May 31 is observed as World Tobacco Day by World Health Organization (WHO) and all its global partners. The day is celebrated every year with the objective of raising awareness about tobacco usage, and the effects of first-hand and second-hand smoking of the plant. Tobacco is a product extracted from the Nicotina tobaccum plant. The use of tobacco has been linked to non-communicable diseases such as cancers, diabetes, respiratory illnesses and heart diseases. But the truth is that tobacco, which comprises toxic substances like nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar, affects every part of the body. Read more about the Theme and Significance of World No Tobacco Day 2019.
Why is Tobacco Bad?
Tobacco is ingested in many forms. Some of the popular methods include cigarette, bidi, cigar, hookah, sheesha, snuff, kreteks, e-cigarettes, etc. Burning tobacco releases 4,000 chemicals, many of which can be dangerous.
Nicotine is the major addictive substance in tobacco, which travels rapidly to the brain in a matter of seconds. It binds to the receptors in the brain, affecting cerebral metabolism. It also spreads across the body once absorbed.
Carbon monoxide and tar in tobacco also further the damage. Other compounds in tobacco such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide, sulphur and ketones can have a toxic effect on the body, causing various types of cancers.
Indirect effects of tobacco ingestion, through second-hand smoke, are equally dangerous. Ultimately, tobacco consumption can every part of the body.
Effects of tobacco consumption can range from gum infections to head and neck cancers. Smoking tobacco also raises your risk of stroke by increasing blood clots and narrowing the arteries.
Tobacco smoking can also affect your vision, causing cataracts and macular degeneration. It is one of the leading causes of blindness.
Tobacco can also damage your teeth and cause dental caries.
Smoking can also increase the risk of laryngeal cancer. When the smoke travels to the larynx, harmful chemicals in the tobacco smoke alter the cells. Tobacco smoking, according to Cancer Research UK, is the leading cause of cancer in the western world.
Tobacco smoking can also affect the cervical spine, degenerating the discs and shrinking them slowly. Eventually, this results in pain in the shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.
Lungs are the organs that suffer the worst damage due to tobacco smoking. The smoke, which is a toxic mix of chemicals, inflames the lungs. It increases mucous secretions in the lungs, making them more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. Smoking is also the leading cause of lung cancers and chronic asthma.
Smoking tobacco has a profound effect on the vascular system. The blood vessels harden due to toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide in the cigarette smoke, which damages the lining of the arteries. This leads to the buildup of fatty material, causing a heart attack. Quit Smoking For Good With These Expert-Recommended Steps.
Smoking cigarettes is a leading environmental cause of cancers. It can increase the risk of myeloid leukaemia due to the benzene content in the tobacco smoke. The risk is directly proportional to the number of cigarettes you smoke and the years you spend smoking.
Smoking can have a profound effect on the digestive system. If you are a smoker, you could face problems like GERD, ulcers and Crohn’s disease. The toxic chemicals in tobacco can also raise the risk of colorectal cancers.
Smoking has been linked to reproductive problems like infertility and impotence in men. In women, it can cause bleeding during pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirths, premature births and placental abnormalities.
Tobacco consumption can harm the kidneys in multiple ways and is tied to renal failure. It can cause harm to the organs by increasing your blood pressure, reducing blood flow to the kidney, damaging the blood vessels in the organs, increasing the production of angiotensin II and reducing kidney functions.
There isn’t an organ that’s not affected by tobacco and its deadly cocktail of toxic ingredients. Smokers who are addicted to tobacco tend to underestimate the effects it has on the entire body. There’s no solution to this problem other than quitting tobacco use. This World No Tobacco Day, make a pledge to good health by kicking the habit.