Why quit smoking?
Tobacco is the leading cause of possible death in the Western world, accounting for more than two million deaths each year around the world; 50% of the deaths of subjects between 35 and 65 years old are attributable to tobacco. In Spain, 35.7% of the population is smokers. The deaths attributable to tobacco are 14% and within the cancers that occur in the population it is estimated that tobacco is directly responsible for at least 40%.
In short, every year 17,000 Spanish people die directly from tobacco and many more are sick. Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemical elements, and at least 400 substances with a clear carcinogenic effect. While the smoker sucks, the cigarette burns at 700 degrees Celsius at the tip and about 60 degrees inside. This heat breaks down tobacco, which produces numerous poisons. As a cigarette burns, the waste is concentrated at the end of the cigarette.
The most harmful health products of cigarettes are tar (which causes lung cancer), carbon monoxide and nicotine (cardiovascular diseases), as well as certain components of the gas and particles that favor the appearance of lung diseases such as the disease Chronic obstructive airway obstruction or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The intensity of the effects depends not only on the number of cigarettes, but also on how they have been made (with or without a filter), and on the previous preparation of tobacco. Paradoxically, the ‘accessory smoke’ that comes from a cigarette between shed and shed carries greater risks than the smoke directly inhaled.
There are many health-related reasons for quitting, not only from the smoker’s point of view, but also to protect and not harm those around you. Tobacco determines how much you are going to live.
Research has shown that tobacco reduces the average life expectancy between seven and eight years. An interesting calculation is that, on average, each cigarette reduces the life of the smoker between seven and eleven minutes.
Non-smokers and ex-smokers can expect a longer and healthier life than smokers.
The anti-smoking law?
The law passed in January 2006 in Spain severely limits tobacco consumption in public places, forcing bars and restaurants to confine smokers to specific areas. Although certain autonomous communities have issued their own rules, sometimes less restrictive than the state, this constitutes a first step towards the eradication of tobacco in public life in Spain.
Main diseases caused by tobacco?
Cardiovascular disease due to atherosclerosis is the main cause of death caused by tobacco, increasing by 1.7 times the probability of death that already has the non-smoker
Atherosclerosis is the term used to describe the progressive “fouling” of arteries with fatty material, making them narrower, more rigid and finally obstructing them, with the consequent infarction in the tissue that depends on the obstructed vessel for its adequate blood supply. It can occur in several ways, depending on how the blood vessels are affected, and all of them are more common in smokers.
Coronary thrombosis is an obstruction of blood flow in the arteries that specifically nourish the heart. Nine out of ten subjects requiring coronary artery bypass surgery (an operation where a vein is constructed to bridge the artery from the pre-obstruction area to the posterior area) are smokers or Ex-smokers.
Brain vessels can also be blocked, which can lead to collapse, cerebral infarction and paralysis. If the arteries of the kidney are affected, arterial hypertension or renal failure occur. Obstruction of irrigation in the legs can lead to gangrene and amputation.
When a patient quits smoking, they improve their chances of survival. A study in Sweden showed that the chances of survival in patients with atherosclerosis in the legs were greater if they quit smoking, and the risk of dying from this disease was reduced from approximately 40% to 5%.
Cancer and Lung Disease?
The risk of cancer is generally higher for smokers than for non-smokers at a rate of 2.24. This is particularly true in the case of lung cancer, throat cancer and mouth cancer, which almost never affect non-smokers.
If tobacco were to disappear, there would be at least a 40% reduction in the overall incidence of cancer.
Some types of cancer are particularly favored by tobacco such as cancer of the lung, lip, tongue, mucous membrane of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and bladder. 85% of all lung cancer cases are related to tobacco, and a smoker is 12 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoker. If a smoker quits, it will take about 15 years before their risk of lung cancer equals that of a non-smoker. However, there is always a clear benefit of quitting since day one.
There are other cancers that are also more common among smokers than nonsmokers.
94.5% of smokers in a daily pack have emphysema if they examine the lungs after their death, and more than 90% of nonsmokers have little or nothing. Sick lung of the smoker (COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) typically begins when the person is between 35-45 years of age. At that age, lung function begins to decline even in nonsmokers. In smokers most vulnerable to the harmful effect of tobacco, the rate of loss of lung function may be three times higher than usual.
As lung function subsides, shortness of breath begins with exercise. At first, the smoker’s lung only causes cough and expectoration, which are the typical symptoms of bronchitis. As the picture progresses, the person feels shortness of breath when climbing stairs, ascending a hill or even walking. Severe short-term problems will often require frequent periods of hospitalization. The last stage is a very distressing death due to the irreversible and progressively greater respiratory insufficiency. Too many people die every year because of this disease, which in eighty percent of cases is caused by tobacco.
Stopping smoking at any time reduces rates of deterioration of lung capacity and postpones disability and disability. Anti-smoking measures are very important in preventing smoker’s lungs and other adverse effects caused by smoking.
It is difficult for many tobacco addicts to consider quitting. Nicotine substitute treatments in the form of chewing gum, transdermal patches or nasal sprays help some people quit successfully but are not a panacea. Bupropion is a recently discovered antidepressant drug that can be very effective in relieving the urge to quit smoking.
It is also necessary to change other behavioral habits and use alternative therapies (such as hypnosis, acupuncture and laser treatments); But there is no perfect method for smokers who are trying to quit their addiction. The evidence clearly indicates that smokers should set a date to quit smoking, and then make every effort to quit completely thereafter; Additional treatments such as those described above provide clear support for this strategy.
Nicotine and other substances from cigarettes increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can cause the arteries to occlude with a fatty tissue called atheroma. Here are several effects of tobacco.
- Hypertension, which is related to heart attacks and strokes.
- Tobacco causes an acid taste in the mouth and contributes to the development of gastroduodenal ulcer.
- Couples who smoke are more likely to have fertility problems than non-smokers.
- Smokers generally have 25% more sick days per year than non-smokers.
- Tobacco also affects the appearance and image of the body: smokers have thicker and rougher skin.
How does it harm children?
Babies born to mothers smoker:
- They are twice as likely to be born prematurely and underweight (below 2.5 kg).
- They have a birth weight of 200 gr. Lower than newborns of nonsmoking mothers.
- They have smaller bodies on average than babies born to nonsmokers. This is particularly evident in the case of a newborn’s lungs, which do not function like the lungs of a baby whose mother does not smoke.
- They have twice as much chance of dying of sudden death of the newborn. There seems to be a direct correlation between the sudden death of the newborn and the fact that the parents smoke.
- They get sick much more often than children of nonsmokers.
- They acquire painful diseases such as middle ear inflammation and asthmatic bronchitis more frequently in early childhood.
- They may develop a nicotine addiction from the tobacco the mother smokes before they are born.
- They are more likely to become smokers.
- They are at greater risk of developing allergy pictures.
- Babies exposed to passive smoking each day if one or both parents smoke, have twice the risk of acquiring asthma and asthmatic bronchitis.
Other Benefits of Quitting Smoking?
- Health in general improves: fatigue, less effort tolerance and headaches are clearly related to tobacco.
- Improve the senses of taste and smell.
- The heart will be less tense and work more effectively.
- It will increase confidence in yourself, knowing that you have managed to overcome an old habit that shortens your life expectancy and seriously harms you.
What are the effects on the passive smoker?
- Smoking passively (getting smoke while others smoke) irritates the eyes, nose and chest, and can cause headaches.
- Children exposed as passive smokers are more likely to develop allergies and asthma, while those younger than 2 years of age increase their risk of severe respiratory infections and sudden death.
- There have also been small decreases in lung function in children, although it is quite difficult to interpret the many existing studies.
- In adults, there appears to be a small increase in the risk of lung cancer, and there may also be an increased risk of cardiovascular accidents, but evidence of increased risk of heart disease is not yet conclusive.