Tag Archives: cancer-causing carcinogens

Passive Smoking Happens to Pets Too

Fluffy, Fido, and Tweety all suffer from the secondhand smoke of their owners, according to a growing body of literature that has looked at the issue, said Carolynn MacAllister, a veterinarian with the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.

Cats are twice as likely to develop malignant melanoma if they live with smokers as with nonsmokers.

This form of cancer kills three out of four felines within a year of its onset. Cats also are more likely to develop mouth cancers.

MacAllister said that cats’ grooming habits contribute to their risk. “Cats constantly lick themselves while grooming, they lick up the cancer-causing carcinogens that accumulate on their fur” and deposit relatively high concentrations of those chemicals into their mouths.

Dog with Face MaskLong nosed dogs suffer higher rates of nasal cancers as the carcinogens accumulate along those mucus membrane passageways. They seldom survive more than a year. In contrast, short nosed dogs do not filter the carcinogens as effectively, as a result, more of those deadly chemicals reach their lungs and they are more likely to develop lung cancer.

And feathered pets are not immune either. “A bird’s respiratory system is hypersensitive to any type of pollutant in the air,” MacAllister said. Living with a smoker makes birds particularly vulnerable to pneumonia and lung cancer. That is particularly true because caged birds cannot engage in vigorous flying that helps to clear the lungs of toxins.

“Curious pets can eat cigarettes and other tobacco products if they aren’t stored properly.” MacAllister warned. “This can cause nicotine poisoning, which can be fatal.”

Smokers themselves are 50 percent more likely to develop dementia than nonsmokers, according to a recent study of 7,000 people 55 or older that was conducted over seven years in the Netherlands.

“Smoking increases the risk of cerebrovascular disease and oxidative stress, which can damage cells in the blood vessels and lead to hardening of the arteries,” said lead researcher Dr. Monique Breteler of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.

Erectile dysfunction is a more immediate risk from smoking. A four-year study of 7,684 men in China, ages 35-74, found a statistical link between the number of cigarettes smoked and ED. It estimated that almost a quarter of all ED could be attributed to cigarettes.

And the habit is expensive, even before figuring in the added cost of Viagra. A study from New York City estimates that the average pack-a-day smoker burns up $2,500 a year with their habit.

It showed that low-income persons are more likely to try to quit smoking than those with a high income (68 versus 60 percent), but they are less likely to succeed in doing so.

Many private health plans and local health departments have developed programs to help people quite smoking. They often include free or reduced rates for counseling sessions and interventions such as nicotine gum or the patch.

For information about programs in San Francisco, visit the Tobacco Free Project’s Web site at http://sftfc.globalink.org/. For information statewide, call 1-800-NO-BUTTS. ~

Click to learn more about > Melanoma

~Bob Roehr, The Bay Area Reporter

What’s in a Cigarette?

There are different risks with different forms of smoking, and cigarette smoking is associated with the greatest risks.

The most recognized are:

lung cancer

mouth cancer

chronic lung disease

But why is smoking so popular if smoking cigaretteare the leading cause of cancer?

Watch this video to learn how cigarettes are actually a drug delivery device and why they are so lethal.

You will learn that only about 1/2 of a cigarette is really tobacco, the rest is chemical add ons designed to manipulate you into becoming addicted and nicotine manipulation add ons to mellow the harshness.

The chemicals in cigarettes contain carcinogens that fill the body with toxins and lead to disease.

Four Million People Die Each Year From Smoking – Equal to 27 747’s Crashing Every Day

“Four million people die from tobacco related diseases yearly.

This is equivalent to twenty-seven 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing every day.”

“Every eight seconds someone in the world dies from a tobacco-related disease.”

“The number of tobacco related deaths are estimated to increase to 10 million in 2030; 7 million deaths will occur in developing countries, including the African region.”

WHO“Smokers and non-smokers are exposed to over 4,700 toxic substances in tobacco smoke and more than 50 of them are known human carcinogens, meaning cancer causing.”

~World Health Organization
Regional Office For Africa

Note: 4,700 toxic substances, that is an amazing smoking statistics to ponder. It is really almost daunting, and difficult to comprehend how our body is capable of handling this amount of toxicity. Makes a person think about the body’s abilities. Makes since if the body can handle this amount of abuse it must be pretty intelligent and capable of healing once a person stop’s their smoking habit

Smoking Effects on Your Body

There are over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke.

While nicotine itself isn’t thought to be carcinogenic, the highly addictive drug is toxic and potentially lethal in large doses

Apart from its use in tobacco products, nicotine is a scheduled poison under the Therapeutic Goods Act.

Along with nicotine, smokers also inhale about 4,000 other chemicals. Many of these compounds are chemically active and trigger profound and damaging changes in the body.

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general.

Picture of Lungs

Tobacco smoke contains dangerous chemicals. The most damaging compounds in tobacco smoke include:

Tar: This is the collective term for all the various particles suspended in tobacco smoke. The particles contain chemicals including several cancer-causing substances. Tar is sticky and brown and stains teeth, fingernails and lung tissue. Tar contains the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene that is known to trigger tumor development (cancer).

Carbon monoxide: This odorless gas is fatal in large doses because it takes the place of oxygen in the blood. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called haemoglobin; oxygen molecules are transported around the body by binding to, or hanging onto, this protein.

However, carbon monoxide has a greater affinity than oxygen for binding to haemoglobin. This means that the heart of a smoker has to work much harder to get enough oxygen to the brain, heart, muscles and other organs.

Hydrogen cyanide: The lungs contain tiny hairs (cilia) that help to clean the lungs by moving foreign substances out. Hydrogen cyanide stops this lung clearance system from working properly, which means the poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke can build up inside the lungs.

Other chemicals in smoke that damage the lungs include hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides, organic acids, phenols and oxidizing agents.

Free radicals: These highly reactive chemicals can damage the heart muscles and blood vessels. They react with cholesterol, leading to the build up of fatty material on artery walls. Their actions lead to heart disease, stroke and blood vessel disease.

Metals: Tobacco smoke contains dangerous metals including arsenic, cadmium and lead. Several of these metals are carcinogenic.

Radioactive compounds: Tobacco smoke contains radioactive compounds, which are known to be carcinogenic.

Effects of Smoking Tobacco on Body Systems

Smoking and the Respiratory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include:

  • Irritation of the trachea (windpipe) and larynx (voice box).
  • Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages.
  • Impairment of the lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage.
  • Increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing.
  • Permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.

Smoking Effects on the Circulatory system

The effects of tobacco smoke on the circulatory system include:

  • Raised blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Constriction (tightening) of blood vessels in the skin, resulting in a drop in skin temperature.
  • Less oxygen carried by the blood.
  • Stickier blood, which is more prone to clotting.
  • Damage to the lining of the arteries, which is thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty deposits on the artery walls).
  • Reduced blood flow to extremities like fingers and toes.
  • Increased risk of stroke and heart attack due to blockages of the blood supply.

Cigarettes Effect on the Immune System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include:

  • The immune system doesn’t work as well and is supressed.
  • The immune system can not keep up with attempting to detox your system while tending other priorities
  • The person is more prone to infections.
  • It takes longer to get over an illness.

Smoking and the Musculoskeletal System

The effects of tobacco smoke on the musculoskeletal system include:

  • Tightening of certain muscles.
  • Reduced bone density.

Other Effects of Smoking on the Body

Other effects of tobacco smoke on the body include:

  • Irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
  • Increased risk of painful ulcers along the digestive tract.
  • Reduced ability to smell and taste.
  • Premature wrinkling of the skin.
  • Higher risk of blindness.
  • Gum disease.

Effects of Tobacco on Men Smokers

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the male body include:

  • Lower sperm count.
  • Higher percentage of deformed sperm.
  • Reduced sperm mobility.
  • Changed levels of male sex hormones.
  • Impotence, which may be due to the effects of smoking on blood flow and damage to the blood vessels of the penis.

Smoking Effects on Women’s Body

The specific effects of tobacco smoke on the female body include:

  • Reduced fertility.
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities or absence of menstruation.
  • Menopause reached one or two years earlier.
  • Increased risk of cancer of the cervix.
  • Greatly increased risk of stroke and heart attack if the smoker is aged over 35 years and taking the oral contraceptive pill.

Smoking Effects on the Fetus

The effects of maternal smoking on an unborn baby include:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
  • Low birth weight, which may have a lasting effect of the growth and development of children. Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk for early puberty, and in adulthood is an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • Increased risk of cleft palate and cleft lip.
  • Paternal smoking can also harm the fetus if the non-smoking mother is exposed to passive smoking.
  • If the mother continues to smoke during her baby’s first year of life, the child has an increased risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, croup and bronchitis, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and meningococcal disease.

Diseases Caused by Long Term Smoking

A lifetime smoker is at high risk of developing a range of potentially lethal diseases, including:

  • Cancer of the lung, mouth, nose, voice box, lip, tongue, nasal sinus, oesophagus, throat, pancreas, bone marrow (myeloid leukaemia), kidney, cervix, ureter, liver, bladder and stomach.
  • Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Coronary artery disease, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
  • Ulcers of the digestive system.
  • Osteoporosis and hip fracture.
  • Poor blood circulation in feet and hands, which can lead to pain, and in severe cases gangrene and amputation.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au

Just Don’t Smoke!

At 2.6 years quit I rarely think of smoking anymore.

If I do entertain the concept of smoking I almost always cancel out the thought instantly.

The most important aspect of the quit process is to become educated about what smoking does to the human body.

As a young quit I forced myself to watch a Lung Bronchoscopy of a patient with lung cancer.

He was a 57 year old man who had a 75 pack year history, with carcinoma in the upper portion of his right lung. Or for those who think that you have a lifetime before you have to quit smoking, check out Brandon Carmichael.

In hospital settings I’ve watched patients struggle with oxygen tanks and gasp to catch even one breath. I have also stood helpless as a lung cancer patient coughed up bloody phlegm while choking on his own body fluids.

I’ve listened to the whistling and wheezing while calculating the buildup of bluish discoloration of oxygen starved faces and clubbed fingers. How much longer will they or you suffer from smoking-related diseases, gasping for the air that that is essential to every human in order to survive?

Hand Holding CigarettesReplacing wispy shrouds of romanticized longings for the daily cigarette ebbed; craves were slowly replaced over time with alpha iron armor structured in smoking-related disease research.

I began to see myself as a female combatant who existed in a world that was torn between personal inalienable rights and too much governmental control. I also learned that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could not be achieved at the cost of human addiction.

Somewhere a line has to be drawn. Should we give the unborn, babies, toddlers, children, and nonsmokers who live on our planet the right to live and breathe in both private and public air space? Or should we simply delegate the right for smokers to pollute our air space and subject everyone to second-hand smoke?

In 2006 the Surgeon General released a new report on secondhand smoke, which stated that there is no safe level of exposure to the more than 4,000 chemicals, including 11 known human carcinogens in secondhand smoke.

The World Health Organization States:

Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world. It is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year).

If current smoking patterns continue, it will cause some 10 million deaths each year by 2020. Half the people that smoke today -that is about 650 million people- will eventually be killed by tobacco.

If you choose to smoke, your smoke is a toxic air contaminant. Be kind to yourself, other people, and to our planet. Just don’t smoke.