- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Tobacco The Silent Killer
TOBACCO : THE SILENT KILLER
There are different varieties of tobacco. It is either smoked in the form of cigarettes or bidis, or chewed or inhaled as naswar or snuff.
Smoking is very harmful to our body and it causes many forms of diseases in the consumer. Chronic Smoking leads to decrease in resistance in the body so that common afflictions such as flu and cold are easily contracted by the consumer of tobacco. Sense of taste and smell is also lost in chronic smokers. This leads to loss of appetite and poor nutrition leads to many debilitating diseases. Smoking causes fatal diseases such as lung cancer and cancer of the mouth and hence it is a killer in the long run. It shortens the life span of the consumer.
Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancers of the lungs, larynx ( voice box ), mouth, throat, and oesophagus. It also leads to development of leukemias.
Tobacco smoke decreases female fertility and increases the incidence of miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, infant death, and also causes low birth - weight in infants. Passive smoking means the inhalation of cigarette smoke by the persons who are themselves not smokers but inhale the smoke passively when they are in the viscinity of an active smoker. The smoke exhaled by a smoker is inhaled by the other persons who are present in the same room. Such passive smoking not only harms the smokers but also the people around them.
Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens which results in development of cancer in the individual. It also contains ammonia and carbon monoxide which harms the lungs and causes black smoky deposits in the air sacs of the lungs, thus decreasing the capacity of the lungs to oxygenate the blood resulting in chronic asphyxiation or suffocation.
The two types of smokeless tobacco are snuff and chewing tobacco. Snuff, a finely ground powdered tobacco, is inhaled in the nostrils and it causes sneezing. Chewing tobacco is also available. It is placed between the cheek and gum. Chewing tobacco is chewed and then the tobacco juices and saliva that collects in the mouth are spitted out and causes unsightly staining of the walls and staircases and thus destroys the asthetic values of public places.
Chewed tobacco causes Cancer of the cheeks, gums, lips and tongue. It also causes Cancer of the voice box, and cancer of the oesophagus. Heart Attacks, strokes and High Blood Pressure are a result of tobacco consumption. It also results in Stained teeth, tooth decay, receding gums, gum disease, bad breath and black hairy tongue. Tobacco use can lead to Toxic Amblyopia or Optic Neuritis in the individual. This can cause blindness in both the eyes.
Stomach Problems such as Ulcers, stomach upset, increased bowel activity and stomach cancer are a result of tobacco chewing. It also causes Loss of Taste and Smell and loss of appetite and the resultant poor nutrition with the various disorders due to malnutrition.
All tobacco, including smokeless tobacco, contains nicotine, which is addictive. People chewing tobacco in betel leaf are over five times more likely to be at risk of cancer of the mouth. The betel nut itself is a known carcinogen.
Tobacco, whether consumed in a smokeless form, snuff, or chewing form is a killer and is better avoided by everyone. Recently in India there is a ban on smoking in public places which is a very good step taken by the government to eliminate passive smoking.