Category Archives: Smoking Related Diseases

Information on smoking related diseases and illnesses

Video Shows Smoker’s Lungs

Making the choice to smoke cigarettes will in time cause damaging effects to your body’s healthy lung function.

The following video provides an example of what occurs in time to a smoker’s lungs due to inhaling all the toxic elements contained in tobacco products.

Picture That’s Worth More Than 1000 Words

A picture has been said to be worth 1000 words. The visual image in the following video is worth far more.

Sometimes it takes graphic images to sink in what words can convey without much effect. At CiggyFree.com our hope is this video’s shocking evidence may help even one person make a choice to quit or never pick up that first cigarette.

Smoking is such a selfish act that hurts the user and all those they directly and even those whom they indirectly come in contact. First, second, and thirdhand smoke is a real threat to the health and wellness to all who are exposed.

Take a Deep Breath Before Watching



Surgeon General: Smoking Poses Greater Risks Than Originally Thought

The tobacco related news is buzzing this week with a critical new report from the Surgeon General on the dangers of smoking.

This report was shared on Friday, Jan 17th, 2013 and lists many more associated diseases including great concern for children’s health risks.

The report makes makes it clear that second hand smoke is just as dangerous as directly inhaling a cigarette.

Additional diseases added to the list effect all age groups: young, middle aged, and aging population:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Macular degeneration that can blind older adults.
  • Two additional types of cancers: liver and colorectal.

Number of Deaths Since 1964: 20.8 Million

The report also noted the number of deaths related to smoking since the very first Surgeon General Report published back in 1964. About 20.8 million people in the U.S. have died from smoking-related diseases since then. That is staggering yet not surprising. 2.5 Million of those who died who directly related to second hand smoke. The report also stated that 100,000 of the smoking-caused deaths over the past 20 years were babies who died from SIDS or other types of complications related to health problems caused from the parent’s smoking (or direct household exposure.)

When you think of all the American deaths caused by war, stop and think again how tobacco related deaths equal 10 times the number of of all the nation’s wars combined. For an excellent summary of the report. There is no safe cigarette, period.

 

5 Ways Cigarette Smoking Damages Your Oral Health

Cigarette smoking is a hard habit to kick. For those that succeed in quitting, whether it’s cold turkey or gradual, it’s important to remind yourself of the reasons why. Physical and emotional motivators can be the most powerful, and therefore most likely to help you abstain.

While there are many known effects of nicotine abuse, such as cancer and shortened life span, some smokers overlook their oral health side effects.Oral health affects your entire body and it’s important to take care of your mouth. For those looking to quit, here are 5 powerful motivators to help you kick that habit!

Unhealthy Gums

White, discolored, and bleeding gums  are very common side effects seen in smokers. Healthy gums are naturally pink in color. Gingivitis, or periodontal disease, is common in smokers and causes tender, bleeding gums. Further, many cigarette smokers see their gums change to an off-white color. All of these are signs of unhealthy gums. The ingredients in tobacco products interfere with the normal function of tissue cells, which causes recession and even bone detachment. White gums can be painful and disrupt daily activities such as eating and drinking.

Halitosis

Bad breath/Halitosis is a side effect of tobacco use. For cigarette smokers, bad breath is caused by both nicotine and a vitamin-C deficiency. After smoking, cigarette and smoke particles are left to linger in the throat and lungs. Further, because smoke dries out your mouth, it leaves a climate that facilitates bacterial growth. Basically, the smoke, the chemicals, and the lasting environment all contribute to chronic bad breath. Yuck!

Oral Cancer

tongueThis is the most well known side effect of cigarette smoking, yet many smokers don’t know the extent of it. Oral cancer refers to cancer of the following areas:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Cheek lining
  • Gums
  • Palate (roof of mouth)
  • Floor of the mouth

The type of oral cancer most commonly found is “squamous cell carcinomas”. These involve epithelial cells on the surface of the skin and can often spread very quickly. This is why it is imperative to know the warning signs for oral cancer and to act accordingly. The most common symptoms of oral cancer are tenderness, or sore spots. Lymph nodes, which are located at the top of your neck, will also become inflamed and tender. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to go to your dentist or a health professional.

Loss of Taste and Smell

Many smokers experience a dulling of taste and smell because breathing in the hot fumes of smoke is toxic to the senses. It’s normally the loss of smell that comes first, and as a result your palate is unable to detect as many flavors/sensations. While the loss of smell and taste is gradual, many ex-smokers have reported that their senses returned quickly after quitting completely. Yet another powerful motivator for those looking to quit.

Leukoplakia

Presence of Leukoplakia, or white patches, which form on surfaces inside the mouth, tongue, and cheek. The patches themselves are defined as instances of keratosis, or the buildup of keratin on the skin. The causes of leukoplakia are relatively well defined. In broad terms, the keratin patches develop in response to prolonged irritation. The most common source of irritation that leads to leukoplakia is the use of tobacco. Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco is frequently attributed with causing the formation of the patches. While the patches are not generally harmful, they can cause discomfort and can easily be avoided.

These 5 motivators are just the tip to the iceberg when it comes to your health and negative side effects from cigarette smoking. While nicotine is a real addiction, keeping perspective and using motivators, such as your health, can help you achieve your goal to quit smoking.

About the Author: Alexis Goodrich publishes a dental health blog, BestDentistGuide.com, and you can also follow her on Twitter for all things dental @thedentistguide.

Nicotine in Cigarettes Contribute to Cluster Headaches and Migraines

Many people are plagued with chronic headaches and migraines and are mystified by what causes them. One probable cause could be second-hand smoke and, if you are a smoker, the act itself.

A visit to WebMD.com Migraines and Headaches health center explains how the nicotine contained in tobacco, when inhaled, will stimulate the blood vessels in the brain, causing them to constrict or narrow.

Smoking a cigarette will also cause the stimulated nerves in the back of the throat to magnify the problem.

Nicotine Hurts Your Head

Studies have also shown that cluster headaches—or headaches that keep returning for a period of time, such as two or three times a day for a week or even months—caused by second-hand smoke exposure were fully relieved once the migraine sufferer was no longer exposed to smoke.

Smokers suffering from cluster headaches have also found their headaches were reduced by 50% when they reduced smoking from a pack a day to half a pack, or by 50%. Doesn’t it make sense that quitting entirely could take care of the problem?

Smoking is a Headache

If you find headaches of any form a problem and all physical factors have been examined and ruled out, then toxicity in your body could be the leading cause.

If you are a cigarette smoker and are brave enough to smoke, then you should be brave enough to see the effects of a cluster headache. The following video will give you another reason to stop smoking now.

reference: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/triggers-smoking

Nicotine Addiction Linked to Studies on Autism

American researchers have recently discovered a connection between two proteins in the brain, linking nicotine addiction and autism.

According to a study presented at a Society for Neuroscience meeting, there is a physical and functional association between these two conditions.

The study showed that the neurexin-1 beta proteins, which are a part of the brain’s chemical communication system, are related to a certain type of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and play an important role in the proper formation and maturation of synapses.  Proper synapse function is critical to the central nervous system’s ability to connect and control other body systems.

Little Girl with AutismPrevious studies had reported that while such nicotinic receptors are absent in the brain of autistic patients, there are quite a few number of these receptors in the brain of addicts.

Findings revealed that nicotine increases the neurexin-1 levels in the brain of smokers, bringing more nicotinic receptors to the synapses and making them more efficient.

Scientists believe drugs used to curb nicotine addiction can also be effective in alleviating autism symptoms.

Source: PKH/HGH, PressTV

Smoking-Related Illnesses Come with Significant Costs

Nicotine dependence is the physical vulnerability to the chemical nicotine, which is potently addicting when delivered by various tobacco products.

Smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes contains thousands of chemicals, including nicotine.

Being addicted to tobacco brings a host of health problems related to the substances in tobacco smoke. These effects include damage to the lungs, heart and blood vessels.

According to the American Lung Association, smoking cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.

Vintage Photo Girl SmokingWhen people inhale, they are ingesting a chemical parade that marches through the body’s vital organs. Mayo Clinic.com reviews the negative health effects throughout the body, including:

Lungs. Smoking is the cause of most cases of lung cancer. Smoking also is the primary cause of other lung problems, such as emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic bronchitis.

Heart and circulatory system. Smoking increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. If people smoke more than 25 cigarettes daily, they have five times the risk of heart disease compared to someone who doesn’t smoke.

Cancer. Smoking is a major cause of cancer of the esophagus, larynx, throat (pharynx) and mouth and contributes to cancer of the bladder, pancreas, liver, kidney, cervix, stomach, colon and rectum, and some leukemias.

Appearance. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can dry and irritate the skin, as well as promote wrinkles. Smoking also yellows teeth, fingers and fingernails.

Fertility. Smoking increases the risk of infertility and miscarriage in women and the risk of impotence and infertility in men.

Senses. Smoking deadens the senses of taste and smell, so food isn’t as appetizing as it once was.For most people, smoking cessation is difficult. In fact, quitting smoking might be one of the most challenging things an individual ever does. A feature on MayoClinic.com explains why smoking cessation matters, what to expect and how to stick with it.

Rochester, MN (PRWEB) October 10, 2008 

About the Mayo Clinic Website

Launched in 1995 and visited more than 15 million times a month, this award-winning Web site offers health information, self-improvement and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health.

Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts, MayoClinic.com gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic.

MayoClinic.com offers intuitive, easy-to-use tools such as “Symptom Checker” and “First-Aid Guide” for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as an A-Z library of more than 850 diseases and conditions, in-depth sections on 24 common diseases and conditions, 16 healthy living areas including food and nutrition, recipes, fitness and weight control, videos, animations and features such as “Ask a Specialist” and “Drug Watch.”

Users can sign up for a free weekly e-newsletter called “Housecall” which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic.

For more information, visit > The MayoClinic.com – Nicotine dependence

Smoking May Trigger Depression in Women

Smoking is widely known to damage the body but new Australian research suggests the addictive habit could be taking a toll on the mind too.

A study of more than a thousand women has found that females who smoke are more likely to develop major depression.

Heavy smokers – those who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day – have almost double the risk of developing diagnosable depression than non smokers.

It has long been known that people with depression are more likely to smoke, but this longterm study is one of the first to suggest the habit may be triggering mental illness.

University of Melbourne researchers tracked healthy women for more than a decade, giving them a psychiatric assessment at the end.

“It was at this point we were able to determine if depression had developed and investigate whether or not smoking pre-dated the onset of depression,” said study leader Professor Julie Pasco.

Another study of 671 healthy women revealed 15 per cent of smokers went on to develop depression, compared to 6.5 per cent of non smokers.

“This shows us that non smokers were at lower risk for developing major depressive disorder, suggesting that smoking may play a role in the development of the disease in women,” Prof Pasco said. The findings gave grounds for greater efforts to encourage smokers to quit, she said.Anne Jones, chief executive of anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health, said the results were proof the effects of smoking extended beyond physical ills like cancer and heart disease.

“This is a very serious finding and yet another good reason to renew efforts to get Australians to give it up.

Smoking and Depression“We’ve got a blow-out in mental illness in Australia and here we’ve got a cause of mental illness that is being sold in every petrol station and corner store in the country,” Ms Jones said.

Australia’s smoking statistics are dropping but women are quitting at a slower rate than men.

“Mass media campaigns have not been effective at getting the message through to women that quitting is the best thing they can do for their health,” Ms Jones said.

Source: The Age

Since 1878 Reports Confirmed Smoking Was a Health Hazard

1878: Eighty-six years before the U.S. surgeon general issues a report confirming the dangers of smoking tobacco, a letter from English physician Charles R. Drysdale condemning its use appears in The Times of London.

Drysdale, the senior physician to the Metropolitan Free Hospital in London, had already published a book on this subject titled Tobacco and the Diseases It Produces, when he wrote the letter that described smoking as “the most evident of all the retrograde influences of our time.”

Drysdale had been on an anti-smoking crusade since at least 1864, the year he published a study documenting the effects on young men of consuming ¾ ounce of tobacco daily. That study reported cases of jaundice, and at least one subject having “most distressing palpitations of the heart.”

Drysdale’s book pinpointed nicotine as the dangerous agent and reported its ill effects on the lungs, circulation system, even the skin.

Havana-cut tobacco contained roughly 2 percent nicotine, while Virginia tobacco was a more toxic 7 percent, Drysdale pointed out. (Tobacco was a product of the New World and had to be imported to Europe.)

He also warned against exposure to second-hand smoke: “Women who wait in public bar-rooms and smoking-saloons, though not themselves smoking, cannot avoid the poisoning caused by inhaling smoke continually. Surely gallantry, if not common honesty, should suggest the practical inference from this fact.”

The prolific Drysdale wrote on a variety of other related subjects as well, including medicine as a profession for women and issues related to population control.

Despite Drysdale’s warnings, and despite the establishment of numerous anti-smoking movements, little was done to curb smoking anywhere in the world.

Though physicians and scientists understood there were numerous health hazards associated with the practice, the number of smokers increased dramatically in the first half of the 20th century. Thank you, Madison Avenue. Thank you, Hollywood.

The turning point probably came in 1957, when then-Surgeon General Leroy Burney reported a causal link between smoking and lung cancer. It was left to Burney’s successor, Luther Terry, to lower the boom.

Under Terry’s direction, a special committee produced Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General.

This 1964 bombshell — so volatile that it was released on a Saturday to minimize the effect on the stock market — began a massive change in people’s attitudes toward smoking.

And to think it only took 86 years.

The Sooner You Quit Smoking, the Better Your Chances of Recovery

Studies suggest that ex-smokers may face increased health risks from cigarettes for years to come.

Some of the damage that cigarettes inflict on the body subsides quickly, halving the risk of heart disease and stroke within five years after a smoker quits.

But the effect of smoking on risks of cancer and other diseases can persist for decades, experts say.

Even Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), 71, who quit smoking in 1980, still faces some increased risk of cancer from smoking two packs a day for 25 years, studies suggest.

President Barack Obama (D-Ill.), 46, who says he has struggled to stay off cigarettes since quitting last year, may have less long-term risk because he smoked fewer cigarettes per day.

Better to Quit Smoking When Still Young

A major message of the research is that people who quit at a young age are far better off than those who put it off until later.

Obama and McCain, both of whom waited until their mid-40s to quit, would have been measurably better off if they had stopped a decade sooner, experts said.

Young Girl Smoking“If you quit by age 35, by the time you’re 45 you look pretty much like a never-smoker in most of our profiles of risk,” said Terry Pechacek, associate director for science at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office on smoking and health.

The danger intensifies as smokers approach their 30th year of addiction, Pechacek said.

The risk of getting lung cancer for a person who has smoked for 30 years can be six times greater than the risk for someone who has smoked for 20 years.

Some of smoking’s effects may be irreversible. For example, the chronic bronchitis that many smokers develop heals only partially. And quitting cigarettes often has little effect on emphysema, which stems from the damage that cigarette smoke can cause in the lung’s fine structures.

“That stuff doesn’t repair itself,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association.

Getting other risks down to normal can take time. A study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that among women who smoked for 20 years on average, it took 30 years after quitting for their risk of lung cancer to reach normal levels.

Yet heart disease risks declined much more rapidly, the study found. Within five years of quitting, the excess risk from smoking had fallen by 61 percent.

“Clearly there are immediate benefits for some diseases,” said study co-author Stacey Kenfield, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It’s never too late to stop.”

Cancer risks are more difficult to get back to normal because of how that disease progresses in the body, experts said.
Genetic damage

Each cigarette has the potential to inflict small bits of genetic damage that can accumulate over time and cause cancer later in a smoker’s life. The longer a person smokes, the more cells get damaged, and the longer it takes for the body’s repair mechanisms to remove the damaged cells.

Smoking is Like Climbing a Mountain

Pechacek of the CDC compared the process to climbing a mountain; smoking more cigarettes takes a person farther up the slope. “If you smoke too long, [you] may not have enough years left to get back down to the base,” he said.

One measure of an ex-smoker’s risk is expressed in “pack-years,” the number of packs smoked per day multiplied by the number of years a smoker was addicted. McCain, who smoked two packs a day for 25 years, would have about 50 pack-years, while Obama, who smoked less than one pack a day for about as long, would have fewer than 25 pack-years.

Smoking Risk Calculator

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York has posted an online lung cancer prediction calculator (at mskcc.org/mskcc/html/12463.cfm) that uses pack-years and other information to assess an ex-smoker’s risk of developing cancer. Some researchers have debated the usefulness of pack-years in such predictions, arguing that overall duration of smoking matters more than the number of cigarettes smoked.

Like many smokers who try to kick the addiction, Obama says he has suffered smoking relapses since first attempting to quit last year. Such setbacks are less important than the ultimate goal, Pechacek said.

“Usually it takes three or four quits before a person is successful,” he said. “We need to stop looking at those as failures, because really they’re steps toward success. You’re building the skills you need to quit.”

Source:  Jeremy Manier – Chicago Tribune

Statistics Reveal Smoking’s Hidden Death Toll

Smoking causes hundreds of thousands more deaths each year than previously thought, dramatic scientific research has revealed.

A study, led by experts in Glasgow, showed heightened chances of dying from cancers of the colon, rectum and prostate, as well as from lymphatic leukaemia.

These illnesses cause 930,000 deaths worldwide each year, in addition to more than five million smoking-related deaths estimated by the World Health Organisation as being caused by diseases such as lung cancer, which have long been linked to smoking.

Scotland’s health minister and anti-smoking campaigners have welcomed the study as further proof of the need to clamp down on the habit.

About 13,000 Scots a year die of lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases, such heart illnesses. Another 1,600 people die in Scotland each year from the cancers newly linked to the habit.

The Scottish Government last month unveiled controversial new plans to curb smoking, by proposing a ban on cigarettes being displayed in shops. And ministers south of the border have suggested scrapping packs of 10 cigarettes because of their popularity among young smokers.

Bagpipes in GlasgowThe new study, which has been published in the journal Annals of Oncology, was carried out by a team led by experts at Glasgow University and was based on data from 17,363 male civil servants based in London. Information about their health and habits has been collated since the 1960s in an effort to gain information about health trends and find links between lifestyle and illness. The original link between smoking and lung cancer was found through similar analysis of medical data.

The study found:

  • A 43% increase in the chances of dying from cancer of the colon if the person smokes.
  • A 40% higher likelihood of dying from rectal cancer.
  • An increase of 23% in the chances of losing one’s life to prostate cancer.
  • A 53% rise in mortality from lymphatic leukaemia among smokers.

The study concluded: “Cigarette smoking appears to be a risk factor for several malignancies of previously unclear association with tobacco use.”

Dr David Batty, of the Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, based at the University of Glasgow, said: “What this study shows is that smoking is linked to more kinds of cancer than previously thought. It’s important to remember that cancer is not a single disease and that the various kinds of cancers are different illnesses so you couldn’t necessarily assume that smoking was linked to them in the same way. What’s unclear is how exactly smoking causes these cancers.”

Health Minister Shona Robison said: “This study appears to demonstrate that smoking is even more carcinogenic than was realised.

It also underlines the importance of Scotland’s smoking ban in public places, which is helping to safeguard the health of thousands of people working in previously smoky environments.”

Sheila Duffy, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health Scotland, said: “This large-scale study adds to the weight of existing research confirming the harmfulness of smoking. It’s vital that smokers receive support and encouragement to quit and as a nation we take steps to ensure future generations avoid getting hooked on this lethal and highly addictive substance.”

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The dangers of cigarette smoke go far beyond its well-known link to lung cancer. It’s interesting to see that even after 50 years of research, studies are still revealing new dangers.”

However, one leading medical experts questioned the conclusions.

Fouad Habib, professor of experimental urology at Edinburgh University, and an expert in prostate cancer, said: “This study is bit of a surprise and very much the first of its kind. Until now it’s not been thought that there was any link between smoking and prostate cancer and I would have thought that there are factors which play a much greater role, such as genetics.”

Meanwhile, smokers’ groups insisted the research should not be used to push through tougher anti-smoking rules.

Neil Rafferty, spokesman for the smokers’ lobby group the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, said: “We are not suggesting the smoking is anything other than bad for you. People enjoy it, but they know that it’s not good for them and they take the choice. No doubt the anti-smoking lobby will want to use this to erode our freedoms still further. At the end of the day, we are adults. Let us get on with our lives.”

Source: Murdo MacLeod, News.scotsman.com