Smoking Information

Health condition

Cigarette smoking is most likely to become a habit during the teen years or in the late twenties, even thirties when stress levels alleviates. Anyone, who starts smoking, whether as a social smoker or light smoker, eventually become addicted. They are also more likely to suffer from the health problems caused by cigarette smoking.

All cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than nonsmokers. Cigarette smoking causes several lung diseases that can be just as dangerous as lung cancer. Chronic bronchitis - a disease where the airways produce excess mucus, which forces the smoker to cough more often - is a common ailment of smokers.

The short-term effects of smoking include:

· Smoking decreases lung function
· Smokers often suffer from shortness of breath, nagging coughing, or tiring easily during strenuous physical activity
· Smoking also diminishes the ability to smell and taste
· causes premature aging of skin
· increases the risk of heart disease
· Smoking is the biggest risk factor for sudden heart attack although, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes are all risk factors for heart disease.
· Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die within an hour of the heart attack than nonsmokers.
· Morning cough
Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that irritate the air passages and lungs. When a smoker inhales these substances, the body tries to protect itself by producing mucus and coughing. The "early morning" cough of smokers happens for several reasons. Normally, tiny hairlike formations (called cilia) beat outward and sweep harmful material out of the lungs.

Cigarette smoke slows the sweeping action, so some of the poisons in the smoke remain in the lungs and mucus remains in the airways. When a smoker sleeps, some cilia recover and begin working again. After waking up, the smoker coughs because the lungs are trying to clear away the poisons that built up the previous day. The cilia stop working after long-term exposure to smoke. Then the smoker's lungs are even more exposed and susceptible than before, especially to bacteria and viruses in the air. Wherever smoke touches living cells, it does harm.

Even if smokers don't inhale they are breathing the smoke as secondhand smoke and are still at risk for lung cancer. Pipe and cigar smokers are also at an increased risk for lip, mouth, and tongue cancers.

The causes of smoking related diseases include:

· major cause of cancers of the lung, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, pharynx (throat), and esophagus, and is a contributing cause in the development of cancers of the bladder, pancreas, liver, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach, colon and rectum, and some leukemias.
· a major cause of heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke, and contributes to the severity of pneumonia.
· Damaging effect on women's reproductive health associated with increased risk of miscarriage, early delivery (prematurity), stillbirth, infant death, and is a cause of low birth weight in infants.
· Health problems from ‘Ssecondhand smoke’
· chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer

Smoking causes many types of cancer, which may not develop for years. Smoking causes almost 90% of lung cancers. It also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), oral cavity, pharynx (throat), and esophagus, and contributes to the development of cancers of the bladder, pancreas, liver, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach, colon and rectum, and some leukemias.

Cigarette smoking is also the major cause of emphysema - a disease that slowly destroys a person's ability to breathe. For oxygen to reach the blood, it must move across large surfaces in the lungs. Normally, thousands of tiny sacs make up the surface area in the lungs. When emphysema occurs, the walls between the sacs break down and create larger but fewer sacs. This decreases the amount of oxygen reaching the blood. Eventually, the lung surface area can become so small that a person with emphysema has to often gasp for breath, with an oxygen bottle nearby or with oxygen tubes inserted into the nose.

More than 7 million current and former smokers suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the name used to describe both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Often both of these conditions are present in one person. Pregnant women who smoke risk the health and lives of their unborn babies.

Smoking and pregnant women
Smoking during pregnancy is linked with a greater chance of spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, infant deaths, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Up to 10% of infant deaths could be prevented if pregnant women did not smoke.

When a pregnant woman smokes, she’s smoking for two. The nicotine, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals enter her bloodstream, pass directly into the baby’s body, and prevent the baby from getting essential nutrients and oxygen for growth.

Second hand smoke
Passive smoking or secondhand smoke, occurs when nonsmokers inhale other people’s tobacco smoke. This includes mainstream smoke (smoke that is exhaled into the air by smokers), and side stream smoke (smoke that comes directly from the burning tobacco in cigarettes). ETS contains the same harmful chemicals as the smoke that smokers inhale. In fact, because sidestream smoke is formed at lower temperatures, it gives off even larger amounts of some cancer-causing substances.

It can also affect nonsmokers by causing eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Children whose parents smoke are more likely to suffer from pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, coughing, wheezing, increased mucus production, and asthma. Several studies have also shown a link between parents who smoke and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Children of parents who smoke have a greater chance of dying of SIDS.

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