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Overview

Smoking - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Smoking?

Smoking means a practice whereby people burn a substance which results in a smoke that can be breathed in, which is tasted and then absorbed into the bloodstream. The most common substance that is smoked is the dried leaves of the tobacco plant, which when rolled up inside a square piece of paper, creates a small round cylinder- called a cigarette.

More about Smoking :

Smoking is an age old tradition whereby this practice was primarily practiced as a route of administration for recreational drugs. It’s been because the combustion of the dried leaves and herbs vaporizes very fast and can deliver active narcotic substances into the pulmonary system, where they are absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream to reach our brain and other tissues in our body. In the case of cigarette smoking dried tobacco leaf releases aerosol, gasses and needless to say alkaloid nicotine, which, when absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs creates a feeling of satiety.In some cultures all around the world smoking is till used as a part of various traditional rituals , where participants use this practice to enter a trance like state, which some believe lead them to ‘spiritual enlightenment’. Generally any kind of smoking has negative health effects. As smoking poses a threat to various physiological processes, particularly to our cardio-respiratory system. Diseases that occurs out of smoking have shown mortality for approximately half of the long term smokers, when compared to the death rates faced by non-smokers.

Researches do confirm that smoking tobacco, is the most common recreational drug practiced by over one billion people in present times, of whom most are the citizens of the developing countries across the globe. Less common drugs that are smoked are marijuana (cannabis) and opium. Hard narcotic chemicals like heroin and others are also smoked, but their use is limited, as these chemicals are hard to be found commercially. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are manufactured industrially for commercial use, but then again, they can also be hand-rolled using loose tobacco and rolling papers.Some of the other things that are often smoked are pipes, bidis, vaporizers, hookahs and bongs.

In the present times many governments across the world is deterring their citizen from smoking and highlighting on anti-smoking campaigns, stressing on the harmful long-term effects of this age-old practice. Passive smoking, which affects the health of other non-smokers and children in the vicinity of the smokers, is one major reason for enforcement of this smoking ban. Especially in indoor public places, like bars, restaurants, and bars.

Treatable by medical professional Lab test not required
Symptoms
People who smoke have a greater risk of dying from lung cancer. Smoking leads to dry cough and irritation in the throat. Women who smoke during their gestation have greater risks of delivering babies with birth defects. Smoking can lead to erectile dysfunctions. Smoking has greater risks of developing heart ailments and COPD symptoms.

Popular Health Tips

Effects Of Smoking - How Smoking Affects Your Lungs?

MBBS, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy & Sleep Disorders
Pulmonologist, Noida
Effects Of Smoking - How Smoking Affects Your Lungs?

Smoking can have adverse effects on your health that may result in a number of diseases, and also can degrade the overall health condition. Thus, every packet of cigarette comes with the warning “Smoking is injurious to health”. Yet, for those who are habituated to it, it can be extremely difficult to heed the caution and quit.

If you are one of those smokers contemplating quitting, here are some of the compelling reasons to embark on the road to good health immediately. Read on to know about the long-term effects that smoking can have on your lungs:

1. The cleaning of the lungs gets disrupted
Every time you smoke, the harmful chemicals that cigarette contains lead to damaging your breathing and scaring your lungs in some way. As a result of smoking, the cleaning system of the lungs is greatly disrupted. The lungs have ‘Cilia' or broom like hairs that play a crucial role in cleaning the lungs. When you start smoking, the functioning of the cilia starts to slow down, and this goes on for several hours, interfering with the functioning of the lungs.

2. Increases the inflammation as well as irritates
Just like humans age, so do the lungs. With aging, it's very normal for your lungs to not function as effectively as they used to once. However, smoking makes the aging of the lungs faster. Plus, the airways of the lungs also get inflamed and irritated by smoking and as a result become narrower and disrupt the normal air flow.

3. Tissue damage and poor immunity become evident
Smoking not only injures the lung tissues but also causes the immunity power of the lungs to decrease. While on one hand, the damaged tissues lead to decreased blood vessels and air spaces in the lungs, which disrupts the normal oxygen level in the blood, on the other hand, smoking impairs the natural defense power of the lungs, making the lungs more prone to critical lungs condition.

4. It may cause a number of lung conditions
Ranging from asthma, wheezing, to coughs and colds, smoking can lead to serious lungs diseases such as emphysema, breathing issues, breathlessness, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis and even lung cancer. Smoking can also cause the debilitating and progressive disease, COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to develop.

No matter whether you smoke a pipe or a cigar, as long as they contain cancer-causing chemicals in them, smoking poses a serious threat to your health. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2722 people found this helpful

The Link Between Smoking And Lung Cancer!

MBBS, M.S., MCh - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Bangalore
The Link Between Smoking And Lung Cancer!

By far smoking is considered the most common and predictable cause of cancer. Years of study and research has established a link between the two, but what exactly gets smoking to cause cancer, still remains unknown to many people. This article talks about why and how smoking is associated with lung cancer.

How does smoking lead to lung cancer?
Cigarettes contain as many as 60 harmful chemicals such as Benzene, Polonium 210, Nicotine, Hydrogen cyanide, Carbon monoxide, Ammonia, Arsenic etc. which cause damage to the DNA cells including the genes that keep us protected against cancer. These chemicals adversely affect your lungs. The initial symptoms include wheezing and coughing, and can lead to further complications if not paid attention at an early stage.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an inflammatory disease of the lungs which obstructs airflow resulting in respiratory troubles like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. People with COPD find it difficult to breath because of narrowed airways and damaged lung tissues.

How long does it take for smoking to cause lung cancer?
Although the initial symptoms such as a ‘smoker’s cough’ can be dismissed in the early stage, it usually takes a decade or many years of smoking to get your DNA cells damaged. Even though the human body is designed to cope with certain health problems and damage, it becomes difficult for your system to fight the harmful chemicals present in cigarettes and tobacco. Studies show that for every 15 cigarettes you smoke, your DNA undergoes change which can cause a cell to become cancerous.

According to a study by the American Lung Association, almost 80% of lung cancers result from smoking. It is most common among people over 50 years of age who have been smoking for a prolonged time. Further research studies show that life expectancy among current smokers drop by 10 years or more, while those who quit smoking at an early stage manage to survive few more years.

How to prevent lung cancer?
Now that we’ve established the link between smoking and lung cancer, the next big thing would be to prevent the risk of getting affected by it. The most effective way of preventing lung cancer is to stop smoking. Even if you have been smoking for a long time, it is never too late to quit. You may find it hard to resist smoking initially, but do not give up. Consult your doctor, ask for help. He will most likely prescribe you anti-smoking drugs like Zyban and Chantix. One alternative to anti-smoking medication is the Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT helps reduce the urge for nicotine in your body by giving you a controlled amount of nicotine that is free from any of the harmful chemicals present in cigarettes.

Awareness is the key to prevention. Even if you find it hard to quit smoking, remind yourself why you made a decision to quit, of the long-term effects smoking has on your health, and how it can lead to a life-threatening condition.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3283 people found this helpful

Rise In Pollution Levels - Effective Measures You Can Adopt!

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Noida
Rise In Pollution Levels - Effective Measures You Can Adopt!

If you’ve read the newspaper recently, you would no doubt have read about the alarming air pollution levels. Whether it is of exhaust fumes from cars and factories or smoke from burning stubble air pollution is a cause of great concern. The effects of this can be seen in the growing number of asthma and other respiratory diseases. These diseases affect adults and children alike, however, it is the younger generation and elderly people are most susceptible.

How does Pollution affect your health?
When it comes to air pollution, particulate matter is the greatest worry. This can be described a mixture of solid and liquid particles that remain suspended in the air. Inhaling air with this particulate matter leads to them being deposited on the lining of the respiratory tubes and organs. This can hinder the normal functioning of the respiratory system and act as catalysts for reactions that can harm your health. Along with the lungs, inhaling this particulate matter can also affect the heart and other organs. It also increases susceptibility to allergic reactions and diseases such as asthma.

Protecting yourself from air pollution
Simply talking about how there need to be stricter laws about car emissions and burning of waste will not help you. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your family from the ill effects of air pollution.

  1. Carpool: Exhausts from cars and other vehicles are one of the biggest causes of air pollution. Do your part to reduce air pollution by restricting the amount you use your car. Try taking public transport to work or carpool with colleagues. Similarly, avoid making individual trips every time you need something from the market. Make a list and when it’s long enough, then step out.
  2. Limit indoor pollution: Do not smoke indoors. When cooking, keep the exhaust fan on so that the smoke produced does not collect indoors. Avoid spraying air fresheners etc. While they may temporarily make the air smell fresh, in the long run, they contribute towards air pollution.
  3. Check the weather before you step out: Just as you can see the daily temperature on your phone, a number of sites also tell you the pollution levels in your city. Avoid stepping out in the early morning and during peak traffic hours as this is when pollution levels are highest. When the air pollution levels are high, keep your windows closed as well.
  4. Cover your nose: Invest in a face mask. This will help filter the air you breathe and keep particulate matter from entering your system.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3971 people found this helpful

Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

MBBS, MD (Gen. Medicine), DM (Cardiology)
Cardiologist, Delhi
Can Smoking Affect Your Heart?

Smoking can affect your health in all respects, and it is no different when it comes to your heart. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have heart problems compared to individuals who do not smoke.

How does smoking cast an impact on your cardiac health?
Smoking increases the risk of developing various kinds of cardiovascular issues such as stroke and coronary heart disease. It damages the lining of the arteries which, in turn, paves the way for building up of fatty substances called atheroma which narrows down the artery. This may lead to heart attack, stroke, and angina.

Tobacco contains carbon monoxide which reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This indicates that the heart has to work harder for supplying the required amount of oxygen. Cigarettes also contain nicotine which stimulates the production of adrenaline. This instigates the heart to beat at a faster pace and raises the blood pressure.

The chemicals present in the smoke of tobacco can harm your blood cells and retard the normal functioning of the heart. When not inhibited, it can lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is an ailment in which a waxy material, termed as plaque builds up in the arteries and limits the flow of blood to different parts of the body.

When plaque builds up for a long span of time, it causes coronary heart disease, and you are likely to experience symptoms such as heart failure, chest pain, heart attack, arrhythmia and heart failure and even death.

Smoking is a major risk factor for another fatal ailment called the peripheral artery disease or PAD. PAD is a clinical condition where the accumulation of plaque in the arteries inhibits carriage of oxygen-rich blood to the head, different organs, and limbs.

With regular smoking, the blood is more susceptible to clotting which surges the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Is there any effect of second-hand smoking?
Second-hand smoking, also referred to as passive smoking means inhaling the smoke ejected while smoking. When a person is regularly exposed to smoke, he or she is likely to have low levels of good cholesterol, damaged heart tissues, and high blood pressure. Various researchers are of the opinion that second-hand smoke of tobacco is a viable cause of heart ailments in nonsmokers. This means, if you are a smoker, you are definite to harm the members of your surroundings.

Why should you quit smoking?
One of the best ways to decrease the risk of having cardiac ailments is to stop smoking. In case you have never smoked, you should never think of starting it for the same reason. You should also try to avoid second-hand smoke by avoiding going to a smoking zone. It would be a great idea to avoid the company of smokers for the periods when they are smoking.
Stay away from smoking for your heart health. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2337 people found this helpful

Breast Reduction - Things You Must Be Aware Of!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Plastic Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Gurgaon
Breast Reduction - Things You Must Be Aware Of!

There is no denying the fact that a perfect figure can enhance your personality to a great extent, adding an alluring charm that people will find hard to ignore. The size of one's breast can play a significant role, affecting one's overall appearance. Heavy breasts can be physically discomforting (skin maceration, backaches, neck and shoulder aches, problems during exercises or physical activities,) not to forget the public humiliation and mockery that it brings along. Some men with a medical condition known as Gynecomastia also end up having enlarged breasts making the situation awkward and embarrassing for them.

To deal with the embarrassment and physical discomfort, many people retort to the various breast reduction surgical procedures. The breast reduction procedures have helped millions of people achieve the desired breast shape and size. However, the success of the breast reduction procedures depends on many factors.

There are things that a person should be aware of before opting for a breast reduction.

  • A breast reduction surgery or a reduction mammoplasty is no small thing. It is a decision that is going to make an impact in your life and overall appearance in ways beyond your imagination. You cannot expect the surgery to work miracles overnight. Be more realistic about your expectations and do not take such an important decision in haste.
  • Not every individual with enlarged breasts can undergo a breast reduction. A person has to be physically fit (without any medical conditions) with sound mental and emotional stability. People who are severely obese and those into heavy smoking are often considered unfit for the surgery. For pregnant and lactating women, an immediate breast reduction surgery may not be a wise idea.
  • Teenagers and adolescents are considered unfit for a breast reduction as their breast are yet not fully developed and matured. The minimum age for a breast reduction is 21 years.
  • Your choice of the surgeon is crucial. While an experienced surgeon can bring about the desired result with minimum or no complications, an inexperienced surgeon can worsen up things for you. Research on the surgeon, their credentials, work history and success rate well.
  • The breast reduction surgeries involving the latest and advanced technologies will be an expensive affair. Make sure you are financially prepared to take the plunge.
  • The recovery time following the surgery may stretch between six-seven weeks (or even more in some cases). During the recovery, there will be restrictions and precautionary measures that a person should follow.
    • Lifting heavy articles, indulging in strenuous and rigorous exercise and physical activities should be avoided for at least four-six weeks (or as the doctor recommended).
    • Driving is a big No for a month or two or as advised by the doctor.
    • Depending on how well your incisions heal, there may be some pain and swelling in the breasts.The breast for the first few days may also appear sensitive and tender. For better support, wear a well-fitted bra (preferably an athletic or a sports bra).
    • Consult a doctor in the case of severe bleeding, excruciating pain, hematoma or a loss of sensation in the breasts and nipples that lasts longer than usual.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

7 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, Mere husband 1 day me 10 se cigarettes smoke karte hai kabhi kabhi 10se 12 bhi ho jati hai isse mere husband ko kya kya health problem ho sakti. Aur mai unhe kya home remedies dun jise unki health bhi aachi rhe aur dheere dheere smoke karna kam ho jaye.

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
You can use some of the suggestions listed below to help to quit smoking. However all success depends entirely on his motivation to want to give up. You can shae these suggestions with him too: You have to quit cold turkey because the body and mind will torture you endlessly while attempting a reduction in smoking. The tobacco tar in cigarette smoke lines your lung with huge patches that make that portion dysfunctional. Your oxygen carrying capacity is jeopardized, and breathing is impinged on. But don’t be discouraged because it is not too late even now to reverse all the ill-effects of smoking. I don’t know what other organs could be damaged but do go for a thorough medical check-up to assess the effects of your abuse. Regarding improving your lungs, do a lot of aerobic exercise breathing through your nostrils only. Then there are a lot of deep breathing exercises in Yoga which you can learn too. Deep breathing cleanses your system and lungs and restores it to good health. Deep breathing uses the 80% of the lungs which are not normally used in normal breathing and even when exerting yourself. The greatest effect is in the lungs because this substance is processed through the respiratory system directly through the lung surface. When quitting, you must take one day at a time; though you must give up all smoking at once, and promptly. If you look too far ahead you will get discouraged and will give up. If you sit and count the number of days you have given up, that will also focus too much on achievement. You must focus on the here and now, on that day to be precise. After all quitting is not that easy due to many factors. So even if you fail one day, you must try and try again. Very few people succeed in their first attempt. Your persistence will eventually pay off. The urge to discontinue is hampered by many factors but the worst of them is the conditioning. In fact, these conditions can exist all through the day, unlike other addictions. But your desire to want to stop is the most important factor. It is important to find out about the ill-effects of smoking to have a reason that alarms you about continuing the habit. The information is really scary but true and you must remind yourself about this every day. The nicotine in tobacco smoke stimulates the heartbeat to raise the blood pressure in no time at all. So you must avoid it like the plague: it is just very bad medicine for you. In fact, it is highly toxic too. You will need to stop smoking or consuming any tobacco related items with immediate effect. You should start vigorous exercises, gradually increasing it over a period of time. Do deep breathing exercises every time you feel like smoking (try Yoga), and replace the oral urge with some healthy food substitute to satiate the need. You may also take hard candy or chew gum. If the urge is too strong, then use nicotine gums and nicotine patches, for a little while until the smoking drive reduces, substantially. You may also join Smokers Anonymous in your city where the support is really extraordinary for like-minded people who are also in the same situation. Keep yourself occupied or engaged with interesting activities during the times when it is most tempting. Keep the company of non-smokers for some time i.e. At least for the first 21 days. Above all announce it to everyone that you have quit smoking. Here’s a piece of very good advice: even if you accidentally/willfully take a cigarette, it is not the end of the world – you can start the cessation all over again. You must persevere with the best support until you defeat this addiction. Counseling is very useful in the initial stages and when temptations are at their highest. You could also join twitter2quit program and enjoy its success to give up smoking. These are the possible effects of cigarette smoking: Summary: (Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention) •Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths. •More than 10 times as many U.S. Citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States during its history. •Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths in men and women. 1,2 More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer. •About 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by smoking. •Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women. •Smoking is estimated to increase the risk— oFor coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times oFor stroke by 2 to 4 times oOf men developing lung cancer by 25 times •Of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times •Smoking causes diminished overall health, increased absenteeism from work, and increased health care utilization and cost. •Smoking causes stroke and coronary heart disease. •Even people who smoke fewer than five cigarettes a day can have early signs of cardiovascular disease. •Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower. This makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up. Clots can also form. •Blockages caused by smoking can also reduce blood flow to your legs and skin. •Lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. •Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. •If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can trigger an attack or make an attack worse. •Smokers are 12 to 13 times more likely to die from COPD than nonsmokers. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body: •Bladder •Blood (acute myeloid leukemia) •Cervix •Colon and rectum (colorectal) •Esophagus •Kidney and ureter •Larynx •Liver •Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils) •Pancreas •Stomach •Trachea, bronchus, and lung •Smoking can make it harder for a woman to become pregnant and can affect her baby's health before and after birth. Smoking increases risks for: oPreterm (early) delivery oStillbirth (death of the baby before birth) oLow birth weight oSudden infant death syndrome (known as SIDS or crib death) oEctopic pregnancy oOrofacial clefts in infants •Smoking can also affect men's sperm, which can reduce fertility and also increase risks for birth defects and miscarriage. •Smoking can affect bone health. OWomen past childbearing years who smoke have weaker bones than women who never smoked, and are at greater risk for broken bones. •Smoking affects the health of your teeth and gums and can cause tooth loss. •Smoking can increase your risk for cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens that makes it hard for you to see) and age-related macular degeneration (damage to a small spot near the center of the retina, the part of the eye needed for central vision). •Smoking is a cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus and can make it harder to control. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers. •Smoking causes general adverse effects on the body, including inflammation and decreased immune function. •Smoking is a cause of rheumatoid arthritis.
4 people found this helpful

I am 41 years old male. I had the habit of smoking now am trying to stop the smoking but its not possible. One of friend suggest me to take the electric smoker. But its good or bad for health.

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Tobacco is addictive. Cigarette also contains 4000+ carcinogenic chemicals other than nicotine. Smoking can affect your mouth, throat, lungs, heart, stomach and brain in many ways. Cancer is one among the potential diseases smoking can cause. The best method is to leave it and continue with your will power. There are other methods like Nicotine Replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy combined. Nicotine chewing gums too help as an alternative for cigarettes. But still you will need will power. You may consult a physician or deaddiction therapist or a rehabilitation facility for further advice. You can also opt for online deaddiction therapy. Take care.

I noticed dark black spots on my lips initially which very soon turned my lips dark and black. I have never smoked in my life. I was drinking a lot of coffee lately (2 weeks ago, nothing happened then) but stopped it completely now. I have started to take Vit B capsules as well (been two days only). But the color is not even fading away. I am scared of how long would it take to go away. I don't know what I did wrong. I have been using the same lip balm since years now. I do not know if I am allergic to anything or what caused this. Both my upper and lower lip are DRY, itchy (little) and CHAPPEDand BLACK. No matter how much lip balm I apply. Please help. Thanks!

MCh - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello. The black patches or blotching what we call over the mouth occurs due to various reasons, most of them which will be your regular habits. If you avoid those habits and give a proper treatment with skin lightening agent and sun protection, definitely you can have better lips within the time you mentioned. You can text me directly so that we can know more about the reason for such occurence and treat accordingly.

Hi, I am married for almost a year now. We have been trying to conceive since day 1 of marriage. We have not been able to successfully conceive. I am overweight by 20 kgs. I smoke 10 ciggerrates a day. Will I ever be able to make my wife conceive. I am thinking of visiting a doctor. How to chose a right doctor.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, DGO, Dip.Obst.(Ireland), FICOG
IVF Specialist, Delhi
You need to stop smoking and reduce weight. But along with that you need to visit a good fertility specialist to get you semen examination done.

I smoke around 20 cigarettes a day. I want to reduce it from. But I am aware of the fact that smoking for the last 7 years has several health impacts. What are the probable tests that I should go through so as to check the harm caused by smoking till now?

BASM, MD, MS (Counseling & Psychotherapy), MSc - Psychology, Certificate in Clinical psychology of children and Young People, Certificate in Psychological First Aid, Certificate in Positive Psychology, Positive Psychiatry and Mental Health
Psychologist, Palakkad
Dear user. I can understand. Tobacco is addictive. Cigarette also contains 4000+ carcinogenic chemicals other than nicotine. Smoking can affect your mouth, throat, lungs, heart, stomach and brain in many ways. Cancer is one among the potential diseases smoking can cause. The best method is to leave it and continue with your will power. There are other methods like Nicotine Replacement therapy and pharmacotherapy combined. Nicotine chewing gums too help as an alternative for cigarettes. But still you will need will power. You may consult a physician or deaddiction therapist or a rehabilitation facility for further advice. You can also opt for online deaddiction therapy. Take care.

Table of Content

What is Smoking?

More about Smoking :

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Smoking and Air Pollution
Harmful Effects of Smoking and Air Pollution
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice