What are the health effects of cigarette smoking?

When your parents were young, people could buy cigarettes and smoke almost anywhere, even in hospitals! Cigarette ads were everywhere. Today, we are more aware of the harmful effects of smoking on our health. Smoking is banned or prohibited in almost all public places and cigarette manufacturers are no longer allowed to advertise on television, radio or in many magazines. Almost everyone knows that smoking causes cancer, emphysema and heart disease; that it can shorten your life by 10 years or more; and that it can cost the smoker thousands of dollars a year. So how come people are still lighting up? The answer, in a word, is dependence.

Once you have started, it is difficult to stop

Smoking is a difficult habit to quit because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Like heroin or other addictive drugs, the body and mind quickly get used to nicotine in cigarettes that a person needs to take to feel normal. People start smoking for a variety of reasons. Some people think it looks cool. Others start because family members or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco smokers start before the age of 18. Most adults who started smoking in adolescence never expected to become addicted. That's why people say it's so much easier not to start smoking at all.

Hookahs and E-Cigarettes

It is not only cigarettes that make people addicted to tobacco. Hookahs, the staple foods of the Middle East coffee company, are water pipes used to smoke tobacco through a pipe with a conical tip. There is a myth that hookahs are safer because smoke is cooled when it passes through water. But take a look at the black, resinous dirt that accumulates in a hookah pipe. Part of it penetrates into the mouth and lungs of users. Indeed, experts say that hookahs are no safer than cigarettes - and since they do not have filters and people often use them for long periods of time, the health risks could be even greater. Hookahs are generally shared, so there is an additional risk of germs being transmitted with the pipe. Also be wary of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which contain carcinogenic chemicals and other toxins, including a compound used as antifreeze. These battery-powered devices use cartridges filled with nicotine, flavours and other chemicals and convert them into a vapour that is inhaled by the user. For some time in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not regulated or studied hookahs and electronic cigarettes. As a result, the safety of these products is not well known. But from August 2016, new rules are in place to monitor these products. In the future, hookahs and electronic cigarettes sold will have to be approved by the FDA and companies will have to display health warnings so that people know what their risks are. But one thing is always certain: there is no such thing as a "safe" nicotine product.

How smoking affects your health

There is no physical reason to start smoking. The body does not need tobacco as it needs food, water, sleep and exercise. And many of the chemicals in cigarettes, such as nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in sufficiently high doses. The body is intelligent. He goes to the defence when he's poisoned. Beginning smokers often experience pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or vomit the first time they try tobacco. The consequences of this poisoning occur gradually. In the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems such as heart disease, stroke, emphysema (ruptured lung tissue) and many types of cancer, including lung, throat, stomach and bladder cancer. People who smoke can develop skin problems such as psoriasis (a type of rash) and are more likely to develop wrinkles. In addition, they have an increased risk of infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Many of these diseases limit a person's ability to be normally active and can be fatal. In the United States, smoking is responsible for about 1 in 5 deaths. Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis, a disease that pushes older people and makes fractures easier. Smokers also tend to be less active than non-smokers, as smoking affects lung power. Smoking can also cause fertility problems and have an impact on the sexual health of both men and women. Girls who take the pill or other hormone-based contraceptive methods (such as the patch or ring) increase the risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke. The consequences of smoking may seem very remote, but long-term health problems are not the only danger of smoking. Nicotine and other toxins found in cigarettes, cigars and pipes can quickly affect a person's body, meaning that teen smokers have many of these problems:
  • Bad breath: Cigarettes leave smokers with a disease called halitosis, or persistent bad breath. Smelly clothes and hair: The smell of stale smoke tends to persist not only on clothes, but also on hair, furniture and cars. And it is often difficult to get the smell of smoke out.
  • Reduced sporting performance: People who smoke generally cannot compete with their non-smoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (increased heart rate, decreased circulation and shortness of breath) affect athletic performance.
  • Greater risk of injury and slower healing time: Smoking affects the body's ability to produce collagen. Thus, common sports injuries, such as tendon and ligament damage, heal more slowly in smokers than in non-smokers. Increased risk of disease. Studies show that smokers catch more colds, flu, bronchitis and pneumonia than non-smokers. And people with some health problems, such as asthma, get sicker if they smoke (and often if they are just people who smoke). Because teenagers who smoke to manage their weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies also lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop and fight the disease effectively.

Kick and stay smoke-free

All forms of tobacco - cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookahs and smokeless tobacco - pose health risks. It is not necessary to substitute products that seem better than regular cigarettes, such as electronic cigarettes, filtered cigarettes or cigarettes with low tar content. The only thing that really helps a person avoid the problems associated with smoking is to stay smoke-free. It is not always easy, especially if everyone around you smokes and offers you cigarettes. It can be useful to have reasons not to smoke ready for times when the pressure is felt, such as "I just don't like it" or "I want to stay fit for football" (or football, basketball or another sport). ).

Quit smoking: your personal plan

The good news for people who don't smoke or want to quit is that studies show that the number of teenagers who smoke has decreased significantly. Today, about 10% of high school students smoke, which means that 9 out of 10 do not smoke. If you smoke and want to quit smoking, you have a lot of information and support at your disposal. Different approaches to stopping working for different people. For some, it is better to quit smoking. Others find that a slower approach is the way forward. Some people find it useful to go to a support group, especially for teenagers. These are sometimes sponsored by local hospitals or organizations such as the American Cancer Society. The Internet offers a number of good resources to help people quit smoking. As you leave, it may be useful to realize that the first few days are the most difficult. So don't give up. Some people experience some relapses before they stop for good. Staying smoke-free will bring you much more than everything: more energy, better performance, a better appearance, and more money in your pockets and, in the long term, more life to live!
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