Health Tips for Seniors

Some Harmful Facts About Tobacco

Understand tobacco

Tobacco started off in North America and then spread to other parts of the world. It is understood that the invention of the safety match later lead to the smoking of tobacco not only in men but it soon spread to the women also. The use of tobacco in cigarettes continued to grow at a very rapid phase and spread to the adolescents and the older population by the mid 1960’s. It was however at the same time that the U.S. Surgeon General’s influential 1964 report brought to light that there was a strong connection between smoking tobacco and respiratory diseases and cancer.

Tobacco that is the only organic source of nicotine comes in 2 varieties namely nicotiana tabacum and nicotiana rustica. However it is to be noted that nicotiana rustica is most cultivated in the US. The raw leaves of this variety is then dried, shredded and then rolled into cigarettes or cigars. This same variety is packaged as tobacco that is used on pipes or inhaled as snuff. However tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different gases like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and cyanide and particles that also include tar that is a combination of various other chemicals that cause harm to the lungs. It is also found that tobacco contains more than 40 carcinogens like benzo(a)pyrene that have the capacity to cause cancers of various types.

It is shocking to note that almost every 1 out of 4 Americans smoke tobacco, with it being revealing that smoking that brings about tobacco related diseases account for the largest number of adolescent and adults death. So every effort is made to not only prevent smoking, but also to educate smokers about the harms they are putting themselves by smoking tobacco. It is true that tobacco is the most prominent cause for premature death with about 115000 dying of heart disease, about 136000 dying of cancer, with chronic pulmonary diseases accounting for 60000 deaths and stroke accounting for more than 27000 deaths.

This constitutes a strong case for smokers to give up smoking and others to not start at all and protect themselves from the long term ill-effects of smoking. It is again to be understood that when tobacco is taken in the form of cigarettes that we smoke it leads to inhaling of nicotine smoke to the lungs. Smoking tobacco in cigars and pipes causes considerably lesser harm as the nicotine is not readily absorbed in the mouth. However you would definitely still find a few people  that prefer to take smokeless tobacco and prefer to use it either by chewing or as snuff. 

Snuff and chewing of tobacco that are either inhaled or chewed could also result in the slow and direct absorption of nicotine. Both these forms of tobacco that stimulates saliva that initiates him or her to spit frequently to clear the mouth of saliva, that has accounted for the maximum cases of cancer of the mouth even in the adolescent and the young.

Harmful effects of tobacco

Nicotine found in tobacco products are not just a powerful addictive substance but could act on various parts of the body and make you subject to a large number of health problems and diseases. The most harmful effects of tobacco start off when nicotine that is present in tobacco products goes through the lungs and is soon transmitted to the brain. The use of tobacco could also result in the rapid beating of the heart, drawing and pushing more of blood and could cause the heart to work harder due to the constriction of veins and arteries.
In addition, carbon monoxide one of the most toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke could retard the ability of red blood cells transport life saving oxygen to bodily tissues. It is again important to note that the tissues in the heart and brain would start working harder, with this leading to not thickening of the walls, but higher risks for possible heart failure. It is also true that users of tobacco products they become dependent on them and have very unpleasant symptoms like heart rate changes, increased appetite, blood pressure, digestion problems and other symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, nausea, irritability, and fatigue.

You would surely know that people take tobacco to stimulate them, but it is common to hear from chain smokers that it relaxes them. The satisfaction of this physical craving of smokers is what makes them inhale nicotine.
Some harmful facts about tobacco include increased incidences of cancers of the mouth, larynx, kidney, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, bladder, uterus, and cervix, in addition to heart attacks, stroke, fatal heart failure, cardiovascular disease and leukemia. 

In addition the risk for pulmonary diseases like pneumonia, emphysema, sinusitis, bronchitis, and tracheitis is high. The ill-effects of tobacco also include complications in reproduction for women like premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, birth defects and other development defects. Deprivation of oxygen and lack of appetite for healthy foods caused by consumption of tobacco could lead to stunted growth and development of the fetus.

Once a smoker realizes some harmful facts about tobacco, it is best they make an attempt to give up smoking slowly but surely; for nicotine is addictive and all substances that are addictive require slow withdrawal.




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