Smoking has been a constant habit with the human race for decades now. It is the most common form of addiction which is undertaken by people at large. Usually people smoke the leaves of the tobacco plants which are dried and rolled into cylindrical sticks, commonly known as ‘cigarettes’. This has been promoted as one of the most frequently used drugs which serve as a stress buster since it releases certain components into your body. Incidentally in certain cultures smoking is used to put oneself in a trance like state which they believed would help them traverse in the path to gain “ spiritual enlightenment”.
Although the most widely used form in which tobacco is inhaled is in the form of cigarettes, other smoking implements can also be bidis, hookahs, pipes, vaporizers so on and so forth. As per the surveys smoking related diseases kills one half of the long term smokers but it also passive smokers. Tobacco smoking is in today’s world the most commonly found form of habit that people have developed and about one billion humans belonging to various human races practice it. It happens to be the most popular commercially viable drug available in the marketplace and hence a ready source of addiction.
Smoking kills. Smoking is the sole cause of about more than a billion deaths globally. Smoking takes away on an average 13 to 14 years of lifetime from male and female smokers respectively. The various ways in which it adversely affects different parts of our human body are as follows :
- Decrease in bone density is directly proportional to inhaling tobacco.
- Apart from gaining weight, consuming alcohol and not being active enough, smoking increases the risk of having Osteoporosis. A disease in which the bones weaken and are likely to get fractured at the drop of a hat.
- Severe bone loss has been observed in men and women who have been chain smokers all over the world. It takes a long time for people to recover from this condition even if they quit smoking at some age. Prevention is always better than cure.
- Smoking reduces the level of the hormone estrogen in the body of women. Which could, in turn, make them go through menopause before time.
Heart and Blood Vessels
- It causes Cardiovascular diseases which also includes
– Heart attack
– Heart-related chest pain
– Severe damage to your arteries.
– Coronary diseases, which include blocking the passage for the flow of blood.
- Aneurysms which is a phenomenon in which bulging blood vessels are created which could burst and be a cause of death.
- A disease called Atherosclerosis in which a waxy substance called plaque is formed in the arteries.
- It might also cause Strokes, which is a direct effect of the death of brain cells that are caused by clotting of blood or internal bleeding.
Lungs and Breathing
- Chronic Bronchitis is caused. The bronchial tissues swell up, and thus less amount of air can pass through your lungs.
- It causes a disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which results in the tightening of the chest, shortening of breath and it becomes worse with time.
About 7000 chemicals are contained in tobacco. 70 of them are known to cause cancer. Although smoking makes you extremely prone to lung cancer, but it directly or indirectly affects your entire body system. And it might cause cancer in :
- Oral Cavity
- Uterine Cervix
- Nasal Cavity
Sigmund Freud, died of Oral Cancer. The cause of which was attributed to smoking by his doctor. Smoking is also a primary cause of leukemia.
Smoking is said to be doubly harmful for women. Especially when they are expecting. During the period of pregnancy the mother is asked to stay away from smoke. They are advised to quit smoking if not permanently then definitely for those nine months. Smoking can have various effects :-
- It might affect the placenta inversely. It is the source of the child’s food and oxygen.
- It lowers the amount of oxygen which the baby should be provided with.
- It increases –
– The child’s heart rate
– The possibility of a premature delivery
– The chances of the baby developing respiratory problems.
– The chances of still birth
– The risk of the child having a cleft lip or a cleft palate or any other such birth defects.
– The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. ( SIDS)
- It can also cause the child to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD)
- It can affect the ability of learning in the child.
- It also makes the child more prone to becoming a smoker.
Women who smoke are more likely to have difficulty in getting conceiving or having a miscarriage than the ones who don’t smoke. Women who are exposed to smoke also puts the baby at a higher risk. They may have low birth weight babies.
Many measures have been taken by the governments to stop encouraging the people from smoking and to make the people aware of the long term effects smoking can cause which can eventually lead to one’s death even. Passive smoking which is as dangerous as smoking and causes similar amount of damage is one of the main reasons for which the government has banned smoking in public places. This law does not allow smoking in public places. The main reason for doing this is to discourage smoking by making it unsuitable in public places. A common concern in many countries is to prevent the habit of smoking amongst minors and in many countries laws have been passed which does not allow tobacco products to be sold to young children. In spite of all these various measures smoking still continues to an eminent problem which cannot be completely eradicated from the society owing to it strong foundation.