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Lecture Note 3: Smoking

Smoking is an ever growing pandemic and in Malaysia with the current smoking
epidemic, tobacco related morbidity and mortality cases are equally rising. The
Malaysian government has enacted laws and formulated many policies and campaigns to
decrease the consumption of tobacco products among Malaysian. Despite the efforts, the
general consumption of tobacco in Malaysia is still at an alarming rate. There are various
types of tobacco products on the market such as cigars, pipes and most recently vapes but
the most popular option in Malaysia has to be cigarettes.
In order to understand the danger of smoking cigarettes, the public has to first know what
makes up a cigarette. Cigarettes are made up of four components which are the filters,
tobacco, additives and cigarette wrapper. When smoked, the additives and tobacco in a
cigarette undergoes complex chemical process to form smoke that contains over 4000
chemicals and most of it are carcinogenic (causes cancer). These include carbon
monoxide, nicotine, arsenic, cynide, ammonia, tar, benzene and acetone. When smoke
containing nicotine is inhaled, it causes brain to release a chemical called dopamine.
When the level of dopamine is high, the smoker will feel a great sense of pleasure and
contentment. Thus to sustain these feelings, the smokers will be dependent on the
nicotine in a cigarette. This is where the addiction begins. Unfortunately, smokes from
cigarettes do not only affect the active smokers but also those surrounding them called,
passive smokers.
There is no doubt that smoking harms human body and causes permanent health damage.
The first part of body that gets in contact with smoke is the mouth and throat. Smoking
causes a person to have stained teeth, foul breath and it also decreases the sensitivity of
taste buds. Worst of all, smoking increases the risk of cancer in the oral cavity or better
known as oropharyngal cancer. Next, smoking also damages human lungs as it leads to
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD). This terms refers to a collection of lung
diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema. Those with COPD suffers breathing
difficulties due to damaged lung tissues and narrowing airways caused by the chemicals
in the smoke. Besides that smoking also poses great danger to our heart in the form of
Cardiovascular diseases such as Atherosclerosis, Arrythmia and stroke. Atherosceloris for
example happens when smoking leads to the build of plaque liquids in the arteries. As
time goes by, it will cause the arteries to harden and narrow. Consequently, it limits the
flow of oxygen filled blood to other parts of body. Other than that, smoking also may
effect human reproductive functions. Men who smoke may encounter erectile dysfunction
while women might face infertility.
Giving up smoking might be the best single step in improving ones health. Those who
aims to quit smoking can try Nicotine Replacement Theraphy that will help with their
cigarette craving. Smoker can choose between the many forms of NRT including chewing
gum, nasal spray, tablets and skin patches. On the other hand, any treatment attempt
related to curing smoking associated diseases might depend of the severity of the
smokers condition. One must consume a lot of plain water and detoxifying foods like
cilantro and chlorella to detoxify heavy metals from the body system.

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