Every year, May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day. This day has been set aside by World Health Organization since 1987 as a tribute to the 6 million killed each year by tobacco and a call of action for governments to halt this deadly epidemic. According to a report published by WHO, tobacco use kills more than 7 million people around the world each year. This number is predicted to grow until and unless an effective anti-tobacco action is put into place. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world. It is the main source for many types of cancer including heart disease, stroke, lung disease and other health related problems.
The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2018 will be “Tobacco and Heart Disease”. The focus of WNTD will be the cardiovascular health. The main aims for WNTD 2018 are:
  • Highlight the link between use of tobacco products and heart and other cardiovascular diseases.

  • Increase awareness among the public on impact tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke can have on cardiovascular health.

  • Cooperate with public, governments and others to be committed to promote heart health by protecting people from use of tobacco products.

  • Encourage countries to implement MPOWER tobacco control measures contained in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

The damage tobacco does is more or less same irrespective of whether the tobacco is inhales or chewed. One of the best cancer doctors in Kolkata, Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti is throwing light on what causes the urge to smoke, the damage it can cause and how to control it.

WHAT CAUSES THE URGE TO SMOKE?

Everyone has their own set of reasons on why they started using tobacco in the first place. Some of you might have started smoking to remove study pressure or may have seen someone with a cigarette which gave you a boost of confidence. But once the habit develops, and then you don’t need any reason to smoke. There are various sequences of events that compel an individual to smoke. It can be time of day, your company, your place of being, cravings and the kind of mood you are in. All this urge breaks down to Nicotine. Nicotine is present in all types of tobacco products. Being a stimulant, it is one of the main reasons for your continued tobacco smoking. It infuses with the blood cells and creates an urge to smoke whenever nicotine level in the body goes down.

WHAT MAKES TOBACCO SMOKE DANGEROUS?

The most harmful effects of smoking are:

  • Crave for more and more Nicotine.

  • Tar– It is the most harmful byproduct of smoking. It is sticky and brown, and stains teeth and lung tissue. Tar contains carcinogen Benazo(a)pyrene.

  • Carbon monoxide– This gas combines with blood more easily than oxygen and thus damages different organs by reaching through the blood stream.

  • Hydrogen Cyanide– It paralyzes tiny hairs (cilia) present in lungs that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign substances out. In due course of time, the lungs get poisoned.

  • Radioactive Compounds– Tobacco smoke contains many carcinogenic radioactive compounds.

EFFECTS OF TOBACCO USE

Regular tobacco use can give you irreversible damage.

  • Brain & Central nervous System– Nicotine is known to be a stimulant for the brain. On reaching the CNS, it gives an initial energy boost. After sometime, when the effect reduces it gives you crave for more. It gives you good feeling when you are smoking, but it can make you anxious, nervous, moody and depressed afterwards. It is also known to increase the risk of muscular degeneration, cataracts and poor eye sight.
  • Breathing & Respiratory System– Smoking involves harmful chemicals which in due course of time damages the lungs and the muscles used in respiration. It can also cause irritation in trachea and larynx. It causes a lot of coughing with mucous. Tobacco can lead to emphysema and lung cancer. On comparing with parents who don’t smoke, children of parents who smoke are more prone to coughing, wheezing and asthma attacks.
  • Heart and Cardiovascular System– Smoking is very harmful for patients with diabetes as nicotine boosts blood sugar and causes blood vessels to tighten, increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. In long term, smokers are more likely to get Leukemia (Blood Cancer).
  • Skin and Mouth– Smoking causes skin discoloration, wrinkles and premature aging. Other effects include yellowing of fingernails and skin of fingers, fading of enamel of teeth and yellowing of teeth. In extreme cases, it can cause oral cancer.
  • Sex and Reproductive System– Nicotine can give you a sudden energy boost which can make you excited for sex, but as nicotine level goes down, you feel extremely lethargic and unable for erection and libido. It even reduces sperm count and continuous use leaves an individual impotent as blood supply to penis decreases. In females, it causes dryness in the vagina.

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING?

Millions of people have successfully quit smoking and you can too. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Put it in Writing– Write down the reasons why you want to quit smoking and keep it where you can see it. Keep adding new reasons you can think of.

  • Get Support– ask your peers or family members to help you quit smoking. Get the help of a counselor or other adults you trust. You can also join an online or in-person support group.

  • Set a Quit Date– Set a date and put it on your calendar. Tell your family and friends that you’ll quit on that particular day. Think of the changes between smoking you and new you.

  • Throw away your cigarettes– It is very difficult to control temptation. You’ll feel tempted to smoke with cigarettes around. So, just throw them including your lighter and ashtrays.

There are many more ways to quit smoking. Find one that suits you the best. If you are not able to quit at once, do it gradually. You can take the help of one of the best oncologist in Kolkata. You’ll feel happy and healthy after quitting smoking and it will also boost your confidence.