Smoking is catching up fast with young generation today. It is considered as one of the major causes of mortality in the young. It is the bronchogenic carcinoma of the lungs which is the main factor causing death due to malignancies of oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, bladder or stomach. It is also known to cause coronary heart diseases.
Nicotine is the major substance present in the smoke that causes physical dependence. The additives do produce damage to the body. It is added with levulinic acid so as to mask the harsh taste of nicotine, thus increasing the risk of it being bound to brain receptors, which increase the ‘kick’ of nicotine. The fact to be noted is that smoke from the burning end of a cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals and 40 carcinogens. It has long been known that tobacco smoke is carcinogenic or cancer causing.
Smokers knowingly or unknowingly collect an annual deposit of 1 to 1.25 pounds of the gooey black material. Invisible gas phase of cigarette smoke contains nitrogen, oxygen and toxic gases like carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acrolein, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides. These gases are poisonous and in many cases interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen. Cigarettes contain carcinogenic compounds and can act as tumor promoters or tumor initiators by acting directly on the genetic make-up of cells of the body leading to development of cancer.
The young are awared about the facts yet they fall a trap to the menace of smoking.
Seldom do they wish to understand the consequences. Some are innocent, yet some want to refurbish their persona in public among their friends. While some want to feel like a ‘macho man’ while puffing the smoke exhaled. Understanding would be better if they are illuminated with the fact that during smoking, within the first 8-10 seconds, nicotine is absorbed through the lungs and quickly moved into the blood vessels or blood stream and circulated throughout the brain. Nicotine can also enter the bloodsteam through the mucous membrane that line the mouth (if tobacco is chewed) or nose(if snuff is used) and even through the skin. Our brain is made up of billions of nerve cells. They communicate with each other by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. It is also known that nicotine is one of the most powerful nerve poisons. In high concentrations it can be more deadly. Smoking may also result in memory loss.
As a matter of fact be the young and old, men and women, all are at risk. The need of the hour is to avoid smoking in person and to avoid it at public places too. Abstinence from smoking is essential, not only to avoid this systemic effect but also to reduce the ill-effects on environment.