that gives addiction tempting the smokers to continue using it. There is not only nicotine in every cigarette but about 7,000 harmful chemicals also.

Facts on addiction of Tobacco :

  • Cigarette smoking is one of the leading cause of death in the USA
  • As per the data given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year around 480,000 people die prematurely in the America alone.
  • Each year, cigarette smoking has caused chronic illness in 16 million people.
  • In contrary to many people belief, smoking can cause harmful effects on non-smokers who live in the environment of smokers.
  • Passive smoking can cause chronic diseases and even death to many people.
  • More than 88 million people of America are exposed to secondhand smoking regularly.
  • Nicotine replacement therapy and support groups can help you out to quit smoking.
  • One out of 3 persons who die due to cancer are smokers.
  • You are 2 times more prone to develop cancer than non smokers.
  • You are 4 times at risk to die from cancer if you are heavy smoker.
  • Lung cancer is the most prominent cancer causing death for smokers.
  • Cigar smoking is believed to account for about 90% of all lung cancer deaths.

Why you smoke?

There is no clear-cut reason for smoking. Many people follow the theory that it relives tension when they smoke. An individual get into smoking when he/she becomes upset or angry over certain events at home or workplace. Some people say that they smoke to gain focus and improving concentration. But none of them is true. Smoking does not help in relieving stress or gaining focus. It is the false belief in the system of smokers that tempts them to smoke more and more.

Addiction to Smoking :

What is addiction? Any habit that compels you to seek out and use it regularly, even when you know pretty well that it can harm your health is known as addiction. All the products of tobacco including cigars and pipes are addictive.

Nicotine is present in low quantity (10 mg) in each cigarette is addictive. A smoker does not inhale the entire quantity of nicotine but only about 1-2 mg of nicotine when they smoke one cigar. It is because he/she enjoys only some part of the smoke into his/her lungs and lets out other parts. Imagine the strength and vitality of nicotine when it makes you addictive even while inhaling 1-2 mg.

What other chemicals are present in a cigarette?

In addition to nicotine, cigar contains many other harmful chemicals like tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde and many oxidizing chemicals. Tar is not a single element but it denotes group of various particles included in smoke. Most of the chemicals present are carcinogenic (cancer causing). It leads to scarring of lung tissue. Carbon monoxide is very poisonous gas and can become fatal if you take it in large doses. This gas actually replaces oxygen in your blood since it binds red blood cells more effectively than oxygen. This in turn makes your blood thicker and subsequently your body may not get enough supply of oxygen when it needs it. This can seriously affect the vital organs like lungs, brain and kidneys.

Hydrogen cyanide is powerful enough to stop the function of cilia (tiny hairs) of your lungs that helps in removing foreign elements out of the lungs. When a person smokes, hydrogen cyanide stops the clearance work of your lungs abruptly. This means more and more harmful elements can build up inside your lungs damaging it. In addition to the above, smoke given out from the cigar contains nitrous oxides, phenols and various oxidizing agents that are very harmful. Oxidizing agents can help in accumulating excess of fatty particles in the walls of the artery leading to stroke and heart attack. Several poisonous metals and radioactive compounds are also present in tobacco smoke.

What happens when you smoke?

When you inhale a puff of cigar, several harmful substances along with nicotine would enter into your lungs. Within seconds of inhalation, nicotine can hit your brain. Since nicotine resembles acetylcholine in shape, it can easily lock into the receptors of acetylcholine in the brain and produce harmful effects. Subsequently due to chemical reaction of neurotransmitters in the brain, a chemical called dopamine is released in excess. Dopamine is the thing that gives you pleasurable feeling which creates a craving effect for smoking. That’s why you are happy and contended when you smoke.

Side Effects of Smoking :

Smoking not only cause cancer but also various other complicated health problems. It can cause pneumonia (severe lung infection), leukemia (a type of cancer) and cataracts. In addition to lung cancer, smoking causes cancer in various body parts like esophagus, mouth (oral cavity), pharynx, stomach, cervix and kidneys. Smokers have reduced stamina to do aerobics and exercises and involve in sports activities when compared with non-smokers.

Smokers may not have full capacity of smell as others have and have discolored teeth. The main disadvantage of smoking is innocent people who are non-smokers are affected when they are exposed to smoke. When a person sitting next to the person who smokes inhales the emitted smoke from the cigarette he/she is at risk of developing lung cancer and heart problems. It is shocking to know that each year about 40,000 people die due to secondhand smoking in America alone. In addition it can cause several respiratory disorders also. There are parents who smoke in front of their children and such children are at risk of developing sudden death infant syndrome and various respiratory problems like asthma and ear problems. Another biggest side effect of smoking is increased fire accidents and death due to dropped cigars.

Smoking and Pregnancy :

Reports state that around 22.7% of teenagers who are pregnant smoked cigarettes resulting which the fetus developed various health disorders. Nicotine is a strong toxic substance that can cross barriers of placenta to reach the fetus growing inside the uterus. This can cause life threatening consequences like stillbirth and preterm birth in infants. Further this has increased the rate of infant deaths. It also increases the risk for the growing child to become addicted to smoking easily.

Treatment :

Several methods are available to quit smoking and come out of smoking addiction. There are few people who can just quit smoking with their willpower but many people require help. Individual therapy and counseling plays a great role in helping the person to quit smoking. Behavioral treatment works lot to understand the harmful effects of smoking and change their behavior. You can get in touch with the support group in your place and keep contact frequently to quit smoking habit.

Nicotine patches and inhalers and over the counter drugs can relieve you from the withdrawal symptoms. Unlike nicotine these medications do not produce any harmful effect on your body and do not cause any pleasure feeling when taken. You can discuss with your doctor about choosing the best lozenges or nicotine patch for you. Your doctor may prescribe drugs like bupropion or chantix that can effectively help you in quitting smoking. You can combine counseling and medications together for getting the best effect quickly. It is not that difficult to come out of smoking habit if you strongly desire and consider about the health benefits of you and your family.

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