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smoking – What is smoking

Introduction

smoking is a bad habbit, Smoking is a bad light and in today’s article we will give you a lot of information about it.
So you are requested to read it carefully so that you understand everything easily.

What is smoking

Smoking, the act of inhaling and exhaling the fumes of burning plant material. A variety of plant materials are smoked, including marijuana and hashish, but the act is most commonly associated with tobacco as smoked in a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Tobacco contains nicotine, an alkaloid that is addictive and can have both stimulating and tranquilizing psychoactive effects. The smoking of tobacco, long practiced by American Indians, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and other explorers. Smoking soon spread to other areas and today is widely practiced around the world despite medical, social, and religious arguments against it.

Health consequences of smoking

Addiction

A major health effect common to all forms of tobacco use is addiction, or, more technically, dependence. Addiction is not lethal in its own right, but it contributes to tobacco-caused death and disease, since it spurs smokers to continue their habit, which repeatedly exposes them to the toxins in tobacco smoke. Although there are many historical accounts of the apparent ability of tobacco use to escalate into an addiction for some smokers, it was not until the 1980s that leading health organizations such as the Office of the Surgeon General in the United States, the Royal Society of Canada, and WHO formally concluded that cigarettes are highly addictive on the basis of their ability to deliver large doses of nicotine into the lungs, from which blood quickly carries it to the brain.

Smoking and health

At the dawn of the 20th century, the most common tobacco products were cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco. The mass production of cigarettes was in its infancy, although cigarette smoking was beginning to increase dramatically. According to the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1888), tobacco products were suspected of producing some adverse health effects, yet tobacco was also considered to have medicinal properties. Many scholars and health professionals of the day advocated tobacco’s use for such effects as improved concentration and performance, relief of boredom, and enhanced mood.

The primary cause of the escalation in the number of deaths and incidents of disease from tobacco is the large increase in cigarette smoking during the 20th century. During that time cigarette smoking grew to account for approximately 80 percent of the world’s tobacco market. Nonetheless, all tobacco products are toxic and addictive. In some regions of the world, the use of smokeless tobacco products is a major health concern.

By the dawn of the 21st century, in stark contrast, tobacco had become recognized as being highly addictive and one of the world’s most-devastating causes of death and disease. Moreover, because of the rapid increase in smoking in developing countries in the late 20th century, the number of smoking-related deaths per year was projected to rise rapidly in the 21st century. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in the late 1990s there were approximately four million tobacco-caused deaths per year worldwide. This estimate was increased to approximately five million in 2003 and six million in 2011 and was expected to reach eight million per year by 2030. An estimated 80 percent of those deaths were projected to occur in developing countries. Indeed, although tobacco use was declining in many countries of western Europe and North America and in Australia, it continued to increase in countries of Asia, Africa, and South America.

Tobacco products are manufactured with various additives to preserve the tobacco’s shelf life, alter its burning characteristics, control its moisture content, inhibit the hatching of insect eggs that may be present in the plant material, mask the irritative effects of nicotine, and provide any of a wide array of flavours and aromas. The smoke produced when tobacco and these additives are burned consists of more than 4,000 chemical compounds. Many of these compounds are highly toxic, and they have diverse effects on health.

The primary constituents of tobacco smoke are nicotine, tar (the particulate residue from combustion), and gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Although nicotine can be poisonous at very high dosages, its toxic effect as a component of tobacco smoke is generally considered modest compared with that of many other toxins in the smoke. The main health effect of nicotine is its addictiveness. Carbon monoxide has profound, immediate health effects. It passes easily from the lungs into the bloodstream, where it binds to hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that is responsible for the transfer of oxygen in the body. Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen on the hemoglobin molecule and is removed only slowly. Therefore, smokers frequently accumulate high levels of carbon monoxide, which starves the body of oxygen and puts an enormous strain on the entire cardiovascular system.

Clean-air laws that prohibit cigarette smoking are becoming widespread. In the 1980s and 1990s, such laws typically required that nonsmoking areas be established in restaurants and workplaces. However, the finding that toxins in environmental smoke could easily diffuse across large spaces led to much stronger bans. Since 2000 many cities, states, and regions worldwide, including New York City in 2003, Scotland in 2006, Nairobi in 2007, and Chicago in 2008, have implemented complete smoking bans in restaurants, taverns, and enclosed workplaces. A ban introduced in 2011 in China, which was home to one-third of the global smoking population, barred smoking in hotels, restaurants, and other indoor public spaces (the ban did not include smoking in workplaces, nor did it specify penalties).

The harmful effects of smoking are not limited to the smoker. The toxic components of tobacco smoke are found not only in the smoke that the smoker inhales but also in environmental tobacco smoke, or secondhand smoke—that is, the smoke exhaled by the smoker (mainstream smoke) and the smoke that rises directly from the smoldering tobacco (sidestream smoke). Nonsmokers who are routinely exposed to environmental tobacco smoke are at increased risk for some of the same diseases that afflict smokers, including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In addition, entire countries have implemented smoking bans in workplaces or restaurants or, in some cases, in all public areas, including Ireland, Norway, and New Zealand in 2004 and France and India in 2008. In 2005 Bhutan became the first country to ban both smoking in public places and the sale of tobacco products.

Lung disease

lungs
lungs

It is not surprising that smokers suffer from many respiratory diseases other than lung cancer. One such disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which is one of the major causes of debilitation and eventual death in cigarette smokers. More than 80 percent of those diagnosed with COPD are smokers, and most of these people die prematurely, with a greater number of women dying from COPD than men. COPD is a general term that refers to respiratory diseases in which airflow is obstructed. Women’s airways appear to be more sensitive to the effect of cigarette smoke. Women with COPD often experience greater breathlessness and a disproportionately greater thickening of airway walls relative to men with COPD. Most commonly, COPD refers to chronic bronchitis (chronic cough and phlegm production) and emphysema (permanent enlargement of air spaces accompanied by deterioration of lung walls), although specific diagnostic criteria sometimes differ. Active smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke are also responsible for increases in other respiratory ailments, such as pneumonia, the common cold, and influenza. Smokers who contract these ailments take longer than nonsmokers to recover from them. Children are especially susceptible to the effects of environmental tobacco smoke. When raised in a household in which they are regularly exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, children are more likely to suffer from asthma and chronic cough, and they may suffer from reduced lung growth and function.

Cancer

cancer
cancer

It is estimated that approximately one-third of all cancer deaths worldwide are attributable to tobacco. Cigarette smoke contains more than 60 known carcinogens, including tobacco-specific nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Although certain of the body’s enzymes metabolize carcinogens and cause them to be excreted, these enzymes sometimes function inadequately, allowing carcinogens to bind to cellular DNA and damage it. When cells with damaged DNA survive, replicate, and accumulate, cancers occur. Cancerous cells can metastasize—that is, travel to other sites in the body—causing the cancer to spread. Cancer risk is partly determined by the toxicity of tobacco products; however, the risk of disease is also strongly related to the amount and duration of toxin exposure. The longer and more frequently a person smokes, the more likely a tobacco-related cancer will develop. For this reason, addiction is a strong indirect contributor to other diseases in that it promotes high-level and persistent exposure to cancer-causing agents.
Since the majority of tobacco users are cigarette smokers who inhale smoke into the lungs, it is not surprising that active smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke are believed to account for 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer. A marked increase in lung cancer has occurred in all countries of the world where smoking has increased. In the United States lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths than any other kind of cancer and kills more women each year than breast cancer. It is estimated that 85 percent of all cases of lung cancer could be prevented if all smoking of cigarettes stopped. However, exposure to carcinogens is not limited to the respiratory system. Smoking is a major cause of bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, laryngeal cancer, oral cancer, and esophageal cancer. When a regular tobacco user successfully quits, the risk of cancer decreases, though not to the level of someone who has never smoked. Smokeless tobacco users, meanwhile, repeatedly expose the oral mucosa to toxins and have a substantially increased risk of getting head and neck cancers, though the risk depends in part on the period of consumption and the nature of the product. For example, Swedish smokeless tobacco (“snus”) is made to contain substantially lower levels of carcinogens than American smokeless tobacco, and the risk of tobacco-caused cancer in its users appears to be correspondingly lower. There are large geographic differences in the prevalence of oral tobacco use, with higher consumption in Sweden, India, Southeast Asia, and parts of the United States.

Effects on pregnancy

smoking in pregnency
smoking in pregnency

Women who smoke are more likely to experience infertility and miscarriage (spontaneous abortion). When a pregnant woman smokes, some toxins from the smoke can be passed to the fetus. These toxins can later affect an infant’s lung development and lung function. Babies of women who smoke are more likely to be born prematurely, to have a low birth weight, and to have slower initial growth. Smoking cessation within the first trimester lowers these health risks to a level comparable to those of people who have never smoked. Infants in households where there is a smoker are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Heart disease

smoking heart disease
smoking heart disease

Smoking has long been recognized as a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease, the risk being greater the more one smokes. As previously discussed, the carbon monoxide present in cigarette smoke binds to hemoglobin in the blood, making fewer molecules available for oxygen transport. In addition, coronary blood flow is reduced, forcing the heart to work harder to deliver oxygen to the body. Such strain places smokers at significantly greater risk for myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and stroke. There are, however, regional and sex differences in the incidence of smoking-related cardiovascular disease. In China, for example, where about 53 percent of adult males smoke (as opposed to about 2.4 percent of adult females), cardiovascular disease makes up a much smaller percentage of smoking-related deaths than in the United States and Europe, where it accounts for approximately 30 to 40 percent of all tobacco-caused deaths. Research has also shown that for women even light or moderate smoking (from 1 to 14 cigarettes smoked per day) substantially increases risk for sudden cardiac death. After quitting, a smoker’s risk for cardiovascular disease falls faster than the risk for lung cancer, with reductions in risk evident within one year of cessation.

Smoking cessation

The starting point for “kicking the habit” is awareness of the harm smoking can cause. For example, after the U.S. surgeon general’s report in 1964 brought to public awareness a link between smoking and cancer, smoking rates in the United States dropped precipitously. By 2000 the smoking rate was about one-half that of 1960. Furthermore, strong antismoking warnings and health-related messages generally increase smokers’ motivation to quit, as was shown in Canada when it adopted strong graphic warnings on cigarette packaging. Such warnings are now promoted by WHO as an important educational tool to motivate smoking cessation and to help prevent persons from starting to smoke.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who try to stop smoking resume within a few weeks of quitting because of the addictive grip of nicotine. Persons who smoke any cigarettes at all usually smoke enough to develop an addiction to nicotine. In general, the more cigarettes a person smokes per day, the greater is the addiction and the more difficult it is to quit. In addition to nicotine dependency, other factors that impede quitting are easy access to cigarettes and the withdrawal symptoms that accompany any discontinuance of nicotine intake. These symptoms include cravings, depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.

Dependence and withdrawal can be managed better by some people than others, and people often learn how to deal with these problems after repeated attempts. Medical intervention, including behavioral guidance, can be critical for recovery from tobacco addiction; scientifically based treatment strategies can have more than double the success rate of quitting “cold turkey” without assistance. Because the health benefits of quitting are so profound, leading health authorities consider treatment for tobacco dependence to be among the most important and cost-effective types of medical intervention. WHO and the governments of many nations are working aggressively to make scientifically proven treatments available to all tobacco users so that they may find a path to better long-term health. Other organizations such as the World Bank are working to support the availability of treatment in developing countries so that their struggling economies are not crippled by tobacco-caused disease and its burdens on health care systems and worker productivity.

Behavioral intervention

Quitting successfully must generally start with a plan for managing behaviour associated with tobacco addiction. Common to virtually all therapeutic approaches is the selection of and planning for a quitting date and adherence to the plan. The plan should include strategies for avoiding or managing situations that might stimulate a craving for a cigarette and therefore trigger a relapse to smoking. For example, for a few weeks or months, some people will need to avoid certain places and activities that they associate with smoking. Others will find it useful to learn methods by which to cope with stress or occasional cravings, such as breathing deeply, chewing gum, or taking a brief walk. Major health organizations provide information on a variety of successful strategies that can be tailored to an individual’s situation.

Social and emotional support is often critical in sustaining an individual’s efforts to quit. Support can come from a structured smoking-cessation program with group, one-on-one, or telephone counseling. Counseling need not be time-consuming or expensive.

Studies have shown that even very brief counseling—as little as three minutes total—can make a difference, although more extensive treatment is generally more effective. Support from family members, friends, and health professionals can also play an integral part in the process of quitting.

For many persons a nicotine medication that helps address the physical aspects of nicotine dependence and withdrawal can be as important and beneficial as medications used for the management of other disorders, such as high blood pressure, in which behavioral strategies are also important.

stop smoking

stop smoking
stop smoking

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