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Tobacco - One of health´s biggest enemy

Updated on July 13, 2008


Today I'm writing about something that you already know, at least some points in this article you already heard or read but its always good to try to convince people to stop smoking. What can you gain with this? Its simple.... a healthy life.

Definition and history

Tobacco is a plant whose scientific name is Nicotina Tabacos, from which is extracted a substance called nicotine. Its use came about in the year 1000 AC, the indigenous societies of Central America, used this in magical-religious rituals with the aim of purifying address, protect and strengthen the their great warriors, and believed that it had the power to predict the future. The plan came to Brazil probably by the migration of tribes Tupi-Guarani. From the sixteenth century, its use was introduced in Europe by Jean Nicot, French diplomat from Portugal, after it healed him from a leg ulcer, that was at the time incurable.

In the beginning, used for curative purposes, through a pipe, broadcast was quick reaching Asia and Africa, in the seventeenth century. In the following century, came the fashion to aspire snuff, which were attributed medicinal qualities, as the queen of France, Catherine de Medicis, used to alleviate her migraine.

In the nineteenth century, started up the use of the cigar, reaching Spain through the whole of Europe, the United States and other continents, and it was used for demonstration of ostentation. Around 1840 to 1850, there were the first descriptions of men and women smoking cigarettes, but only after the First World War (1914 to 1918) their consumption presented a boom. Its use spread to everyone from the middle of the twentieth century, with the help of advanced techniques of advertising and marketing, which developed this season. From the decade of 60, emerged the first scientific reports that related to the illness of cigarette smoking and today there are many works demonstrating the harm of smoking to health of smoking and non-smokers exposed to cigarette smoke. Today the tobacco is grown in all parts of the world and is responsible for an economic activity that involves millions of dollars. Despite the evils that the habit of smoking causes, nicotine is one of the most consumed drugs in the world.

  • Tobacco Components

The combustion of tobacco produces thousands of substances (gases, fumes and organic compounds released in the form of particles) that are transported by smoke into the lungs.

These act mainly on the respiratory system, although some of them to be absorbed through the blood stream from which act on the body.

Such substances can group up this way:

  1. Nicotine: It is the alkaloid responsible for most of the effects of tobacco on the body and that creates physical dependence. The average life of nicotine in the blood is less than 2 hours and if its concentration is reduced, appears symptoms that alert the smoker to the desire of new cigarette.
  2. Irritants: The tobacco smoke contains many irritating substances such as acrolein, phenols, peroxide, nitrogen, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, etc.., Which are responsible for bronchial contraction, the stimulation of the mucous secreting glands and cough typical of smokers and, finally, by changing the mechanisms of defence of the lung.
  3. Tar and other carcinogens: Included in this group a whole range of toxic substances that contribute to the cancer associated with the consumption of tobacco.
  4. Carbon monoxide: It is a colorless, highly toxic gas present in high concentration in tobacco smoke. It has a great ease of association with hemoglobin, reducing the capacity of red blood cells to carry oxygen.

  • Effects

Smoking a cigarette gives rise to an increased heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure, generating an increase in the level tone of the whole body.

When inhaling the smoke, nicotine acts in the brain on an almost immediate action, producing a good sensation for the smoker, and the repeated practice of this act ultimately consolidate itself as routine for the individual. From this moment you can talk about addiction to nicotine. The sudden removal of the rate of nicotine in the blood produces a wide symptoms, which shows a smoking abstinence syndrome, which is represented as follows: loss of tranquility or arousal, increased cough and sputum, anxiety and aggressiveness, bad mood, lack of concentration when driving vehicles, weight gain, etc.

While tobacco is a stimulant drug, the majority of smokers believes that it is relaxing, one should feel this to the fact that once installed the dependence, smoking calms down the anxiety that is generated when you don't consume.

  • What happens in the human body

Respiratory System

The tobacco smoke produces an irritant action on the airways triggering an increased production of mucus and difficulty in its elimination. The continuous irritation gives rise to inflammation of the bronchi, chronic bronchitis. The secretions hinder the passage of air which causes obstruction of chronic lung and serious complications such as pulmonary emphysema.

Decline in lung capacity: the smokers can detected lower resistance when doing exercise

On the other hand, its certain a cause-effect relationship between tobacco and lung cancer. There is a strong relationship between the risk of developing the disease and the amount of tobacco consumed, age when the consumption started, number of inspirations that are made by each cigarette smoked and the habit of keeping the cigarette in the mouth between one and another inspiration.

  • Circulatory System

Tobacco is a major risk factor with regard to cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis which in turn is the basis of strokes, or bleeding stroke by stroke.

  • Pregnancy

Numerous studies showed that maternal smoking affects fetal growth, in particular the weight of the newborn. Also this drug is the cause of increased rates of spontaneous abortion, complications during pregnancy and childbirth and premature births.

  • Other consequences of tobacco in the human body

Digestive ulcers

Pharyngitis and laryngitis, voice problems and changes in smell

Pigmentation of the tongue and teeth as well as dysfunction of the taste buds

Cancer of the stomach and mouth

  • Facts

The smoke of a cigarette contains more than 50 toxic and carcinogenic substances. Who smokes 20 cigarettes a day inhales 300mg of tar and 30 mg of nicotine.

The consumption of tobacco is related to:

- Vascular disease - coronary disease and peripheral arterial occlusive (leading to amputation of members due to ischaemia blood).

- Respiratory diseases - the paralysis of the cilia of bronchial mucous, the resulting retention of dust and deposition of tar, chronic irritation, and the resulting chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema and lung cancer, leading to death 6 / 1 (for Non-Smoking ).

- The cancer of the lung, larynx, mouth, esophagus and others, by the carcinogens in cigarette smoke, kills 11 times for the non-smoker

- The gastrointestinal diseases and ulcers that nicotine, through its effects: increased acid secretion, and peristalsis and esophageal reflux

- The breakdown of the immune system

- Impotence and infertility

- The German Ministry of Health says that at least 40% of all cancers in men could be avoided if the "bad grass" was not consumed

- Smoking not only leads to many premature deaths, but also to a considerable reduction in quality of life and well-being of people.

  • Top Reasons to quit smoking now

increases life expectancy

it improves health

better capabilities to do sports

you can save a lot of money

the smell and the taste becomes more established

the skin recover the original health

the teeth return to its original white

its a good example to children

  • Want to quit?

Choose one of these ways: - stop once and for all / reduce gradually to abandon /reduce drastically the number of cigarettes daily.

  • Final thoughts

After this much information about tobacco, after reading so many negative aspects of it, don't you think that you could have a better life without it? Think about it, its good for your health and the health of the ones surrounding you.


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