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Smoking and its Hazards

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It continues to cost our society too many lives, too many dollars, and too many tears. By 2005, we had about 5.4 million deaths caused by smoking alone, which is an average of about 1 death every 6 seconds. One in three 3 adults smokes and 50% of them die because of smoking. If the tally continues like this, there will be about 8 million smoking related deaths by 2030.

Smoking causes cancer in parts of the body (including the kidney and bone marrow) that have not been previously linked to smoking. Changes in cigarettes that reduce machine yields of tar and nicotine have not had any clear benefits for public health. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general. Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving health in general. The list of diseases caused by smoking has been expanded to include abdominal aortic aneurysm, leukemia, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia and stomach cancer.

The economic impact of tobacco usage is pretty alarming too. Apart from the large costs incurred by governments to treat tobacco related diseases, studies have shown that in some low and middle income countries 10% of the house hold income is spent on tobacco, which means families involved have little to spend on basic needs such as food, education and health-care.

.. smoking and our everyday life

Smoking and asthma: When someone smokes, he or she may cough, wheeze, and feel short of breath. This is because smoke irritates the airways, causing them to become swollen, narrow, and filled with sticky mucus. These are the same things that happen during an asthma flare-up.

Smoking and pregnancy: Pregnant women pass any chemicals they take in (from food, tobacco, alcohol and so on) to their unborn children through the placenta. Women who smoke during pregnancy can slow down the baby's growth by reducing the amount of oxygen and increasing the amount of carbon monoxide that the baby receives during a critical time when its brain and nervous system are developing.

Smoking and non-smokers: More than 3000 non-smoking adults of diseases caused by exposure to passive smoke every year. Passive smoke causes coughing, chest discomfort and reduced lung function in non-smokers.

Smoking and efficiency at work: Smokers report higher levels of everyday stress and increased sickness and as a result become less productive. Most smokers tend to use drugs to keep-feet and this comes along with its own hazards and consequences.

Avoid smoking and stay healthy. For an extensive report on how tobacco smoke causes diseases, you can read the executive summary of the Surgeon General of the United States here


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