The World Health Organisation has pulled out all stops to drive home the fact that tobacco is lethal. And that is why they have designated May 31st as the World No Tobacco Day. This is the day that campaigns are launched to remind people to steer clear of tobacco. This year’s theme is “tobacco and lung health”.
Here are some problems caused by smoking –
1. Cancer Risk –
Whether you are puffing on a cigarette, a cigar, pipe, hookah or chewing tobacco, the most fearful outcome of regular consumption of tobacco is increased risk of cancers such as-
- Kidney cervix
- Bladder pancreas
2. Lung Damage –
Your lungs have delicate little air sacks that cannot survive an onslaught of constant smoking. The smoke also damages the air passages leading in and out of the lungs. Once you begin to smoke regularly, infection sets in. Gradually with continued smoking, the infection worsens and gradually paves the way for lung cancer. Moreover, it aggravates asthma and pneumonia.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) –
This syndrome comprises symptoms of both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This is a dangerous illness and unfortunately, there is no cure. The more you smoke and the longer the duration of smoking, the greater the chances of your coming down with COPD. Some symptoms include-
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up phlegm
- Extremely laboured breathing
4. Heart Disorders –
Smoking causes your blood pressure soar which makes you susceptible to Peripheral Arterial Disease. Plaque starts to accumulate along your blood vessels. This thickens them and makes them inflexible which restricts the supply of blood to the heart. If this continues for long, the muscles of the heart will start to die. This escalates the risk of a heart attack.
5. Makes you prone to Diabetes –
Smokers are actually much more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than non-smokers are. It makes your body resistant to diabetes. And if you had already been diagnosed with this debilitating disease before you picked up the habit of smoking, then it will make the symptoms worse.
6. Other health effects of smoking –
- Smoking may make it difficult for you to conceive
- Smoking may give men erectile dysfunction
- It may weaken your immunity
- Smoking may even be the cause of osteoporosis
What should You do?
You need to stop consuming tobacco right way. But if you are a chain smoker, maybe you will have to gradually wean yourself off smoking. So, in the meantime try a nicotine patch and undergo the following tests to assess the state of your health-
- Spirometry: It is a breathing test that analyses your lung function
- Chest x-rays: This will allow your doctor to take a look at your heart and lungs
- CT Angiography: This test can detect the early stages of lung cancer
- ECG: To detect if any damage has been done to your heart by measuring its beats and rhythm
- Diabetes test: To monitor your blood sugar level
Smoking & consuming tobacco can have a terrible impact on your health. This World No Tobacco Day, vow to lay off tobacco not just to avert the ailments it triggers but also for the sake of your loved ones.