Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 440,000
lives in America alone each year, including those affected indirectly,
such as babies born prematurely due to prenatal maternal smoking
and some of the victims of "secondhand" exposure to
tobacco's carcinogens. All cigarettes can damage the human body.
Any amount of smoke is dangerous. Cigarettes are perhaps the only
legal product whose advertised and intended use, smoking, is harmful
to the body and causes cancer.
Cigarettes contain at least 69 distinct cancer-causing
chemicals. Smoking is directly responsible for 87 percent of lung
cancer cases and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Smoking is also a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke;
may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the
body; and has been linked to a variety of other conditions and
disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and
peptic ulcer disease.
People may try to make their smoking habit safer
by smoking fewer cigarettes, but most smokers find that hard to
do. Some people think that switching from high tar and nicotine
cigarettes to those with low tar and nicotine content makes smoking
safer, but this is not always true. When people switch to lower
tar and nicotine brands, they often smoke more cigarettes or more
of each cigarette to get the same nicotine dose as before.
A low-tar cigarette can be just as harmful as a
high-tar cigarette when a person takes deeper puffs, puffs more
frequently, or smokes cigarettes to a shorter butt length. Even
if smokers who switch to lower tar brands do not make these changes
to compensate, the health benefits are very small when compared
to the benefits of quitting for good.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes an addiction
to smoking. Nicotine is an addictive drug, just like heroin and
cocaine, for 3 main reasons:
· When taken in small amounts, nicotine creates
pleasant feelings that make the smoker want to smoke more.
· Smokers usually become dependent on nicotine
and suffer withdrawal symptoms when they stop smoking. These symptoms
include nervousness, headaches, irritability, and difficulty in
· Because nicotine affects the chemistry
of the brain and central nervous system, it can affect the mood
and nature of the smoker.
Nicotine is an addictive drug, which when inhaled in cigarette
smoke reaches the brain faster than drugs that enter the body
intravenously. Smokers become not only physically addicted to
nicotine; they also link smoking with many social activities,
making smoking a difficult habit to break.
Nicotine is a poison and in large doses can kill
a person by stopping their breathing muscles. The first dose of
nicotine causes a person to feel awake and alert, while later
doses result in a calm, relaxed feeling. Nicotine can make new
smokers, and regular smokers who get too much of it, feel giddy
or ill to their stomachs. The resting heart rate for young smokers
increases 2 to 3 beats per minute. It also lowers skin temperature
and reduces blood flow in the legs and feet. Nicotine plays an
important role in increasing smokers' risk of heart disease and
When nicotine and other compound in the cigarette
burns, it produces smoke. Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture
of organic and inorganic compounds produced by the burning of
tobacco and additives. The smoke contains tar, which is made up
of over 4,000 chemicals, including over 60 known to cause cancer.
Some of these substances cause heart and lung diseases, and all
of them can be deadly. You might be surprised to know some of
the chemicals found in cigarette smoke. They include:
· methanol (wood alcohol)
· acetylene (the fuel used in welding torches)
Cigarette smoke also contains the poisonous gases
nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Its main active ingredient
is nicotine, an addictive drug.
All forms of tobacco are dangerous. Even if the
health risks were smaller for some tobacco products as opposed
to others, all tobacco products contain nicotine, which can lead
to increased use and addiction. Tobacco cannot be considered safe
in any amount or form. Several forms of flavored tobacco have
become popular in recent years, especially among younger people.
Clove cigarettes, bidis, and, more recently, hookahs, often appeal
to those who want something a little different or “exotic.”
But these products carry many of the same risks of cigarettes
and other tobacco products.
Also called kreteks, are imported mainly from Indonesia and contain
60% to 70% tobacco and 30% to 40% ground cloves, clove oil, and
other additives. The chemicals in cloves have been implicated
in some cases of asthma and other lung diseases. Users often have
the mistaken notion that smoking clove cigarettes is safer than
smoking tobacco or marijuana. But they are a tobacco product with
the same health risks as cigarettes.
These flavoured cigarettes imported mainly from India. They are
hand-rolled in an unprocessed tobacco leaf and tied with strings
on the ends. Their popularity has grown in recent years in part
because they come in a variety of candy-like flavors such as strawberry,
vanilla, and grape, they are usually less expensive than regular
cigarettes, and they often give the smoker an immediate buzz.
Even though bidis contain less tobacco than regular
cigarettes, recent studies have found that they have higher levels
of nicotine (the addictive chemical in tobacco) and other harmful
substances such as tar and carbon monoxide. And because they are
thinner than regular cigarettes, they require about 3 times as
many puffs per cigarette. They are also unfiltered. Bidis appear
to have all of the same health risks of regular cigarettes, if
Smoking hookah started in the Middle East, and involves burning
flavored tobacco in a water pipe and inhaling the smoke through
a long hose. It has recently become popular among young people,
especially around college campuses. It is marketed as being safer
than cigarettes because the percent of tobacco in the product
smoked is low. This claim for safety is not true. Several types
of cancer, as well as other health effects, have been linked to
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How To Prevent Heart Disease - Quit smoking to prevent heart disease
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