The World Health Organization has gone the extra mile to make us realize that tobacco is deadly. 90% of the world’s population is fighting the battle against smoking tobacco.
Apart from addiction, and related lung concerns, tobacco has also affected the environment. The fresh air is polluted not just by industrial waste and chemicals but also by tobacco smoke.
WHO took a stand against smoking and declared May 31 as World No Tobacco Day. This is the day when people celebrate and promote anti-tobacco campaigns. The theme this year is "threat to our environment."
Let us explore some of the health effects caused by smoking.
Health Risks Related To Smoking
1. Cancer Risk
Whether you're smoking a cigarette, cigar, pipe, hookah, or chewing tobacco, the most deadly result of regular tobacco intake is an increased chance of cancer. There can be cancers related to the mouth, pharynx, larynx, kidney cervix, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and rectum.
2. Lung Disease
Your lungs have delicate small air sacs that cannot withstand the repeated intake of smoking. The smoke also harms the airways that lead into and out of the lungs. The infection gets in after you start smoking regularly. The infection worsens with persistent smoking, paving the road for lung cancer. Furthermore, it exacerbates asthma and pneumonia.
3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
This illness includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema symptoms. This is a serious illness for which there is no cure. The more and longer you smoke, the more likely it is that you will get COPD. Among the symptoms is shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up phlegm, and extremely labored breathing.
4. Heart Disorders
Smoking raises your blood pressure, making you vulnerable to Peripheral Arterial Disease. Plaque begins to build up along your blood vessels. This causes them to thicken and become rigid, limiting blood circulation to the heart. If this continues for an extended period, the heart muscles will begin to die. It may increase the chances of a heart attack.
5. Prone to Diabetes
Smokers are considerably more prone than nonsmokers to develop Type 2 diabetes. The body will get resistant to diabetes. And if you were previously diagnosed with the disease, it will exacerbate your symptoms.
6. Other Health Effects
a) You may find it difficult to conceive if you smoke.
b) Men who smoke may develop erectile dysfunction.
c) It may impair your immune system.
d) Smoking may even cause osteoporosis.
What To Do Next
You must stop smoking immediately. However, if you are a chain smoker, you may have to gradually wean yourself off smoking. So, in the meantime, try a nicotine patch and have the following tests to examine your health:
1. Spirometry - A breathing test to examine lung function.
2. Chest X-Rays - Heart and lungs analysis.
3. CT Angiography - Detection of lung cancer.
4. ECG - Heart Rate and rhythm are analyzed.
5. Diabetes Test - Monitors the blood sugar level.
Cope With Your Health Problems
Health issues due to smoking can disrupt your life. It may cause oxygen deficiencies that result in breathing problems, chest congestion, cough, or sleep apnea.
To deal with such medical situations, doctors recommend home oxygen therapies and medical assistance.
Oxygen cylinders and concentrators can help you cope with the breathing difficulties and provide an optimal, continuous, and regular oxygen flow. They come with a mask that can be attached to the nose for easy breathing.
You may also opt for nebulizers. These devices help people with chest congestion. Medicines are added to ease the breathing and relax lungs.
If you are experiencing sleep apnea or related symptoms, opt for CPAP or BiPAP machines. They assist in breathing at night. Choking, chest tightness and congestion are also coped with these medical devices.
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1. Stay Active - Do regular exercises and make sure to perform breathing workouts. Deep breathing and yoga exercises can help you cope with the cough, chest congestion, and cold issues.
2. Eat Clean - Your diet is the most important thing. Eat healthy foods like fresh fruits, green vegetables, lean proteins, etc.
3. Stop Smoking, Start Jogging - Prohibit smoking and try to improve stamina by either brisk walking, or jogging.
4. Take Hot Water Steam - As the elderly people suggest, hot water steam can open and clear the chest pathways! Take steam thrice a day if you have severe cough and cold issues.
5. Visit A Park In The Morning - Morning time is the best time to take in the clean oxygen-enriched air. Take a walk or just sit and relax.
To Sum Up
It is the 21st century, and many people are still addicted to tobacco. It is one of the leading causes of death, killing about half of the world's population. According to WHO's Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2015, tobacco is consumed and affects 14.6% of the youth and 14% of the adult population.
Governments all across the world issued warnings and ads against tobacco use, yet 6 million people die from tobacco-related diseases, with 0.6 million dying from second-hand (passive) smoking.
Tobacco use and smoking can have a negative influence on your health. This World No Tobacco Day, commit to quitting smoking not only to avoid diseases but also for the sake of your loved ones.