One-third of the world’s adult population are smokers and each year,
tobacco causes 3.5 million deaths a year, or about 10,000 deaths each day. It
is predicted that in 20 years this yearly death rate from tobacco use will be
more than 10 million people. This dwarfs other health problems like AIDS or
estimated 50 million Americans are smokers (25% of the population). About 20
million smokers try to break the habit every year, with only about a million
actually managing to quit. Another million become new smokers annually.
estimated 48 million U.S. adults currently smoke: 28% of men and 22% of women.
Adult smoking has remained unchanged during the 1990s.
CDC says smoking among young adults, ages 18 to 24, has been rising for the
first time to the level of those 25 to 44. High school rates are even higher.
Banning smoking in the workplace and other smoking restrictions are the major
reason for decline in people who smoke.
one million smokers of the 50 million are stopping yearly, but one million
teenagers are picking up the habit. Presently 10% of the doctors smoke in the
U.S. (One fourth of the Japanese doctors smoke.)
Smoking in developing countries is rising by more than 3% a year.
on Smoking and Health” tells us that a 30-year-old smoker can expect to live
about 35 more years, whereas a 30-year-old nonsmoker can expect to live 53 more
years. The children of a parent or parents who smoke may be at risk from the
genetic damage done to the parent before conception (because of their previous
smoking), the direct effects to them in the womb, and the passive smoke they
are exposed to after they are born.
amount of life expectancy lost for each pack of cigarettes smoked is 28
minutes, and the years of life expectancy a typical smoker loses is 25 years.
Every cigarette a man smokes reduces his life by 11 minutes. Each carton
of cigarettes thus represents a day and a half of lost life. Every year a man
smokes a pack a day, he shortens his life by almost 2 months.
There are some 1.1 billion people who smoke on our planet earth. Just
less than one-third of all adults in the world smoke regularly. Tobacco deaths
will not only occur in old age but will start when smokers are about age 35.
Half of those who die from smoking-related causes will die in middle age, each
losing about 25 years of life expectancy. More than 95% of the tobacco consumed
is in the form of cigarettes. About half of all smokers who undergo lung cancer
take up smoking again.
smokers perceive the immediate effect of smoking as something positive; a
stimulant that makes them seem to feel more alert, clearheaded and able to
focus on work. However, the smoker’s perception is mostly an illusion. Take a
look at what smoke does to the brain.
Within ten seconds of the first inhalation, nicotine, a potent alkaloid,
passes into the bloodstream, transits the barrier that protects the brain from
most impurities, and begins to act on brain cells. Nicotine molecules fit like
keys into the "nicotinic” receptors on the surface of the brain’s neurons. In
fact, nicotine fits the same "keyholes” as one of the brain’s most important
neurotransmitters (signal chemicals), acetycholine, which results in a rush of
stimulation and an increase in the flow of blood to the brain.
After ten puffs have flowed through the lungs, the smoker feels
energized and clearheaded, but this is partly due to the fact that this was a
period which ended a nicotine depravation, and another is about to happen.
Within 30 minutes, the nicotine is reduced and the smoker feels the energy
slipping away. A second cigarette is lit, and there is another surge of
adrenaline, but now there is a feeling of one of the paradoxes of smoking, that
at one dose it can stimulate, at another soothe. The muscles throughout your
body starts to relax, and your pain threshold rises.
Another 30 minutes pass and the attention of the smoker increasingly
drifts away from work and toward the nearby pack of cigarettes. Nicotine
prompts brain cells to grow many more nicotinic receptors which allow the brain
to function normally despite an unnatural amount of acetylcholine-like chemical
acting on it, so the smoker feels normal when nicotine floods the neurons and
abnormal when it doesn't. "You might say smokers live near the edge of a
cliff,” says Jack Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in
Baltimore. "Most are never more than a few hours away from the start of
nicotine withdrawal symptoms.”
American Psychiatric Association classifies smoking withdrawal as a
"nicotine-induced organic mental disorder,” and several studies have compared
active smokers with ‘deprived’ smokers (those suffering nicotine withdrawal) on
their ability to perform simple skill tests. These are often cited (and many
were funded) by the tobacco industry as evidence that tobacco enhances
alertness and performance. What they really show is that nicotine withdrawal
causes dramatic mental dysfunction. Research revealed that a smoker might
perform adequately at many jobs until the job gets complicated: a smoker could
drive a car satisfactorily as long as everything was routine, but if a tire
blew out at high speed he might not handle the job as well as a nonsmoker.
In 1980, tobacco dependence was listed as a
mental disorder in the official diagnostic reference for the American
Psychiatric Association. In 1991, the Psychiatric Association reported that
smokers have a higher lifetime frequency of substance abuse, severe depression
and anxiety disorders involving aggression and antisocial behavior.
Pritikin Program states that smoking accelerates problems that come with old
age, and shows up earlier in smokers, for example, premature osteoporosis.
Smoking changes bone tissue, making it easier for minerals to leave the bone in
solution. Smoking increases lung and bladder cancer. A smoker loses 26% of his
field of vision. There is also hearing and visual impairment, taste impairment
and general loss of physiological and mental function. It takes four to six
days for the withdrawal symptoms to subside. After that, 90% of their problem
Cigarette smoking harms the body by raising cholesterol levels and blood
pressure, as well as increasing the risk of cancer and cataracts. Smoking
destroys certain vitamins and creates the need for other specific nutrients.
Smokers are 4 times more likely to have gray hair and increased hair
No amount of smoking is free of risk. The exact
amount of risk depends on how long you've smoked and how deeply the you inhale,
as well as genetic factors.
Smoking is associated with a decline in physical function that makes a
smoker act several years older than he/she really is. Tobacco smoking reduces
the effectiveness of medications, such as pain relievers, antidepressants,
tranquilizers, sedatives, ulcer medication and insulin. With estrogen and oral
contraceptives, smoking may increase the risk of heart and blood-vessel
disease. Currently, smoking kills 1 in 10 adults worldwide.
Smoking makes tinnitus worse, says Dr. Harold Pillsbury, University of
NC, Professor of Surgery and Otolaryngology.
Other research shows that smokers have an increased risk of heart
disease (including stroke, chest pain and palpitations), cancer, emphysema,
fatigue, loss of vitamins and nutrients, premature aging, gastrointestinal
disorders, osteoporosis, sinus congestion and throat irritation. According to
medical reports, colds, flu and laryngitis last much longer for those who
Smoking causes an increased stress in the whole body even though there
seems to be a lessening of stress when the body gets its ‘fix’ from the
nicotine. Dr. Norman Shealy, a physician with the Shealy Institute for
Comprehensive Pain and Health Care in Springfield, MO, tells us that smokers
tend to consume other drugs and chemicals more frequently than nonsmokers, and
have a lower threshold for pain, possibly because smoking stimulates adrenaline
and also blocks one of the body’s natural pain relievers. Smokers are more
vulnerable to headaches.
Driving skills are negatively affected for both the smoker and those who
breathe the passive smoke. In his book, "The Risk of Passive Smoke,” Roy
Shepard tells us that tobacco smoke impairs the ability to judge time intervals
and muscle responsiveness, as well as vision and memory. Also affected is the
learning ability and a variety of reasoning tasks employed during test taking.
Dr. Edward Koop, past Surgeon General, tells us
in his book, "The Memoirs of an American Family Doctor,” that emphysema is
found almost exclusively in smokers, and that 35% of all cancers are from
her book, "The Scientific Case against Smoking,” Ruth Winter writes that the
use of tobacco is one of the primary, but frequently unrecognized contributors
to drug interactions, and there can be errors in reading the diagnostic tests
of the smokers because of the differences of the normal blood levels of several
elements. Drugs taken by the smoker can interact, causing them to be weaker,
stronger, or not effective.
John Farquhar, in his book, "The Last Puff,” tells us that 95% of those who die
from lung cancer are smokers. Lung cancer is killing more women than breast
cancer, and cervical cancer is increased 8 to 17 times because of the increased
concentration of nicotine on the cervical mucus; pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
is worsened as well.
out of four adults smoke now as compared to 4 out of 10 in the 1940’s.
Military studies of those in basic training
show that those who smoke are 50% more likely than nonsmokers to injure
themselves with sprains and fractures.
People who smoke are more likely to have sinusitis.
Cigarettes don't just damage the heart and lungs: they also interfere
with the healing of bone and muscle injuries, and they lead to higher rates of
complications after surgery.
general, adolescents, whites and women are the groups most susceptible to
becoming dependent on nicotine, even when using the same amount of nicotine as
other groups. Women also smoked fewer cigarettes than men but have a higher
rate of dependence.
Smoking has been linked in medical studies to more than 25 diseases,
including heart disease, strokes, respiratory illness and several forms of
Long-time smokers may face an increased risk of multiple sclerosis say
though studies show that kicking the habit has immediate health effects, it is
clear there are permanent ones. Smokers, even those who quit years ago, have
damage to their genes that can lead to cancer. There is molecular damage in the
lungs of people who smoked only a pack a day for a year.
While smoking is a well-known risk factor for heart disease and cancer,
the habit can wreak havoc on bones and muscles, and smokers not only fare worse
after certain surgical procedures, they are more likely to see them fail.
Because smoking impedes the blood supply to the lower spine, it is also linked
to chronic low back pain and degenerative disk disease.
information placed on low-nicotine brands is deceptive, and the filters which
dilute the smoke when tested on the machine simulation do not appear to have
the same effect as on humans. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports
that people who smoke ‘light’ or ‘mild’ cigarettes inhale up to eight times as
much tar and nicotine as printed on the label.
Cigarette smoke transforms healthy saliva into a deadly cocktail that
can accelerate cancer, according to new research in the British Journal of
Cancer. Normally, saliva - which contains antioxidants - provides a protective
buffer in the lining of the mouth for the enzymes that fight and neutralize
harmful substances. New research shows that the chemicals in tobacco smoke
destroy these enzymes, leaving a corrosive mix that damages the cells of the
mouth, and can eventually turn these cells cancerous.
Smokers in their thirties and forties are five times more likely to have
a heart attack as nonsmokers of the same age, says WHO.
addiction to smoking gives a 50% chance of killing the user: three times the
risk of playing Russian roulette.
Tobacco is a mood-altering, addictive drug that kills 500,000 Americans
(200 million worldwide) and costs $400 billion each year, according to "Smoking
and Health Review,” (1992). We are told by the American Lung Association that
tobacco contains more than 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which cause cancer. Some of
the ‘killers’ are radioactivity, arsenic, ammonia, lead, formaldehyde, nitrogen
dioxide, cadmium, phenol, benzene and hydrogen cyanide (the ‘gas chamber’ gas
that poisons the respiratory enzymes).
Although smoking is a constant and chronic irritant to the body tissues,
it is also a high-priced addictive pleasure (and sometimes displeasure) that is
costly, not only in dollars but lives as well. In the U.S. alone, cigarette
smoking causes over 1,000 deaths a day or a half-a-million lives a year, is
responsible for 25% of the cancer deaths, and 30 to 40% of coronary heart
disease. Smoking decreases life expectancy for all age groups, and for those
who must breathe the passive smoke. There are 4,000 chemicals (lead, cyanide,
arsenic, etc.) in cigarette smoke and over 30 of them carcinogenic. The act of
smoking desensitizes the smoker to outside stimuli, and it is estimated that a
smoker costs an employer about $5,000 yearly.
Smoking has about a 50% chance of killing the smoker. This is three
times the risk of playing a round of Russian roulette.
estimates that smoking kills more than four million people a year, This figure
may rise to 10 million per year by 2030 because of surging tobacco use in
least 625,000 individuals in the Americas die each year from tobacco use,
according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Tobacco use seems to
be on the rise in most countries in the Americas. What is needed is for
governments to implement the recommendations of a report of the World Bank that
was released last year. Ways to reduce tobacco use: increase taxes, restrict
advertising, restricting smoking indoors, and strong, meaningful, and visible
warnings on cigarette packages.
cost of one pack of cigarettes is increased by $7 when medical and other costs
are included in the price.
Smoking decreases physical fitness and vitality, and when you add the
offensive breath and body odor that smokers exude, the chances of attracting
the opposite sex is greatly diminished.
Those who take up smoking and become addicted can be doomed to have it
be the center of their life:” Where are my cigarettes,” "I hope I have enough
cigarettes so I won't run out,” "I wish I could stop this nasty habit,” "God,
they taste so good,” "I am really going to try and smoke less today.”
if a smoker quits there are the months and years (for some individuals a
lifetime) of energy focused on trying not to start again, and being driven by
the urge to "smoke just one cigarette.”
Quitting smoking will be a minor task compared to the suffering and ill
health that will result if you do not quit. If you haven't started, DON'T — if
you now smoke, QUIT — and remember to stay away from passive smoke.