As Rust is to iron tobacco is to health

As Rust is to iron: tobacco is to health

“As Rust is to iron: tobacco is to health”

The usage of tobacco is among one of the biggest public health issue which have killed up to half of its users. According to WHO, more than 6 million of the deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills nearby surrounding when people use tobacco such as cigarettes, bidis and hookah. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. People who smoke believes that it is only them who are taking in the tobacco but they are unaware of the fact that others around them are also taking the smoke with them which is equally affecting others around them.

Some interesting facts

  • In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious diseases like coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
  • In infants, it causes sudden death. In pregnant women, it causes low birth weight of foetus.

People who smoke give several reasons as to why they smoke. An Interesting conversation between a daughter and her father will help you understand why most men smoke.

A girl named Riya (name changed) asked her father one day, “papa why do you smoke?” To which the father replied “Beta go and do your work!”
The daughter was determined that day that she will get answer to that question. She again persuaded her father to know what makes him smoke. The father told then he has lot of pressure on him and he can’t concentrate without smoking and he has to submit his project on time. She asked her father then; she has an assignment to be submitted in her school which she is not able to complete as she is having difficulty in concentration. So she should also smoke along with him as it would help her complete her assignment. His father was surprised to hear that from her daughter and was pondering what to say to her daughter.

We often see people who smoke say they can’t concentrate if they don’t smoke. Few would say smoking act as a stress buster for them. Others would say it helps them in getting fresh in morning. So People began taking drugs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • to feel good — feeling of pleasure, “high”
  • to feel better — e.g., relieve stress.
  • to do better — improve performance”
  • curiosity and peer pressure

It’s a myth that smoking is a stress buster. Smoking is like rust which is damaging the health of smokers from inside. They are also unaware of the fact that the long-term use causes changes in brain chemical systems and circuits and affecting various functions which include:

  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Decision-making
  • Stress
  • Memory

Quitting tobacco is a difficult task. As, the absence of nicotine in your brain will make you feel uncomfortable and cause certain symptoms. You will experience certain physical and mental changes, like headache, coughing, cravings, increased appetite or weight gain, mood changes such as sadness, irritability, and frustration, or anger, restless, decreased heart rate. However, these symptoms are normally temporary for 2-4 weeks and will subside.

Many smokers may find it difficult to quit, but evidence-based support are available which can help one to increase their chance of quitting smoking successfully. Cognitive-behavioral therapies and pharmacological therapies can effectively help smokers alleviate withdrawal symptoms.

Remember, quitting now, or making efforts to quit, will greatly decrease your chances of the long term health risks. Quitting has immediate and long term benefits. Quitting adds years to your life.
It is never too late to quit!!

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