Should we really believe everything we read on the packet? Were told smoking is bad for us, but why?
Once upon a time there was smoking advertising everywhere. In magazines, on hoardings, heck, you could even smoke in hospitals. It’s little wonder the majority of a generation took up the habit. 9 out of 10 smokers start before they are 18, and most people who began smoking in their teens say they “didn’t expected to get addicted.”
Nowadays we’re a lot wiser to the effects of tobacco, but is a blanket ‘smoking kills’ enough information? New advertising teaches the children of today that no body ‘looks cool’ in a hospital bed wearing a respirator, but what’s really going on when we inhale? If you smoke already, or have a friend or loved one who smokes, here’s some sobering medical facts:
In Great Britain alone someone dies from lung cancer every 15 minutes, and figures show that a staggering 90% of patients develop lung cancer because of smoking. Put simply, you are 10 times more likely to contract lung cancer if you smoke, and lung cancer is one of the worlds number 1 killers. Smoking causes 80% of chronic bronchitis and emphysema related deaths, and tobacco consumption drastically raises the chances of any cancer reoccurring.
Cigarette smoke is majorly carcinogenic (damaging to our bodies cells) and 10% of it’s 4,000 compounds are toxic in some manner. Here are just a few of the components that make up this lethal and addictive cocktail. We all know the names, but what do they do?
Nicotine: a highly addictive substance used in insecticides. This substance can cause growth suppression, central nervous system depression, even seizures and vomiting. If tobacco products contained no nicotine, numbers of smokers would fall considerably – without nicotines addictive qualities the cigarette industry would crumble overnight – like heroin, the mind and body become so conditioned to the nicotine in tobacco that a person craves it and needs it to ‘feel normal’.
Tar: when a smoker breathes in their cigarette smoke, 70% of the tar remains in the body. This sticky brown substance sits in the lungs, growing with every puff of tobacco. This cumulative layering onto internal lung tissue reduces breathing ability and lung effectiveness, meaning the body can take in less and less oxygen with each breath.
Carbon Monoxide: CO2 diminishes heart and muscle function and often causes fatigue and dizziness. It makes up the majority of gasses in cigarette smoke, and is the same poisonous gas in vehicle exhaust fumes. It has no discernible taste or smell, and the human body can not accurately differentiate between carbon monoxide (CO2) and oxygen (O). It is a massively increased toxicity to children still in the womb, infants, and those who have a preexisting condition like lung or heart disease. Smoking when pregnant often results in a reduced birthweight and premature delivery, plus accounts for a staggering 10% of infant deaths.
As if the chances of lung disease weren’t statistically poor enough, smoking tobacco also causes atherosclerosis (a build up of fatty particulates in the arteries) and causes blood clots that cause heart attacks. Atherosclerosis is the number one contributor to tobacco related loss of life. Smoking increase the chances of someone having a heart attack by 2-4 times. Nearly 40% of deaths from smoking tobacco are due to heart and blood vessel diseases. Smoking tobacco also boosts the risk factor of diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Looking at the habit overall, the number of smokers under the age of 70 who die from related diseases is in excess of the cumulative deaths by traffic accidents, AIDS, drug addiction, and breast cancer. So, what can we do?
Don’t start, or give up. It’s that simple. Sure, it’s hard, it’s addictive, but 50% of lifetime smokers die from the effects of smoking. Remember, not only does it kill the smoker but it also kills the people around them. Find an alternative, and quit. Look at the facts. Your life depends on it.
Julian Harris shares his interest on Smoking on behalf of VIP Electronic Cigarette UK