Smoking are the act of inhaling and exhaling the fumes of burning plant material. A variety of plant materials are smoked, including marijuana and hashish, but the act is most commonly associated with tobacco as smoked in a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Tobacco contains nicotine, an alkaloid that is addictive and can have both stimulating and tranquilizing psychoactive effects. The smoking of tobacco, long practiced by American Indians, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus and other explorers. Smoking soon spread to other areas and today is widely practiced around the world despite medical, social, and religious arguments against it.
Many people die each year from illnesses caused by cigarette smoking. Lifetime smokers, who suffer from ill health like heart disease, can eliminate a major source of stress on their heart by quitting. Each puff of nicotine from tobacco smoke temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure, even as less oxygen-rich blood circulates through the body. Cigarette smoking also leads to clumping or stickiness in the blood vessels feeding the heart, which finally brings about a heart attack.
From smoking you may face a lot of disease such as lung cancer. Lung cancer was the first major disease to be causally linked to cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australian men, and the third most common cause of cancer death in women (ranking behind breast and colorectal cancers).
The risk of developing lung cancer is dose-response related, longer duration and heavier consumption patterns of smoking increase the likelihood of developing the disease. For example, a child who starts smoking aged 14 years or less is five times more likely to die of lung cancer than a person who starts aged 24 or more years, and 15 times more likely to die of lung cancer compared to someone who never smokes.
Overall, smokers are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than are non-smokers, and heavy smokers are 15 to 25 times more at risk than non-smokers. The average Australian male smoker has an approximately one in ten chance of dying from lung cancer. Eighty-four percent of lung cancer in men can be attributed to smoking, and 77% in women.
Researchers in America have identified the first molecular evidence linking a specific compound in cigarette smoke directly to lung cancer. The study shows that benzo(a)pyrene in the tar damages the p53 gene, a gene which suppresses tumor development. A damaged p53 gene is found in about 60% of lung cancers.
Moreover, other tahan lung cancer, smoking can also give you Peptic ulcer disease. It’s refers to ulcer formation in the stomach and duodenum. Epidemiological studies have found that cigarette smoking is causally associated with peptic ulcer disease. It is estimated that 41% of peptic ulcer disease in males and 33% of the disease in females may be attributed to smoking.
The risk of peptic ulcer disease is dependent on the amount smoked and the duration of smoking. Smokers with peptic ulcer disease have an increased risk of death from this disease compared with non-smokers with the disease. The risk is, on average, twice as high for smokers as for non-smokers, and appears to be greater for gastric than for duodenal ulcer disease. Smoking also retards the healing of peptic ulcers, and recurrence of ulcers is more likely to occur in smokers. Nicotine appears to be the causal agent in ulcer development, through alterations to gastric acid secretions and impairment of the protective mucosal stomach lining.
Most lifetime smokers, however, often find it difficult to stop smoking despite their serious health problems and often seek professional help to quit successfully. Even then, it might be too late for them to regain their health completely.
However, if you are a young college student who has just started cigarette smoking, it is not too late for you to quit smoking. If you do not wish to become a lifetime smoker who suffers from many serious health ailments, below are some tips to help you to stop smoking.
Write a list of the reasons why you want to stop, and keep it with you. Refer to it when tempted to light up. You can also carry with you a list of reasons why smoking is harmful and another list explaining the benefits of stopping.
Set a date for stopping, and stop completely. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters and all cigarettes. Some people prefer the idea of cutting down gradually. However, research has shown that if you smoke fewer cigarettes than usual, you are likely to smoke more of each cigarette, and nicotine levels remain nearly the same. Therefore, it is usually best to stop once and for all from a set date.
Tell everyone that you are giving up smoking. Friends and family often give support and may help you. Smoking by others in the household makes giving up harder. If appropriate, try to get other household members who smoke, or friends who smoke, to stop smoking at the same time. A team effort may be easier than doing it alone.
Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. When you stop smoking, you are likely to get symptoms, which may include nausea, headaches, anxiety, irritability, craving, and just feeling awful. These symptoms are caused by lack of nicotine that your body has become used to having. They tend to peak after 12-24 hours, and then gradually ease over 24 weeks.
Anticipate a cough. It is normal for a ‘smoker’s cough’ to get worse when you stop smoking (as the airways ‘come back to life’). Many people say that this makes them feel worse for a while after stopping and smoking and makes them tempted to restart smoking. Resist this temptation! The cough usually gradually eases. Take one day at a time. Mark off each successful day on calendar. Look at it when you feel tempted to smoke, and tell yourself that you don’t want to start all over again.
Be positive and tell people that you do not smoke. You will smell better. After a few weeks you should feel better, taste your food more, and cough less. You will also have more money. Put away the money you would have spent on cigarettes for treats.
Some people worry about gaining weight when they give up smoking as their appetite may improve. Anticipate an increase in appetite, and try not to increase fatty or sugary foods as snacks. Try sugar –free gum and fruit instead.
Do not despair if you fail. Examine the reasons why you felt it was more difficult at that particular time. It will make you stronger next time. On average, people who eventually stop smoking have made three or four previous attempts before being successful.
Finally, nicotine replacement therapy ( NRT ) can help if withdrawal symptoms are troublesome. A number of nicotine replacement products are available to help a person quit smoking. Nicotine patches are small, nicotine-containing adhesive disks that must be applied to the skin. The nicotine is slowly absorbed through the skin and enters the bloodstream. Over time, a smoker uses nicotine patches containing smaller and smaller doses of nicotine until eventually the craving for nicotine ends. Nicotine gum works in a similar manner, providing small doses of nicotine when chewed. A nicotine nasal spray is a physician-prescribed spray that relieves cravings for a cigarette by delivering nicotine to the nasal membranes. Also available by prescription, the nicotine inhaler looks like a cigarette; when puffed, the inhaler releases nicotine into the mouth. A doctor or a pharmacist can advise you about NRT.
In conclusion, smoking is the very bad habit. It kills us quietly. We must avoid this bad habit. Smoking kills, and if you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.