Cochin Cardiac Club

Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


Smoking kills about a million people every year in India and elsewhere. A recent study on smoking has revealed some terrible home truths about the ravages caused by this deadly habit. 
Cigarette smoke includes nicotine, carbon monoxide, 43 carcinogenic substances and more than 400 other toxins that can be found in wood varnish, nail polish remover, and rat poison.

Harmful effects of Smoking

    Toxic ingredients in cigarette smoke travel throughout the body, causing damage in several different ways.

      • Nicotine reaches the brain within 10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. It has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.
      • Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells, preventing affected cells from carrying a full load of oxygen.
      • The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure,straining your heart and blood vessels.
      • Smoking causes fat deposits to narrow and block blood vessels which leads to heart attack.Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers.Smoking causes around one in five deaths from heart disease.
      • Cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) in tobacco smoke damage important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or to reproduce too rapidly.The carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene binds to cells in the airways and major organs of smokers.
      • Smokers are at risk for oral cancer. The tar in cigarette smoke can cause cancer in the tissues of the mouth and throat. 
      • Lung cancer from smoking is caused by the tar in tobacco smoke.Tar coats your lungs like soot in a chimney and causes cancer. A 20-a-day smoker breathes in up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.Changing to low-tar cigarettes does not help because smokers usually take deeper puffs and hold the smoke in for longer, dragging the tar deeper into their lungs.
      • The strain of smoking effects on the body often causes years of suffering.Emphysema for example is an illness that slowly rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again,and suffer lung and heart failure.
      • Smokers also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis , a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power.
      • Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone-based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke. 
      • Cigarette smoke produces serious damages in the stomach. Ulcers are a cause of death if they are not detected on time. So all smokers have to be careful if they have frequent stomach aches and acidity attacks.
      • Because smoking restricts blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin — which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. Studies have also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
      • Smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they're just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies also lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.
      • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, prematurity, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal mortality in humans, which has been referred to as the fetal tobacco syndrome.
      • Secondhand smoke or passive smoking is serious business, and should be a concern for anyone who breathes it in. Non-smokers inhaling secondhand smoke share some of the health risks smokers face. But smokers do face the worst of it - the risks of smoking are compounded by breathing cigarette smoke in for a second time. Don't underestimate the dangers. While secondhand smoke may not kill as many people as smoking does, it is toxic and claims thousands of lives every year around the world. 
      • Children face a greater risk than adults of the negative effects of secondhand smoke. When the air is tainted with cigarette smoke, young, developing lungs receive a higher concentration of inhaled toxins than do older lungs because a child's breathing rate is faster than that of adults. Babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have twice the risk for sudden infant death syndrome as babies who aren't exposed.  

      Life is beautiful after you stop smoking

      The body begins to repair itself once you quit smoking It takes ten to twelve years after you quit, for the body to repair most of the damage caused by smoking. So don’t wait for cancer or emphysema to set in these conditions are more often than not, fatal. This is your reason to take the big step and quit now .

      In couple of weeks time after quitting,your circulation improves, walking becomes easier, and coughing and wheezing is experienced less often. Phlegm production decreases and at about the 3 month mark, lung function is significantly improved.

      After 3 or more months, you will experience all of the benefits already listed  in addition to less sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs, also regain normal function.

      In a years time, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks is reduced by half of what it used to be when you were a smoker.

      In about 12 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack shifts to that of a person who has never smoked before. The risk of death also drops nearly to the level of a non-smoker.

      So now we know what happens to us when we SMOKE and when we QUIT smoking permanently.

      I hope you have already made the decision to quit smoking today.

      Smell good and look good, enjoy the benefits of becoming an ex-smoker by quitting smoking today. 


      nivi said...

      Fantastic post! Better late than never!
      Keep at it doc!!!

      nivi said...

      Fantastic post! One can never quit too soon! Keep at it! Don't lose focus doc!

      Anonymous said...

      Iam joining this fight.Iam quitting too.


      Anonymous said...

      I have asked my husband to read this post so that he can also quit.

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