Tag Archives: carcinogens in tobacco smoke

Training for a Quitter State of Mind

You are here reading this article because quitting cigarette smoking is a goal that you have set to achieve.

Just like a willing person has to train to run a marathon race, you can also train to quit and win the end of cigarettes fight.

Once you have truly made up you mind to quit you will quickly realize losing is not an option.

I Wonder What It Will be Like When…

A Thumbs Up AttitudeIf you are like many smokers who want to quit you have scanned the web for free tips, advice, and articles on ways to stop smoking and now you have a thumbs up attitude and you are ready to engage and receive support to help you quit for good.

This is the training part of the race to quit. During the training embrace a few of the quitting methods simultaneously  to help you find the best method that works for you.

One helpful tip is to close your eyes and slow down your thoughts while connecting to a peaceful place )like you would in a meditation practice) when the urge to light up is strongest. Imagine a future time where you have already quit smoking for good.  Notice how good you feel. Notice the way people support you and acknowledge your success.

The more you imagine the quitting finish line the sooner you will cross it.

Also spend some time thinking of some nice things you can do for yourself with the money you will save. Let this also be part of your meditation process. You can spend time imagining events, places, things, you can enjoy with the savings.

Drink Plenty of Water

Get use to drinking water. Notice when your mouth begins to feel dry and then drink a tall glass of water before you get really thirsty. Water helps to flush the nicotine and carcinogens out of your system quicker than if you drink it during and after you eat.  Soda and sweetened beverages only enhance and add to cigarette cravings.

If you find you worry that you may need something to do with your hands you can keep them busy by journaling what it is like to have a life as a non smoker. You can reflect on the past harm cigarettes did to you as a smoker, and document your healing progress.

Keep a journal handy when you feel the need to light up, and pour out all your feeling and thoughts without censoring them. This is your journal and no one needs to read what you write. You can write about how it feels when smoking urges arise, and how good it feels when your pass on the urge.

You can write about your progress each step of the way. You will often notice your first page or two often shares a few rants, by the third page you will be filled with inspiration as you move beyond your mind to your deeper inner resources. Journaling can help you stay sane, and also provide glimpses and eventually a deep bond with your inner courage and wisdom.

You Are Learning to Take Better Care of Yourself?

You can also find time to pamper yourself a little more.

Give yourself a spa day! Enjoy the act of washing your face and brushing your teeth more often. Plan a day where you pamper yourself, too.

Don’t think of skipping a day away from your quit smoking training routine. Each morning connect with gratitude and acknowledge that you are not smoking on this day.

Remember life is as precious as we make it. Picture yourself living a live a long and healthy life surrounded by your friends and family. Reflect on those people in your life who are dependent on you, or who think of you as a valuable friend.

By taking better care of yourself and stopping to smell the flowers (your sense of smell will improve, too) take time to enjoy the sunshine and even the raining days that nurture the earth.

You can be the person you really want to be, for you and for your loved ones. Take a stand, and get into a training state of mind. The rest will be easy as you succeed at the quitting marathon.

Smoking Bans – Smokers Not Hire Ready

Employers are using smoking vs. non-smoking as one of the criteria to hire employees.

Whether a person smokes or not could be a deciding factor even before you have been E-Verified.

For smokers looking for gainful employment, their addiction makes the possibilities even harder than they may realize.

Fair Debate for Smokers and Non-Smokers

Smokers are willing and able to work in smoke-free environments and can put up with it in order to work.

Once that craving hits though, they will sneak outside on breaks to have a few puffs of nicotine until quitting time. The working smoker’s perception is they have the best of both worlds – a smoke-free environment on the inside of the workplace and a chance to smoke on the outside during working hours.

The non-smokers want to work in smoke-free environments. A smoking policy inside an employees place of employment will provide an environment free of second hand smoke … except:

What if the employee who smokes reeks of cigarettes

What if the second hand smoke finds its way through open windows, doors, and hallways from around the building.

What if smokers begin smoking in bathrooms, or stairwells?

Then an environment is not truly smoke free and for employees a non smoking is really non-existent.

The Win/Win/Lose

Hospitals and other smoke-free conscious employers are pulling out the stops for justifying their no smoking policies.

With the current healthcare reform policy, employers are justifying the testing of potential employees.  Nicotine tests similar to random drug testing are qualified and being administered.

If non-smokers are hired it is less likely the employee will be hospitalized for ailments related to lung cancer. Insurance cost savings is the rationale for these tests because they can save on costly medical expenses in the future.

Medical costs will be considerably less because symptoms related to asthma, bronchial infections, and allergies will not exist.  Families will be healthier and have less cause to visit the doctor or fill a prescription.  Insurance premiums will not have to cover as many catastrophic illnesses related to smoking and second hand smoke.

If a ban on hiring smokers is embraced by businesses in all 50 states, a long road of tough economic times will be facing those that smoke if they refuse to quit.  Smokers will feel defeated not because they lack the skills to perform their jobs but lack the skills to quit smoking to gain and keep their jobs.  Being a smoker will have a stigma that has obvious and detrimental consequences.

Quit While You Can

These bans are the sign of the times and smokers need to prepare to move with them.  If you are currently unemployed, be aware that your smoking addiction is a possible criterion as to whether you land the next job.

Still working and smoking? Higher insurance rates especially for smokers and other unnecessary risk takers are certain to be the norm. Cessation Programs may have some provisions that give you a timeline to quit before your insurance rates and premiums are dramatically increased.

An important part of your life may be your career.  Do not let smoking be the thing that ends it.

References:

  1. WHO POLICY ON NON-RECRUITMENT OF SMOKERS OR OTHER TOBACCO USERS
  2. Smokers Not Hired

National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems Teleconference Notes

The following information is a the Position Statement on Smoking Policy and Treatment at State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals.

Silently and insidiously tobacco sales and tobacco smoking became an accepted way of life not only in our society, but also in our public mental health treatment facilities.

Revenue from sales of tobacco provides discretionary income for facilities. Smoke breaks became an “entitlement,” deserved and protected, and are one of the only times consumers can practice relating to each other and staff in a “normalized” way.

When, what, and how much to smoke are often the only choices consumers make as inpatients, reinforcing cigarette use by virtue of the autonomy it appears to allow. More troubling, cigarettes used as positive/negative reinforcement by staff to control consumer behavior.

Logo ImageWhile taking seriously and treating illicit drug use by those with mental illness for some time, a substance far more deadly and pervasive, and used disproportionately by this population, has largely been ignored. And now, a few words about tobacco. It Kills. And, it kills those with mental illness disproportionately and earlier, as the leading contributor of disease and early death in this population.

A preponderance of evidence has clearly established the deleterious health effects of tobacco smoking and second hand or environmental tobacco smoke. Science as well as experiences in mental health facilities have also shown that tobacco smoking leads to negative outcomes for mental health treatment, the treatment milieu, overall wellness and, ultimately, recovery.

Smoking promotes coercion and violence in facilities among patients and between patients and staff. It occupies a surprising amount of staff and patient’s time that could be better used for more productive activities.

It is a poor substitute for practice in decision-making and relationship building and is inappropriate as a means to manage behavior within the treatment milieu. And, while smoking can be framed as the one – choice consumers get to make while inpatients, and a personal – choice for staff, it is critical to realize that addiction is not a choice. But, quitting smoking is.

While smoking has become more socially unacceptable and prevalence has decreased in the general population, much needs to be done to assist those with mental illness to quit. Currently, 59% of public mental health facilities allow smoking. If we agree that the goal shared by consumer and physician for mental health is recovery and that health and wellness is an integral part of that recovery, the issue of tobacco use in our facilities cannot be ignored.

As individuals committed to supporting health, wellness and recovery, and entrusted with the care and management of consumers and staff in our facilities and of limited public funds, we must act on what we know. Therefore, NASMHPD stands against tobacco and will take assertive steps to stop its use in the public mental health system.

As physicians, we commit to educating individuals about the effects of tobacco and facilitating and supporting their ability to manage their own physical wellness.

We will practice the 5 A’s; ASKING individuals about tobacco use, ADVISING users to quit, ASSESSING their readiness to make a quit attempt, ASSISTING with that attempt and ARRANGING follow-up care.

As administrators, we will commit the leadership and resources necessary to create smoke free systems of care, provide adequate planning, time and training for staff to implement new policies and procedures, and ensure access to adequate and appropriate medical and psychosocial cessation treatment for consumers and staff alike.

As partners in the recovery process, we will work with national organizations and decision makers, public and private service providers, and other support systems to ensure that those who want to be tobacco free have access to continued cessation treatment and support in the community.

Health and wellness is a shared responsibility. NASMHPD is committed to doing their part to assist individuals in going tobacco free and will continue to advocate for those with mental illness in their right and hope to be well in recovery.

Approved by the NASMHPD Membership on July 10, 2006

In a health care system:

  • Figure out who smokes
  • Educate staff
  • Integrate smoking cessation into mental health tx
  • Be attentive to co morbidity, make facility smoke-free to protect pts, families, staff

Smoke Free Facilities

50% of psychiatric facilities in the U.S. are now smoke-free, with approx 1 added each month.

SSM Health Care (21 Hospitals in 4 states) became totally smoke free (indoors and outdoors) in 2004.

Outcomes:

  • Number of behavioral health outpts identified as non-smokers increased by 20% after 5 months
  • Number of behavioral health inpts identified as non-smokers increased by 7%
  • Additional inpatient benefits:
  • Former smoking areas freed up space for alternate use
  • Daily chore of managing pt smoking, arguments about smoke break times and
    access to cigarettes, all disappeared
  • Census and pt satisfaction remained stable
  • Staff satisfaction increased because all the limit-setting regarding cigarettes was
    no longer an issue
  • Pt violence decreased on inpatient units without tobacco available.

From The National Association of Psychiatric Hospital Systems, July, 2007

  • The data is simply too compelling re: loss of life and function to continue to ignore the issues of smoking and mental illness any longer. This is a leadership issue as much as a policy and practice issue.
  • We must address staff-related smoking prevalence and quitting. Otherwise, culture change will not occur.

Banning smoking in psychiatric hospitals actually reduces mayhem. Facilities that do not allow smoking report fewer incidents of seclusion and restraint and a reduction in coercion and threats among patients and staff.

EMPLOYER BENEFITS of investing in a smoke-free workforce:

  • Health care costs are 40% higher for smokers than nonsmokers.
  • Smokers are absent from work 26% more often than non-smokers.
  • Smokers cost a company drug plan about twice as much as employees who do not smoke.

Additional teleconference notes:

There are approximately 438,000 tobacco-related deaths in the US each year. 44% of all cigarettes smoked are smoked by people who also suffer from mental illness and/or substance abuse. In contrast, only 102,000 will die from drugs and alcohol.

Psychiatric patients who smoke have 7X the heart disease rate and 7X the suicide rate of psychiatric patients who don’t smoke.

One third to one half of mentally ill smokers will die from smoking.

Tobacco companies have targeted poor, mentally ill, minorities with fewer resources. Sub Culture Urban Marketing (SCUM)

The number of cigarettes a person smokes a day directly correlates with an increased lifetime risk of developing Major Depression.

9% (approx. 40,000) of tobacco-related deaths are from second-hand smoke alone. This is nearly as many who die in the U.S. from motor vehicle accidents, and twice as many from drugs (other than alcohol). The Surgeon General’s most recent report states that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke.

8.6 million people become disabled each year in the US from tobacco.

The smoke, tar, and additives are what kill people. The nicotine just hooks them.

JCAHO is requiring that hospitals and both inpatient and outpt settings be conducive to quitting.

There are 11 PROVEN human carcinogens in tobacco smoke.

Fifty more are not yet proven, but suspected.

None of these are the nicotine itself, but the nicotine is what is addictive.

20.9% of adults smoke in the general population.

75% of those with addictions or mental illness smoke. 70% of people who smoke want to quit, including
the mental health population.

30-35% of the staff in mental health settings smoke.

35% people with panic disorder smoke

49% with depression smoke

80% with EOTH dependence smoke

88% with schizophrenia/bipolar disorder smoke

Depressed smokers have higher suicide rates than depressed non-smokers. People with any psychiatric disorder who smoke have 7X the rate of heart disease AND 7X the suicide rate than similar patients who don’t smoke.

Smokers have greater anxiety and panic than non-smokers. Heavy smoking in adolescence increases risk of later developing agoraphobia, GAD, panic disorder, increased risk of relapse during quit attempt.

Alcoholics have an increased urge to drink when they smell cigarettes.

People with serious mental illness die 25 years earlier than the general population, mostly from smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and inadequate access to medical care.

Smokers with schizophrenia spend more than one-quarter of their total income on cigarettes.

Smoking affects blood levels of psychotropic drugs. It can increase medication metabolism, so higher doses are needed when smoking, with greater potential for adverse effects. Doses may need to be lowered when pts quit, increased if pts start again.

There is increasing evidence that nicotine dependence treatment does not hurt recovery from mental illness or substance abuse and may improve outcomes. A short hospital stay is an opportunity to educate, give tools.

To TX Smoking Cessation and Depression

  • NRT (nic replacement therapy) alone is insufficient
  • SSRI’s alone have no benefit for smoking cessation but can reduce chance of depression during quit
    attempt, can be combined with Bupropion, NRT, and Varenicline
  • Bupropion can be used as monotherapy for both dx’s, can be combined with varenicline, tx may need
    to extend beyond usual 3-6 months.
  • Adding CBT has had mixed results.

*Anxiety and Smoking Cessation

  • SSRI’s alone have no benefit for smoking cessation but can reduce chance of anxiety or panic during
    quit attempt.
  • Bupropion not appropriate as monotherapy, but can be combined with NRT and Varenicline.

PTSD

  • Bupropion tolerated and effective

*Alcohol Dependence

  • Standard cessation treatments are effective.
  • No evidence of increased use of other substances during cessation treatment.
  • Alcohol abstinence days are greatest for those who quit smoking.
  • Alcoholics who smoke are 10X more likely to develop pancreatitis, have a 3X greater risk of
    cirrhosis,and are at greater risk of severe brain damage associated with alcohol dependence.
    Continued smoking diminishes recuperation from alcohol-related cognitive defecits during alcohol
    abstinence.

*Cessation for Shizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

  • Traditional cessation treatments may be inadequate.
  • Harm reduction and NRT
  • Hospitalization may be unique opportunities to initiate tx.
  • Bupropion can lead to quit rates comparable with general population.
  • Quit rates enhanced with CBT
  • Overall symptoms not worsened.

Resistance to Smoking Cessation for People with Mental Illness

  • Loved ones resist helping them quit
  • They feel protective and want to focus on quality, not quantity of life
  • But diseases caused by smoking can severely hamper quality as well as quantity of life
  • And second-hand smoke imperils loved ones and workers

Barriers to Successful Smoking Cessation

  • Provider inattention/pessimism
  • Belief that smoking cessation will adversely affect SA/MH tx
  • Co-dependency and mental illness
  • Mental health staff smoke
  • Historic attitudes about smoking in mental health community
  • No coverage for cessation drugs
  • Improper use of the drugs
  • Ignorance of quitlines 1-800-QUIT NOW
  • Lack of knowledge or risks/current research
  • Centuries-old split between treating the mind “vs.” the body
  • Social isolation of the mentally ill
  • Recovery from mental illness a relatively new concept
  • Historical use of cigarettes as behavior modification/control/reward/distraction/coping in psychiatric
    settings
  • Clash of emerging sense of inappropriateness of health care settings encouraging/permitting smoking
  • Mental health typically lagging behind other innovations and technologies in health care
  • Different agencies, funding, reimbursement (state Medicaid plans reimburse for smoking cessation; most
    private insurers don’t.)
  • Historical lack of research data (though current research demonstrates that quitting smoking does NOT
    jeopardize recovery and in fact leads to 25% greater chance of success in recovery)

Benefits From Treating Tobacco Dependence

  • Reduced morbity
  • 25% greater chance of abstinence from other substances (continued smoking identified as a factor in
    relapse to active substance abuse)
  • Reduce financial burden
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Increase focus on mental health and wellness
  • Remember that about half of smokers who want to quit will die from smoking.
  • If the cessation rate could increase to even just 10%, 1.2 million additional lives would be saved. No
    other health intervention could make such a huge difference!
  • Tobacco use negatively impacts other psychosocial issues that challenge clients in recovery: finances,
    health, HIV status, pregnancy, children’s health, treatment compliance, medications, dealing with
    feelings, social stigma

NEW DEVELOPMENTS
The National Partnership on Wellness and Smoking Cessation
Members:
NAPHS (National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems)
NASMHPD (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors) See their tool kit “Tobacco
Free Living in Psychiatric Settings
http://www.nasmhpd.org/general_files/publications/NASMHPD.toolkit.FINAL.pdf

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Read Position Statement section 7.3
http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Policy/Public_Policy_Platform_April_07_marked.pdf
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
NASW (National Association of Social Workers)
+ approx. 20 other organizations and growing
Smoking Cessation Leadership Center Mental Health section web site:
http://smokingcessationleadership.ucsf.edu/Presentation07/NASMHPBHealth.pdf


Notes from Sally Caltrider [Retreath Healthcare, Brattleboro, VT]
Conference: July 26, 2007]

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

Tobacco Smoke Effects Moves From the Lungs to the Kidneys

“Some of the carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals) in tobacco smoke are absorbed from the lungs and get into the blood.

From the blood, they are filtered by the kidneys and concentrated in the urine.” ~~ Dr Visal A Khan

Smoking is systemic, and the chemicals in tobacco do not stop effecting your body until after quitting smoking your immune system has a chance to restore your health.

“A cigarette is a euphemism for a cleverly crafted product that delivers just the right amount of nicotine to keep its user addicted for life before killing the person.”
~WHO

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.