April 18, 2024


Truth Triumphs

Don’t Smoke Your Life Away!

GUEST COLUMN: Dr N Prabhudev
Bengaluru, Dec. 28: Quitting smoking can add years to your life. Earlier the better, it’s never too late to quit. The benefits of quitting are real, even at the age of 80!

India is the second largest producer and third largest consumer of tobacco in the world. Reasons to smoke are mostly psychological – Macho image and style quotient, employed outside, observing siblings’ relatives and parents, stress & unwelcome pressure on their mind! Each day, over 4,000 people under the age of 18 years try their first cigarette!
Each year nearly 0.16 million people develop cancer, 4.5 million develop heart diseases and 3.9 million develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking cigarettes contributes to almost 1 in 5 deaths. Smoking is also linked to a number of other cancers, an increased likelihood of getting more colds and infections, diabetes, osteoporosis and hip fractures, problems in pregnancy, difficulty with erections, stomach ulcers, gum disease, and the list goes on.
Stop smoking, your body begins to heal almost instantly.

92% of current smokers are aware that smoking in any form causes cancer, and yet they indulge into this life threating hobby, why? Because many do not know a way to get out of this. Living smoke-free is your opportunity to live a healthier.
The only place to live, we have is our body! We have to live there all our lives! We hardly think about how our body is doing! But our mind ignores the existence of our body. This ignorance can be fatal! Our body eventually gives up on us. It is time you mind our body!

Start the day with smoking: As the smoke enters Mouth – the heat and tar- from cigarettes – highly toxic and carcinogenic, causes your lips to darken. The constant pouting and sucking that you do in order to take a puff has also led to ‘smoker’s pout. If you’re a pack-a-day smoker when you were 18, you’re likely to lose 4 to 5 teeth by the time you’re 35.

Cigarette smoke causes smoker’s voice – hoarse, and over time, it can lead to throat cancer. It causes frequent infections, dryness and painful irritation of the throat and further leads to ‘smokers cough’!
Smoke enters your lungs

The smoke enters deep inside the lungs! Only 30% of cigarette tar is sent back into the air through exhalation — the rest sticks to your throat and lungs. A pack-a-day smoker Is liable to develop lung cancer down the line!
Smoke enters your Heart and Blood Vessels -From the lungs, the chemicals in cigarette smoke are immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. From here they go straight to your heart and from there, everywhere else in your body.

• Your heart begins to beat faster as much as 10 to 25 beats per minute. That adds up to 36,000 extra beats per day.
• Smoke can also cause an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia.
• The oxygen level in your blood is reduced because the carbon monoxide produced when you smoke tricks the body into thinking that it’s oxygen. your heart goes into overtime mode to supply oxygen
• It constricts the blood vessel further reducing the blood supply and oxygen to the heart cells
• increases the cholesterol and unhealthy fats circulating in the blood, leading to unhealthy fatty deposits
Smoke enters your Brain – Nicotine addiction is hard to beat because it changes your brain. When you lower the nicotine that your brain is getting, you face nicotine withdrawal. You feel anxious, irritable, and have strong cravings for nicotine.
Fast facts on quitting smoking!
Timeline of healing of the body after quitting smoking for good!
After 1 hour- In less than 20 minutes, heart rate drops to return to normal. Blood pressure drops, and circulation starts to improve.
After 12 hours – the body cleanses itself of the excess carbon monoxide from the cigarettes. The carbon monoxide level returns to normal, increasing the body’s oxygen levels.
After 1 day -the risk of heart attack begins to decrease, decreasing the risk of heart disease from smoking-induced high blood pressure, a person’s oxygen levels will have risen, making physical activity and exercise easier to do, promoting heart-healthy habits.
After 2 weeks
After around 2 weeks, circulation begins to improve. Blood can pump through the heart and muscles more easily. A person’s lung function also begins to improve.
After 1 month
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Lungs regain normal function and reduce a person’s risk of infection.
After 6 months – lung function increases by 10%. This improves any coughing, wheezing, or breathing problems.
After 1 year – risk of a heart attack and coronary heart disease becomes half of that of a person who smokes.
After 5 years – a person’s risk of certain cancers is reduced by half.
After 15 years – a person’s risk of coronary heart disease becomes close to that of someone who does not smoke.
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death! Smoking cessation is beneficial at any age. Reduces the risk of premature death and can add as much as a decade to life expectancy. Three out five succeed in quitting!

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