This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco or cannabis, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them available for absorption through the lungs. It can also be done as a part of rituals, to induce trances and spiritual enlightenment. The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, primarily industrially manufactured but also hand-rolled from loose tobacco and rolling paper. Other smoking implements include pipes, cigars, bidis, hookahs, vaporizers and bongs. It has been suggested that smoking-related disease kills one half of all long term smokers but these diseases may also be contracted by non-smokers. A 2007 report states that about 4.9 million people worldwide each year die as a result of smoking. Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people in the majority of all human societies. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis and opium. Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available. General Health Effect Tobacco-related diseases are some of the biggest killers in the world today and are cited as one of the biggest causes of premature death in industrialized countries. In the United States about 500,000 deaths per year are attributed to smoking-related diseases and a recent study estimated that as much as 1/3 of China's male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking. Male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life, respectively. At least half of all lifelong smokers die earlier as a result of smoking. The risk of dying from lung cancer before age 85 is 22.1% for a male smoker and 11.9% for a female current smoker, in the absence of competing causes of death. The corresponding estimates for lifelong nonsmokers are a 1.1% probability of dying from lung cancer before age 85 for a man of European descent, and a 0.8% probability for a woman. Smoking one cigarette a day results in a risk of heart disease that is halfway between that of a smoker and a non-smoker. The non-linear dose response relationship is explained by smoking's effect on platelet aggregation. Among the diseases that can be caused by smoking are vascular stenosis, lung cancer, heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
General Physiology Inhaling the vaporized gas form of substances into the lungs is a quick and very effective way of delivering drugs into the bloodstream (as the gas diffuses directly into the pulmonary vein, then into the heart and from there to the brain) and affects the user within less than a second of the first inhalation. The lungs consist of several million tiny bulbs called alveoli that altogether have an area of over 70 m² (about the area of a tennis court). This can be used to administer useful medical as well as recreational drugs such as aerosols, consisting of tiny droplets of a medication, or as gas produced by burning plant material with a psychoactive substance or pure forms of the substance itself. Not all drugs can be smoked, for example the sulphate derivative that is most commonly inhaled through the nose, though purer free base forms of substances can, but often require considerable skill in
administering the drug properly. The method is also somewhat inefficient since not all of the smoke will be inhaled. The inhaled substances trigger chemical reactions in nerve endings in the brain due to being similar to naturally occurring substances such as endorphins and dopamine, which are associated with sensations of pleasure. The result is what is usually referred to as a "high" that ranges between the mild stimulus caused by nicotine to the intense euphoria caused by heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.
General Psychology Most tobacco smokers begin during adolescence or early adulthood. Smoking has elements of risk-taking and rebellion, which often appeal to young people. The presence of high-status models and peers may also encourage smoking. Because teenagers are influenced more by their peers than by adults, attempts by parents, schools, and health professionals at preventing people from trying cigarettes are often unsuccessful. Smokers often report that cigarettes help relieve feelings of stress. However, the stress levels of adult smokers are slightly higher than those of nonsmokers. Adolescent smokers report increasing levels of stress as they develop regular patterns of smoking, and smoking cessation leads to reduced stress. Far from acting as an aid for mood control, nicotine dependency seems to exacerbate stress. This is confirmed in the daily mood patterns described by smokers, with normal moods during smoking and worsening moods between cigarettes. Thus, the apparent relaxant effect of smoking only reflects the reversal of the tension and irritability that develop during nicotine depletion. Dependent smokers need nicotine to remain feeling normal. Smoking and Pregnancy Smoking is perhaps one of the most dangerous habits a woman can engage in during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to many different complications and serious health problems for your newborn baby. It is estimated that approximately 25% of American women smoke during their reproductive years. Many women who smoke prior to pregnancy continue to smoke during and after their pregnancies. Many harmful effects have been associated with smoking. The nicotine and carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke for example has been associated with many adverse pregnancy outcomes including:
Low Birth Weight Babies Preterm Delivery Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) Placental abnormalities/problems Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Women who smoke during pregnancy are 3.5 times more likely to delivery a low birth weight baby (defined as a baby less than 5.5 pounds) during pregnancy. Third trimester smoking has been shown to have the greatest impact on the growth of the fetus. Low birth weight babies may not function as well as their fuller figured counterparts. Preterm delivery (defined as labor and delivery at less than 37 weeks) is also 2.5 more likely among women that are smokers. Premature rupture of the membranes or PROM is much more common in
women who smoke, and can lead to low birth weight or preterm delivery. PROM puts a woman and her baby at increased risk for infection and other labor and delivery complications. Related information found at 10 weeks pregnant. Smoking also increases the risk of developing among other things, placental abruption, where the placenta separates from the uterine wall prior to delivery, which can be a life threatening condition for both mother and baby. Placenta previa is also much more common among women who smoke, and can result in blood loss and hemorrhaging.
How to Quit Smoking Quitting smoking during your pregnancy is the most important thing you can to do for your health AND the health of your newborn baby. Fortunately there are many resources available to help you overcome your cigarette smoking habit during pregnancy. If you are a smoker you should consult with your healthcare provider, who can refer you to a smoking cessation program and offer you suggestions for ways to quit. Women who smoke are much more likely to succeed if they have the support of friends and family that understand the harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy, and if they have the support of a partner who doesn't smoke. Women who have tried to stop smoking before pregnancy are much more likely to succeed than those who have not. Replacements for cigarette smoking, such as nicotine replacement are controversial, and should only be used if your physician recommends it after other attempts have failed. The most important thing to remember is that you be honest with yourself and your healthcare practitioner, so that you receive the care and support you need to quit smoking safely and effectively throughout your pregnancy. Fortunately, the prospect of having a healthy, well nourished and beautiful baby is enough incentive for most women to stick with a stop smoking program throughout the course of their pregnancy.
Smoking and Teenagers
The Facts on Teen Tobacco Use Did you know that teens who smoke regularly are generally addicted to nicotine, and that most high school seniors who smoke will continue to smoke through their adult years? Most teens that smoke increase the amount of cigarettes they smoke as they grow, despite the fact that many teens believe they won't be smoking five or ten years down the line. The key to not smoking is avoiding starting up in the first place. If you can do this you are one step ahead of the game, and can continue to enjoy all the best life has to offer. More than one third of high school students smoke despite the wealth of information available about the dangers of nicotine and tobacco use. If you find yourself among the statistics, there is hope and help that you can quit.
Are You a Teen Tobacco User? If you are a teen tobacco user, you owe it to yourself to educate yourself about the risks involved with smoking. Don't fool yourself into believing that smoking is not harmful. The risks of smoking are many. Teen smokers face many health risks including:
Reduced lung function and growth rate. Poor athletic performance. Increased shortness of breath. Weak bones. Increased cramping and heavier periods. Early menopause. Increased prevalence of gastric ulcers. Cancer of the lungs, mouth, bladder, liver and colon to name a few. Bad Breath
Smoking can also increase the number of wrinkles that appear on your face early on. Who wants to look older earlier than they have to after all? Did you know that more than 70 percent of teens that smoke regret smoking after just a short time, and more than 75 percent attempt to quit at some point or another? Pregnant teens are also more likely to smoke than their adult pregnant counterparts. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risks of having an unhealthy baby, an ectopic pregnancy or preterm delivery. What You Can Do To Quit Are you a teen smoker interested in quitting? Congratulations on taking the initiative to improve your health and well being! Fortunately there are many avenues you can pursue to help stop smoking. First and foremost it is essential that you seek support and help from friends, family members and even your health care practitioner. Quitting is a difficult task and requires dedication, commitment and patience. There are many support groups available and smoking cessation programs you can adopt to help you quit smoking. Here are some additional steps you can take to stop smoking:
Set a specific quit date to quit. Get rid of all smoking paraphernalia including ashtrays and matches. Avoid places that you typically smoke. Participate in some stress reduction classes or a regular exercise program to help manage stress and anxiety. Talk to a health care provider about nicotine replacement products to help you quit smoking.
Quitting is hard work. You might experience some withdrawal symptoms including a headache or nausea. Know that this is normal and will pass! Let your friends know you plan on quitting, so they can support you and cheer you on during the rough times! Also remember to avoid 'beating yourself up' if you slip up. Don't resign yourself to failure if you sneak a smoke in the middle of your cessation plan. Just re-affirm your commitment and dedicate yourself to quitting. You'll be that much closer to quitting successfully. Any worthwhile cause takes time and commitment. With adequate support, dedication and knowledge you can succeed and quit smoking. Remember to enlist the help of your friends, family and physician! Second Hand Smoke - Passive Smoking Effects
Everyone knows that smoking is bad and unhealthy. In fact, cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths in the United States every year. Smoking accounts for 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths in women. Smoking can also cause coronary heart disease - the leading cause of the death in the U.S. In addition to lung cancer, side effects of smoking include acute myeloid leukemia and cancers of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, larynx (voice box), lung, mouth, throat, stomach, and uterus. The bottom line - you can get cancer from smoking. Did you know that breathing in someone's second hand smoke can also be dangerous to your health? Second hand smoke contains over 50 toxic substances that have been linked to causing cancer, respiratory tract infections, and heart disease in "passive smokers" - people who breathe in the tobacco smoke of others.
What is Second Hand Smoke?
Second hand smoke is also called passive smoke or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). It contains both "mainstream smoke" (the smoke that cigarette smokers exhale) and "sidestream smoke" (the smoke given off from the end of the cigarette or burning tobacco product). According to the American Cancer Society, sidestream smoke has a higher concentration of carcinogens (cancercausing agents) than mainstream smoke. Sidestream smoke also contains smaller particles than mainstream smoke, which makes it easier for sidestream smoke to make its way into the cells in your body and negatively impact your health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. National Toxicology Program, and the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classify second hand smoke as a "known human carcinogen." The CDC estimates that second hand smoke contains at least 250 toxic chemicals and more than 50 cancer-causing toxins - including arsenic, formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, chromium, and vinyl chloride. In the United States, the most common source of second hand smoke comes from cigarettes, followed by pipes, cigars, and other tobacco-containing products. Exposure to passive smoking is common in homes, cars, workplaces, and public places - such as restaurants, bars, casinos, and other recreational settings.
Second Hand Smoking Facts
It is estimated that between 70 and 90 percent of non-smokers in the United States, including adults and children, are regularly exposed to second hand smoke. According to the CDC, between 2007 and 2008, over 53 percent of young children (age 3 to 11) were exposed to second hand smoke. When a smoker lights up a cigarette, he or she only inhales about 15 percent of that smoke. The remaining 85 percent pollutes the air for the rest of the world to breathe in. As a result, when you're around a smoker, you engage in passive smoking by proximity. Interestingly, when you spend two or more hours in the same room where someone is smoking, you inhale the equivalent of four cigarettes! Passive smoking is the third leading cause of preventable disability and early death in the United States. (Active smoking and alcohol take the first two spots for leading cause of early death.) Sadly, for every eight smokers who die from smoking, one innocent second hand "smoker" will also die. As a second hand smoker, the amount of smoke that you inhale depends on the tobacco product that the cigarette smoker is using. When the smoker is puffing on a large cigar, you are inhaling the same amount of second hand smoke that an entire pack of cigarettes emits. Passive Smoking Health Effects The Surgeon General of the United States warns against second hand smoke, citing that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second hand smoke. Small amounts of second hand smoke can harm your health. Research over the past twenty years has shown that non-smokers can suffer and die from many of the same diseases of active smokers. Every year in the United States, about 3,400 non-smokers die from lung cancer (as a result of exposure to second hand smoke), and an estimated 46,000 non-smokers who live with smokers die from heart disease. Passive smoking doubles your risk of dying from lung cancer. Non-smoking women who live with a cigarette smoker have a 91 percent increased risk of heart disease, and they have a 20 percent higher death rate for both heart disease and lung cancer. (Second hand smoke increases your heart rate, and constant exposure causes the walls of the arteries to thicken, damaging the lining of the arteries.) According to the National Cancer Institute, some research suggests that second hand smoke exposure may increase your risk of breast cancer, nasal sinus cavity cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and brain tumors. Second hand smoke may also be linked to increasing your risk of stroke. Second hand smoke can significantly increase your risk for breathing problems, such as coughing, mucous, bronchitis, pneumonia, reduced lung function, and asthma (passive smoking is a risk factor for the development of asthma, and it can trigger attacks in people with asthma).
How to Protect Yourself from Second Hand Smoke
To protect your health and your children's health, you should avoid being around any smokers. If this is not possible, consider separating the smokers from the non-smokers. Ask smokers to smoke outside only. You should also avoid getting in a car with a smoker.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.