Great American Smokeout Day: Deadly Side Effects of Smoking and Secondhand Smoke
Every year the third Thursday of November (which is November 21, this year), the American Cancer Society observes the Great American Smokeout Day to motivate smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. The day inspires people who smoke cigarettes to think about joining the movement and quit smoking.
The idea behind this day is to raise awareness about the deaths and interminable sicknesses caused by smoking. From the late 1980s to the 1990s, many state governments have raised taxes on cigarettes, debilitated teenager cigarette use, and made further move to counter smoking.
So, on the eve of the Great American Smokeout, let’s take pledge to help those who are into smoking understand the countless disadvantages and side effects of smoking and second-smoking on their health.
So, How Does smoking Affect the Human Body?
Smoking cigarettes can have numerous antagonistic impacts on the human body. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking actually acts as a catalyst as it expands the dangers arising from all other diseases.
Smoking cigarettes influences the respiratory framework, the circulatory framework, the conceptive framework, the skin, and the eyes, and it increases the danger of a wide range of diseases and complications.
Smoking Cigarettes Affects:
- Lungs: According to a CDC report that about 9 out of 10 deaths caused by the diseases of lungs are connected to smoking. Cigarettes and other means of smoking can increase the dangers of creating lung cancer — 25% for men and 25.7% for women.Smoking influences lung wellbeing on the grounds that an individual not only takes in nicotine but also other synthetic compounds. According to the American Lung Association, smoking causes 80% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) deaths.
- Type-2 Diabetes: According to another CDC report, individuals who smoke normally have a 30 to 40% higher risk of having type-2 diabetes than individuals who don’t smoke at all. Smoking can likewise make it increasingly hard for individuals with diabetes to deal with their condition.
- Heart: Smoking cigarettes can harm the heart, veins, and platelets as synthetic substances and tar in cigarettes can limit the bloodstream and can prompt several perilous blockages.
Studies show that there is an immediate connection between smoking and peripheral arterial diseases (PAD). Having PAD expands the dangers of encountering: blood clumps, chest pain, respiratory failure, and many other conditions.
- Fertility: Smoking cigarettes can harm a female’s conceptive framework and make it increasingly hard to get pregnant because the tobacco in cigarettes adversely influences the hormone levels in the body. In males, the more cigarettes an individual smokes the higher the danger of erectile dysfunction. Smoking can likewise influence the nature of the sperm and lessen its thickness and richness.
- Pregnancy: Smoking can influence pregnancy and the fetus. It might expand the danger of ectopic pregnancy, decrease the infant’s weight, harming the baby’s lungs, cerebrum, and focal sensory system, apart from increasing risk of unexpected newborn death.
- Eyes: Smoking cigarettes can also harm your eyes with more serious danger of cataract. Other vision issues identified with smoking are dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, etc.
- Skin and Hair: Smoking tobacco can affect a person’s skin and hair, too. An individual who smokes may experience prematurely aged, wrinkled skin. They also have a higher risk of skin cancer, especially on the lips.
- Gum and Taste Buds: Individuals who smoke have twofold the danger of developing gum problems. Smoking tobacco can also restrict an individual’s capacity to taste and smell things appropriately. It can likewise recolor the teeth yellow or dark-colored.
- Immune system: Smoking cigarettes can make people increasingly vulnerable to disease by hampering their immune system. It can likewise cause extra irritation in the body.
Now, all these bring us to another concept known as secondhand smoke.
So, What Exactly is Secondhand Smoke?
Secondhand smoke is the mix of smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. The smoke coming out of the end of a cigarette or cigar actually contains more hurtful substances than the smoke inhaled in by the smoker. It is because there is no filter at the second end.
And, How Does It Affect Non-Smokers?
Even if you are a non-smoker, you are exposed to secondhand smoke all the time through people smoking around you. Your body ingests nicotine and other hurtful substances released by smokers. Smoke contains in excess of 4000 synthetic mixes, of which 250 are harmful and more than 50 are known malignant growth or cancer-causing operators. These substances stay in the air roughly for 4 hours and taking in these particles for a few minutes can hurt you.
Here are a few numbers which might actually surprise you.
- If you are exposed to secondhand smoke for 5 minutes, it could actually stiffen the aorta, the largest artery in the body, as much as smoking a cigarette.
- A 20 to 30 minutes exposure to secondhand smoke might lead to increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke as it causes excess blood clotting and build-up of fat deposits in blood vessels.
- Nonsmokers living with a smoker have a 20 to 30% more risk of having lung cancer.
- The longer an individual is exposed to secondhand smoke, the greater the level of harmful substances in the body.
- Secondhand smoking can also cause smoking-related disorders like: COPD, emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis.
- According to a Lung.Org report, Secondhand smoke causes around 7000 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease per year.
- Also according to a 2014 report from the US Surgeon General, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke between 1964 and 2014.
Here are a few things that you should keep on mind to avoid secondhand smoking.
- Feel free to ask guests at your home to smoke outside.
- Open windows and use fans to ventilate rooms in your home and work.
- Try not to keep ashtrays in your home.
- Ask people not to smoke around kids, regardless of whether it is in their own home.
- While staying at a lodging or hotel, request a non-smoking room.
- Remain educated about any adjustments in government, state, and neighborhood smoking laws.
To err is human. To fix those errs is what makes us real human. On this Great American Smokeout, let’s reflect on our smoking past and get rid of anything that relates to or looks like smoking.
If the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Barack Obama, Jennifer Aniston, and Mila Kunis have successfully managed to quit smoking, so can you.
The Great American Smokeout highlights the dangers of smoking and provides a meaningful way for people to stay away from puffs. Not only does the Great American Smokeout speak to the negative effects of smoking, but it also helps people come together in the name of quitting cigarettes.
Trying to quit smoking? Or are you or a loved one suffering from smoking-related health conditions? EPIC Primary Care can provide you with the best consultation and treatment. We are just a call away!