Smoke away your worries, not your Lungs

What is addiction or substance abuse? There is a slight difference between both. Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks.

What is addiction or substance abuse? There is a slight difference between both. Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. They get dependent on the substance to which they are addicted. People also develop tolerance which means wanting something more than what  is used previously in lesser amounts. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using legal substance in quantity which harmful. Smoking is one of the major addiction of Society which leads people to develop addiction of other substances too like alcohol, marijuana, etc.

Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the resulting smoke is breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most commonly the substance used is dried leaves of tobacco which is rolled into a piece of paper into a cylindrical roll known as cigarette. Centuries ago smoking has been practiced as rituals, religious ceremonies as offerings and also by priests to alter their minds for the purpose of divination or spiritual enlightenment. Smoking now has become the major substance for recreational purpose. Previously, opium and cannabis were used as the common smoking substances, but now a days tobacco smoking is more common. Smoking implements are rolling papers, pipes, bid is, hookah and cigars. The most harmful drug that is not commonly used because of not commercially available is heroin which has serious side effects.

Smoking is a bad habit that is difficult to break and it contains tobacco which contains nicotine, an addictive drug like opium and heroin but less harmful than both of these. Like other addictive drugs, nicotine if stopped, causes people to crave more for it, thus making it impossible for people to quit smoking.

Why people smoke?

People smoke for recreational purposes. Some people think that most of the females like guys who smoke. Some smoke because to relieve their stress and to overcome their fatigue. It lowers appetite and provide momentary gratification.

Benefits of cigarette smoking:

These are some of the benefits related to smoking:

  1. Relieving stress:   
         Some researchers have shown that smokers have reduction in perceived stress and decrease arousal associated with stress. The reality is that the smokers suffer from greater stress than the non smokers. But after quitting Smoking, the stress levels decrease significantly.

  2. Decrease the risk of OBESITY:

             The research has shown that the nicotine helps to suppress the appetite and helps in lowering body weight. Smoking prevents the over-eating while eating or in gatherings hence controlling the body weight.

  1. Decrease the risk of knee replacement:

              A study on arthritis and rheumatology showed that long term male smokers less likely need hip or knee replacement that the non-smokers preventing osteoarthritis. But along with this there are other harmful effects of smoking.

  1. Reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease:

             Some studies have shown that smoking causes the decrease in risk of parkinsonism. But some researchers refuse this saying that it causes the increase risk of dementia.         

  1. Alleviate ulcerative colitis:

              It is shown from studies that smoking lowers the risk of ulcerative colitis as it contains nicotine which helps in preventing this disease. On the other hand, it causes the increase risk of Crohn's disease.

Passive Smoking:

Passive smoking also known as second hand Smoking, it means the people who are not themselves smoking but are present around smokers and inhale the chemicals and other substances present in smoke. This smoke causes some harmful effects to the passive smokers. Some of the effects are respiratory infections like pneumonia, sniffing, coughing, asthma and the most hazardous effect is cancer.

Passive smokers can prevent this kind of effects to take a stand against smokers not to smoke publicly or in the cars. Specific places should be restricted for smokers so that other people should not be affected.

Side effects of smoking:

Every year, thousands of people suffer from tobacco related diseases. Manu of them die due to some serious conditions. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. The side effects of smoking are as follows:

  1. Effects on brain:

             Smoking causes the increase in risk of stroke 2-4 times. Stroke can be caused when a bulge or clot forms in the blood vessels of brain, rupture leading to hemorrhage. This can be fatal and causes death.

  1. Effects on heart:

             Smoking causes the formation of plaques in the vessel walls(atherosclerosis) leading to narrowing of blood vessels which decreases the flow of blood through vessels(blood pressure). It also affect heart by causing heart attack which is twice as much in smokers than non smokers. It also causes coronary heart disease  which causes narrowing or blockage of vessels and thus is the leading cause of death. Heart related chest pain is common as smoking makes the heart to work efficiently leading to difficulty in exercise n pain.      

  1. Effect on bones:

             Smoking makes the bones weak and brittle which if harmful for women leading to osteoporosis and bone fractures.

  1. Effect on respiratory system:

           The most obvious part of body affected by smoking is lungs. It is affected in different ways. Smoking may affect the airways as well as air sacs. Disease is not recognized until or unless it is advanced.

           In lungs, Smoking causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (third most common cause of death, causes shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness). There is no cure.

           Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma are other diseases.  

  1. Effects on mouth:

           Smoking causes bad breath, mouth sores, gum infections, tooth loose, etc.

  1. Effect on immune system:

           As immune system provides protection against harmful foreign substances. Smoking prevents this leading to Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also associated with diabetes mellitus type 2.

  1. Effects on Reproductive system:

           It is difficult to conceive for women who smoke. Women who are pregnant and are smokers may suffer from stillbirths, prematurity, miscarriages, low birth weight, etc.

         In men, Smoking affect the sperm count and quality. It causes impotence.

  1. Effects on skin:

            Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen to the skin causes skin wrinkling 3 times more early. It also causes early aging and makes the skin dull and gray.

  1. Cancer:

          Smoking is the leading cause of death as it causes cancer of many organs of body. Lung cancer is 80 percent more common and it is difficult to treat thus leading to death. It also affects other organs including mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, colon and it also causes myeloid leukemia.


Quitting smoking helps you stay away from the diseases above mentioned. To stop smoking, firstly you should be willing and tell your family and friends because they are supportive and helps you to get rid of smoking. Avoid gathering s in which smoking is not prohibited. Number of techniques are available for people who are willing to quit smoking including behavioral modification, self help literature, medications and nicotine replacement therapies.



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  1. Basit Makhdoom

    Best. We need more topics for awareness.

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