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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.

 

The Effects of Smoking on Your Health, Wallet & Family

The Surgeon General notes smoking-related deaths to be the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

One in four Americans smoke cigarettes, and each year, over 400,000 people die from smoking-related diseases.

The habit of smoking also leads to tremendous financial and interpersonal relationship strains.

What Smoking Does to Your Health

Each puff of cigarette draws over 4,000 chemicals into the lungs and through the body. Continuous exposure to smoke and these chemicals leads to cellular changes in the body’s tissue, eventually causing cancers such as throat and lung cancer.

Smokers’ hearts beat an extra 20 to 25 times per minutes, increasing the risk of heart attack. There is also a 15% higher chance of a smoker having a deadly stroke or heart attack than a non-smoker.

Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a lethal substance that decreases oxygen levels in the skin, brain, and other organs. The results are a reduced ability to comprehend, an increase in wrinkly-greyed skin, and a significant reduction in energy.

Smoking increase the body’s mucous production, which then increases the chances of bacteria and viruses to multiply. This leads to a smoker experiencing more colds, flus, and cases of bronchitis than non-smokers. Additionally, smoking affects the white blood cells’ functions, leaving smokers with a harder time fighting illness.

What Smoking Does to Your Wallet

All smokers are fully aware of the price of cigarettes when they purchase each pack. But if the price of each pack of cigarettes purchased over a span of 15 years for a smoker with a half-pack a day habit, the sum would total over $16,000.

In addition to the daily cost of this addiction, smokers pay more for health insurance due to the increased health consequences.

What Smoking Does to Your Family

Smoking has dire effects on family members: spouses of smokers are 20% more likely to contract lung disease due to the presence of second hand smoke. The exposure to second hand smoke also causes illness and death in children.

Families also endure extreme emotional trauma when a loved one becomes ill or dies because of smoking-related diseases.

The Real Cost of Smoking

Cigarette Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount

Have you seen the recent new headline: Surgeon General Issues Latest Warning: Tobacco Smoke Exposure Not Safe in Any Amount?

Statistics highlight how one in five Americans are first-hand smokers. Whether these smokers have one cigarette a week, or an entire pack a day, the poisonous effects of cigarette smoke does not discriminate.

There are millions of others who are exposed to second-hand smoke, whether regularly or irregularly. These people are also at equal risk to the poisonous effects of tobacco smoke.

The Surgeon General stresses that no amount of cigarette smoke is safe for anyone.

Surgeon General’s Warning

For over 45 years the Surgeon General has been issuing strong warnings about the consequences of smoking and tobacco exposure. In the latest release, the Surgeon General warns against any and all exposure to tobacco smoke: whether a smoker or a second-hand bystander, no level of smoke is considered safe.

Social smokers often consider their habit “safer” because their exposure is limited to a cigarette here and there. Not so, claims the Surgeon General. Cigarette smoke immediately travels from the cigarette, into the lungs, and into the blood stream.

The toxins then attack the blood vessels, causing them to narrow, and even encourages clotting of the blood. This increases the person’s chance of heart attack or stroke.

Immediate Effects of Cigarette Smoke

There are numerous deadly effects of smoking on the body. Specific immediate effects pointed out by the Surgeon General include:

  • The blood pumped through the body carries the toxins from the tobacco to every organ, thus affecting every organ’s functioning.
  • The tobacco smoke’s toxins affect the body’s DNA, leading to different types of cancers.
  • The functions of the lungs are affected by the tobacco smoke’s poisons, leading to COPD.

While smoking for longer periods of time will increase the negative effects of smoking, no cigarette—not even one, and not even second-hand smoke—is a safe amount to be exposed to.

The Only Solution: Prevention

No matter how long a person has been smoking, quitting is the best thing that can be done to stop the poisoning and toxic effects of cigarettes on the body. Quitting at any stage gives your health a boost.

Reference: “Surgeon General: One Cigarette is One Too Many” by Lauran Neergaard
[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/09/surgeon-general-1-cigaret_n_794250.html\

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.

Coldcut: The Truth About Big Tobacco Companies

This video provides a quick flash of facts about the history of Big Tobacco.

Learn facts and how the truth of nicotine addiction was manipulated, twisted, and denied.

For instance, in 1943 Philip Morris claimed their cigarettes cleared coughs, then in 1961 Philip Morris research identifies cancer-causing compounds in cigarettes three years before Surgeon General’s report.

Cigarette Ingredients and Composition

Cigarettes look deceptively simple, consisting of paper tubes containing chopped up tobacco leaf, usually with a filter at the mouth end.

In fact, they are highly engineered products, designed to deliver a steady dose of nicotine.

Cigarette tobacco is blended from two main leaf varieties: yellowish ‘bright’, also known as Virginia where it was originally grown, contains 2.5-3% nicotine; and ‘burley’ tobacco which has higher nicotine content (3.5-4%).

US blends also contain up to 10% of imported ‘oriental’ tobacco which is aromatic but relatively low (less than 2%) in nicotine.

In addition to the leaf blend, cigarettes contain ‘fillers’ which are made from the stems and other bits of tobacco, which would otherwise be waste products. These are mixed with water and various flavorings and additives. The ratio of filler varies among brands.

For example, high filler content makes a less dense cigarette with a slightly lower tar delivery. Additives are used to make tobacco products more acceptable to the consumer.

They include humectants (moisturizers) to prolong shelf life; sugars to make the smoke seem milder and easier to inhale; and flavorings such as chocolate and vanilla. While some of these may appear to be quite harmless in their natural form they may be toxic in combination with other substances.

Also when the 600 permitted additives are burned, new products of combustion are formed and these may be toxic.

The nicotine and tar delivery can also be modified by the type of paper used in the cigarette. Using more porous paper will let more air into the cigarette, diluting the smoke and (in theory) reducing the amount of tar and nicotine reaching the smoker’s lungs.

Filters are made of cellulose acetate and trap some of the tar and smoke particles from the inhaled smoke. Filters also cool the smoke slightly, making it easier to inhale. They were added to cigarettes in the 1950s, in response to the first reports that smoking was hazardous to health. Tobacco companies claimed that their filtered brands had lower tar than others and encouraged consumers to believe that they were safer.

Tobacco smoke is made up of “sidestream smoke” from the burning tip of the cigarette and “mainstream smoke” from the filter or mouth end.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of different chemicals which are released into the air as particles and gases.

Many toxins are present in higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke and, typically, nearly 85% of the smoke in a room results from sidestream smoke.

The particulate phase includes nicotine, “tar” (itself composed of many chemicals), benzene and benzo(a)pyrene. The gas phase includes carbon monoxide, ammonia, dimethylnitrosamine, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and acrolein. Some of these have marked irritant properties and some 60, including benzo(a)pyrene and dimethylnitrosamine, have been shown to cause cancer.

One study has established the link between smoking and lung cancer at the cellular level. It found that a substance in the tar of cigarettes, benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE), damages DNA in a key tumour suppresser gene.

What is Cigarette Tar?

“Tar”, also known as total particulate matter, is inhaled when the smoker draws on a lighted cigarette. In its condensate form, tar is the sticky brown substance (filled with chemicals) which can stain smokers’ fingers and teeth yellow-brown. All cigarettes produce tar but the brands differ in amounts.

The average tar yield of cigarettes has declined from about 30mg per cigarette in the period 1955 to 61 to 11mg today. There have also been reductions in nicotine (from an average of about 2mg in 1955, 61 to about 0.9mg by 1996). Until January 1992, information about tar yields of cigarettes was given in a general fashion on cigarette packets and advertisements as a result of a voluntary agreement between the tobacco industry and the Government.

Due to labeling (Safety) regulations requirements for health warnings on tobacco, cigarette packets must include a statement of both the tar and the nicotine yield per cigarette on the packet itself. The same figures are printed on cigarette advertising, along with the health warning, as part of a voluntary agreement between the industry and health regulators.

Following the discovery in the 1950s that it was the tar in tobacco smoke which was associated with the increased risk of lung cancer, tobacco companies, with the approval of successive governments, embarked on a program to gradually reduce the tar levels in cigarettes.

Although there is a moderate reduction in lung cancer risk associated with lower tar cigarettes, research suggests that the assumed health advantages of switching to lower tar may be largely offset by the tendency of smokers to compensate for the reduction in nicotine (cigarettes lower in tar also tend to be lower in nicotine) by smoking more or inhaling more deeply.

Also, a study by the American Cancer Society found that the use of filtered, lower tar cigarettes may be the cause of adenocarcinoma, a particular kind of lung cancer. There is no evidence that switching to lower tar cigarettes reduces coronary heart disease risk.

Cigarette IngredientsNicotine, an alkaloid, is an extremely powerful drug. The Royal College of Physicians in England and the Surgeon General in USA have affirmed that the way in which nicotine causes addiction is similar to drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Only 60mg of pure nicotine (contained in two packs of cigarettes) placed on a person’s tongue would kill within minutes.

Nicotine is contained in the moisture of the tobacco leaf: when the cigarette is lit, it evaporates, attaching itself to minute droplets in the tobacco smoke inhaled by the smoker. It is absorbed by the body very quickly, reaching the brain within 7-15 seconds.

It stimulates the central nervous system, increasing the heart beat rate and blood pressure, leading to the heart needing more oxygen. Carbon Monoxide, the main poisonous gas in car exhausts, is present in all cigarette smoke. It binds to haemoglobin much more readily than oxygen, thus causing the blood to carry less oxygen.

Heavy smokers may have the oxygen carrying power of their blood cut by as much as 15%.

Source: Emirates Hospital, Dubai – U.A.E

~CiggyBot

— *~ When fate closes a door go in through a window~*

Smokers Risk Damage to All Major Body Organs

Health Consequences of Smoking, Surgeon General’s Report

Smokers risk damage to almost all major organs in their bodies, according to the latest report by the surgeon general

The list of diseases caused by tobacco now includes cancers of the kidneys, stomach, cervix, and pancreas as well as leukemia, cataracts, pneumonia, and gum disease.

These illnesses are in addition to diseases previously known to be caused by smoking: bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, and throat cancers, chronic lung diseases, coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking also reduces overall health, contributing to conditions such as hip fractures, complications from diabetes, increased wound infections following surgery, and various reproductive problems.

Smoking cigarettes with lower machine-measured yields of tar and nicotine does not help.

Body Picture“There is no safe cigarette, whether it is called light, ultra-light, or any other name,” U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona commented. “The science is clear: the only way to avoid the health hazards of smoking is to quit completely or to never start smoking” (Health and Human Services, Press Release).

Statistics of Smoking Related Deaths

By current estimates, tobacco use causes 440,000 deaths per year and costs about $157 billion in health-related losses. An estimated 46,000 adults smoked in 2001. On average, men who smoke cut their lives short by 13.2 years, and female smokers lose 14.5 years. “Since the 1964 surgeon general’s report, more than 12 million people have died from smoking-related illness,” Dr. Carmona said.

“These include 4.1 million deaths from cancer, 5.5 million deaths from cardiovascular diseases, 2.1 million deaths from respiratory diseases, and 94,000 perinatal deaths. We’ve known for decades that smoking is bad for your health, but this [latest] report shows that it’s even worse than we knew. The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows.”

Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, according to the surgeon general’s report. The heart rate drops towards normal and circulation improves. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke or of developing lung cancer diminishes. Even seniors who quit after many years can experience positive effects. A smoker who gives up the habit at the age of 65 reduces his or her risk of dying from a tobacco-related disease by half.

Learning More About Tobacco Use

The surgeon general’s report was based on a review of 1,600 articles. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made these available to the public online on a searchable database (Health Consequence of Smoking, CDC Database).

For online tips and advice about how to quit smoking, see Tobacco Information and Prevention, and the American Cancer Society Guide to Quitting Smoking.

The American Cancer Society Guide provides a smoking cessation plan, explains how to deal with withdrawal and cravings, and lists useful anti-tobacco groups.

(Health Consequences of Smoking, Surgeon General’s Report).

Source: http://www.braytonlaw.com/news/mednews/091004_tobacco_surgeong.htm, a web site sponsored by the law firm of Brayton Purcell for educational purposes.