Adapted from Engs, R.C. Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility, Tichenor Publishing Company, Bloomington, IN, 1987.
There are various forms of tobacco. Tobacco involves harvesting and curing leaves by certain drying techniques which prepares the product for consumption. Tobacco is manufactured in cigarettes, pipes, cigars, etc... Smokeless tobacco is available in two forms: chewing tobacco and snuff. Chewing tobacco is a form of shredded tobacco which is placed between the lower lip and gum. Snuff is a powdered form of tobacco that is clenched in the mouth or inhaled through the nose. Some users believe that smokeless tobacco is a safer alterative in tobacco users. In any form, tobacco leads to addiction which has many risk factors.
A. Risks of Smoking.
Cancers - There is a great risk of developing oral cancers among tobacco users than non-users. These cancers include the throat, larynx, mouth, and the esophagus. Because of the increase usage of smokeless tobacco, oral cancers may account a very large percentage of cancers that affect people of America in the future. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer among men and women. There has been a rapid increase of women smoking during the last three decades. Approximately eighty percent of lung cancer are attributed to tobacco use. Twenty percent is due to environmental factors such as air pollution, airborne substances such as asbestos, iron, and radon, and breathing side stream smoke from tobacco products.
Heart Disease - Half of all tobacco-related deaths occur as a result of some form of heart disease. There is a seventy percent increase rate of heart disease in smokers than non-smokers. Some of the effects of smoking are as follows: an increase in the development of atherosclerosis which adds approximately ten years of aging to arteries, a decrease in the blood levels of HDL which protects against heart attacks, contributes to the sticking together of RBC, and a decrease level of oxygen supply to the heart and tissues in the body. Therisk of heart disease is increased if a person is both a smoker and heavy drinker.
Emphysema - A progressive degeneration of the alveoli, air sacs, in the lung which causes the difficulty of breathing and oxygen assimilation. Emphysema is classified as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A protein known as alpha-one protease inhibits enzymes from destructing airs sacs in the lungs. Social - Many non smokers do not like to date people who smoke. This is true of college students and adults. Smoking is expensive, can burn holes in clothing, makes the breath smell foul, and causes early aging.
B. Chemicals in Smoke.
Tar - The yellowish brown residue of tobacco smoke which is a documented cause of lung cancer. This material causes irritation to the cells lining the bronchial tubes and can lead to cancer
Nicotine - An addicting chemical tobacco that increases alertness, produces a rapid pulse, and have several of physiological effects on the body. This chemical is responsible for causing dizziness, nausea, and vomiting in first time users. Nicotine leads to high blood pressure and easier blood clotting beczause it is a stimulant.
Gases - Radon is a gas that is found in the ground. It is radioactive and like any other radioactive material can damage cells. This gas is one of the reasons why smokers have a higher probability of lung cancer compared to non smokers. Another gas is carbon monoxide. It binds to eurothocytes instead of oxygen and is thought to be a cause of early wrinkling. This is because not enough oxygeon is getting to the skin.
Hydrocarbons - are the ingredients which make up tars. Many of them are carcinogenic. Hydrocarbons are also found on charcoal broiled steak and eating a high amount of this type of food is a resk factor cancer of mouth and stomach.
C. How to Quit Smoking
"Cold Turkey" - This method is harder for individuals who have smoked a number of years. Light smokers or people who have smoked for a short period of time may have an easier time of ceasing all use of nicotine containing products.
Hypnosis - This method was once thought to be a substantial aid to smoking cessation. Hypnosis has a success rate of twenty to ninety percent and is used in conjunction with counseling and other therapies.
Smoking Clinic - most communities have a variety of smoking clinics. The cancer society and lung association often offer programs.
Seventh Day Adventist Program - communities which have this religious organization often have stop smoking clinics
Nicotine patch - A device that provides help for people preparing to cease smoking or who have taken unsuccessful action in the past. It is an adhesive pad about two inch square that delivers a steady dose of nicotine through the skin. The pad works for eighteen to twenty four hours and is used over an eight to twelve week period. This device is also accompanied with counseling that stresses early and complete abstinence from smoking. The nicotine patch is not an instant cure of ending smoking and it should not be used by pregnant women or patients with coronary heart disease. Those who smoke while using the patch results to an overdose which result to death. However, some people find they get addicted to the patch.