- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
It is no secret that smoking has a devastating effect on health. Despite this many smokers regularly come up with excuses like ‘I am quitting soon.’ ‘Oh, I am not addicted.’ ‘Smoking is cool; it helps me feel calm’ and so on.
Why Do We Smoke Cigarettes?
It has been discovered that much advertised messaging of cigarette advertisers, such as superior taste, honeydew smooth, and so on is not the reason for us to become smokers or to choose one brand in preference to another. Smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is a physiological satisfaction. As per a survey conducted in the United States, one of our respondents explained: “It is not the taste that counts – it’s that sense of satisfaction you get from a cigarette that you can’t get from anything else.”
A cigarette is perhaps a reward that we can give ourselves as often as we wish. Smokers advertently promise themselves of a ciggy once they are able to successfully finish a piece of work. For instance, one might just say to himself – “When I finish writing the last page of my report, I’ll deserve a little fun. I’ll have a cigarette”.
Moreover, a respondent remarked that smoking cigarettes is like being with a friend, while another said that he just cannot think or write without a cigarette. It has been found that human mind concentrates best when all outside stimuli have been excluded. Smokers believe that a cigarette literally provides a sort of “smoke screen” that helps to shut out distractions. This explains why many people who smoke find it so difficult to abandon the habit despite the terrible facts associated with it.
But the fact remains that smoking not only affects the smokers but also non-smokers. In spite of herculean efforts aimed at spreading awareness on the flipside of smoking one British survey found that nearly 99 percent of women did not know of the link between smoking and cervical cancer. Another survey found that 60 percent of Chinese adults did not know that smoking can cause lung cancer. Moreover, consider the facts below –
- Every eight seconds, someone in the world dies due to tobacco use.
- More than 600,000 people, including 165,000 children, die every year from passive smoking.
- One out of three smokers is estimated to eventually die from a tobacco-related disease.
- Only 12 percent of smokers can expect to live to 85, as compared to 69 percent of non-smokers.
The statistics seem to be as limitless as the destruction caused by smoking.
Effects of Smoking
Constituents of a Typical Cigarette:
One must know the reason a cigarette is so injurious to health is the fact that it contains some very dangerous chemicals, and there are about 4,000 of those. All these go into making a single cigarette, giving it its unique flavor. Moreover, we are not talking about sub-standard or adulterated cigarettes.
Some of these chemicals include –
- Acetone – nail polish remover
- Ammonia – toilet cleaner
- Hydrogen Cyanide – poison
- Cadmium – car battery fluid
- DDT/ Dleldron – insecticide
- Methanol – rocket fuel
- Napthalene – mothballs
- Nicotine – a drug that can affect the brain chemistry adversely
- Phenols – disinfectant
- Formalin – preservative for human tissue
The next time you smoke a cigarette, remember that all this and more goes into your body as well.
What Cigarettes Do To Your Children?
Pregnant women who smoke will have babies with malformations and low birth weight. It is likely to cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Second hand smoke is associated with as many as 3,00,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia each year among infants and babies up to eighteen months old. Passive smoking from a parent’s cigarette increases a child’s chances for middle ear problems, causes coughing and wheezing, and worsens asthma conditions. If both parents smoke, a teenager is more than twice as likely to smoke as compared to a young person whose parents are both non-smokers.
So for the sake of our own children, we must consider quitting smoking for good.
© Copyright MANIPAL HOSPITALS
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