June 13, 2024


Truth Triumphs

8 million people quit smoking by dying each year

GUEST COLUMN: Dr. N Prabhudev

Say yes to life. Quit now and live longer or smoke and die 10 to 15 yrs. earlier!

Bengaluru, July 13: Cancer cures smoking. Tobacco is a major cause of cancer, heart disease and stroke. Overall mortality among both male and female smokers is about three times higher than that among Non- smokers. 

India is the second largest consumer and producer of Tobacco. All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco. Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Each day, about 1,600 youth try their first cigarette.

When a person smokes cigarettes for long, their lungs become black, dark, and struggle to take in oxygen. A single inhale of a cigarette will release hundreds of chemicals into your body, including tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. These harmful substances stick to the walls of your airways and lead to inflammation. Healthy lungs are a pretty Pink.  

If you completely quit smoking tobacco, your lungs will begin healing right away. 12 hours after your last cigarette, your lungs should start clearing out the mucus that has built up inside your airways. Within two days, you should no longer experience coughing fits.

By day four, your coughs should subside, and your lungs should start looking healthier. The skin of your nose and mouth will begin returning to its former pinkish hue, and your eyesight will improve. You can expect to feel better within a few weeks, even though your lungs haven’t healed yet. 

However, it will take about six to nine months for all traces of tar and other toxins to leave your body. Your lungs will slowly return to their original pinkish red colour during this time, but only if you are exposed to only fresh air. If you smoke again, your lungs will quickly turn black again. The longer you go without smoking, the healthier your lungs will become. You will experience the benefits right away.

There are a couple of warning signs that the lungs are not healing despite quitting smoking!

• Men who smoke increase their risk of dying from bronchitis and emphysema by 17 times; 

• from cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus by more than 23 times. Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. Among the 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 70 can cause cancer. These cancer-causing chemicals …

• 7 million of these deaths are due to direct tobacco use.  

• 1.2 million Non-smokers die due to second-hand smoke.

• 22.3% of the global population used tobacco in 2022 – 36.7% of all men and 7.8% of the world’s women.

• India accounts for nearly 1.35 million deaths every year. 

• 267 million adults -15 years and above – 29% of all adults smoke. 

• The most prevalent form of tobacco use in India is smokeless tobacco and commonly used products are gutkha, betel quid with tobacco and zarda. Smoking forms of tobacco used are bidi, cigarette and hookah.

If you have already developed COPD not it only does not improve, but continues to degrade. Stopping smoking may slow the progressive decline in lung function, but it never reverses. While the risk of lung cancer in chronic cigarette smokers is about 13 times that of non-smokers, COPD is almost inevitable. And smokers on the average die 10–15 years before non-smokers.

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