Don’t Smoke

Tip #1: Don’t Smoke.

 

“Cutting out bad habits is far more effective than cutting out organs.”
Herbert M. Shelton

Smoking kills – Overview
•Tobacco use is the single greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer mortality worldwide.
•Cigar smoke contains toxic and cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers.

•Light cigarettes are no safer than regular cigarettes.
•Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmokers.
•The potential risks of electronic cigarettes for the health of users remain undetermined.
•Quitting is the only way that smokers can substantially reduce their risk of disease.

 

Tobacco and cancer

Smoking now accounts for a third of all cancers according to the findings of a 2016 study published in JAMA. 

The WHO says tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco smoking causes many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, oesophagus, larynx (voice box), mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix.

Second-hand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke, has been proven to cause lung cancer in non-smoking adults. Smokeless tobacco (also called oral tobacco, chewing tobacco or snuff) causes oral, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer.

 


Smoking – key statistics and points

Source: Irish Department of Health

  • 90% of Lung cancers are caused by smoking
  • 50% of all smokers will die from smoking related diseases
  • Smokers have an increased risk of cancers, heart disease, strokes, low birth weight and many other diseases
  • Smoking is the single most important preventable cause of illness and death
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer have classified second hand smoke as a carcinogen
  • A non-smoker living with a smoker has a 25% increased risk of lung cancer and a 30% increased risk of heart disease
  • Passive smoke exposure increases the risk of stroke by 82%
  • Exposure to passive smoking in the workplace increases the risk of lung cancer by up to 40%
  • Exposure to passive smoking in the workplace increases the risk heart disease
  • Exposure to passive smoking in the workplace increases absenteeism, the rate of consultation with doctors and the rate of prescription usage
  • Standing in the path of a smoker or their cigarette or being in a room in which there are smokers means being exposed to at least 50 agents known to cause cancer and other chemicals that increase blood pressure, damage the lungs and cause abnormal kidney
    function.
  • Smokers lose an average of 10-15 years from their life expectancy
    Smoking ban in bars and restaurants
  • Smoking ban is a health and safety issue
  • Ventilation systems cannot fully remove carcinogens from the air
  • Even ideal systems leave the air with 1,500 to 2,500 time the acceptable risk levels for hazardous air pollutants
  • After banning smoking in bars, one American study found that there were significant improvements in respiratory symptoms and in lung functioning among bartenders

 

Electronic cigarettes

Source: World Health Organisation

Questions and answers on electronic cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)

What are electronic cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes or ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) are devices whose function is to vaporize and deliver to the lungs of the user a chemical mixture typically composed of nicotine, propylene glycol and other chemicals, although some products claim to contain no nicotine.

A number of ENDS are offered in flavours that can be particularly attractive to adolescents. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are the most common prototype of ENDS. Each device contains an electronic vaporization system, rechargeable batteries, electronic controls and cartridges of the liquid that is vaporized. The manufacturers report that the cartridges typically contain between 6 and 24 mg of nicotine, but sometimes can contain more than 100 mg. In the form of tobacco products, nicotine is an addictive chemical that in excessive amounts can be lethal (0.5-1.0 mg per kg of weight of the person).

Most ENDS are shaped to look like their conventional (tobacco) counterparts (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, hookahs or shishas). They are also sometimes made to look like everyday items such as pens and USB memory sticks, for people who wish to use the product without other people noticing.

Are electronic cigarettes (ENDS) safe?
The safety of ENDS has not been scientifically demonstrated.
The potential risks they pose for the health of users remain undetermined.
Furthermore, scientific testing indicates that the products vary widely in the amount of nicotine and other chemicals they deliver and there is no way for consumers to find out what is actually delivered by the product they have purchased.

Most ENDS contain large concentrations of propylene glycol, which is a known irritant when inhaled.The testing of some of these products also suggests the presence of other toxic chemicals, aside from nicotine. In addition, use of these products -when they contain nicotine- can pose a risk for nicotine poisoning (i.e. if a child of 30 Kilos of weight swallows the contents of a nicotine cartridge of 24 mg this could cause acute nicotine poisoning that most likely would cause its death) and a risk for addiction to nonsmokers of tobacco products.

Nicotine, either inhaled, ingested or in direct contact with the skin, can be particularly hazardous to the health and safety of certain segments of the population, such as children, young people, pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with heart conditions and the elderly.

ENDS and their nicotine cartridges and refill accessories must be kept out of the reach of young children at all times in view of the risk of choking or nicotine poisoning.As ENDS do not generate the smoke that is associated with the combustion of tobacco, their use is commonly believed by consumers to be safer than smoking tobacco. This illusive ‘safety’ of ENDS can be enticing to consumers; however, the chemicals used in electronic cigarettes have not been fully disclosed, and there are no adequate data on their emissions.

Is use of electronic cigarettes (ENDS) an effective method for quitting tobacco smoking?
The efficacy of ENDS for helping people to quit smoking has not been scientifically demonstrated.ENDS are often touted as tobacco replacements, smoking alternatives or smoking cessation aids. But we know that for smoking cessation products to be most effectively and safely used, they need to be used according to instructions developed for each product through scientific testing. There are no scientifically proven instructions for using ENDS as replacements or to quit smoking. The implied health benefits associated with these claims are unsubstantiated or may be based on inaccurate or misleading information. When ENDS are used as cessations aids, they are intended to deliver nicotine directly to the lungs.

None of the approved, regulated cessation aids, such as nicotine patches and chewing-gum, delivers nicotine to the lungs. Therefore, the biological mechanism by which smoking cessation might be achieved by delivery of nicotine to the lungs and its effects are unknown.
Delivery to the lung might be dangerous. Therefore, independently of the effects of nicotine, it is of global importance to study lung delivery scientifically.

The dose of delivered nicotine is also unknown. It is suspected that the delivered dose varies notably by product, which contain nicotine in various quantities and concentrations.

Conclusion:
Until such time as a given ENDS is deemed safe and effective and of acceptable quality by a competent national regulatory body, consumers should be strongly advised not to use any of these products, including electronic cigarettes.


“One thousand Americans stop smoking every day – by dying.” Author Unknown

 

QUITTING SMOKING

Get on the Path to A Healthier YouHelp Stop smoking

Source: Be Tobacco Free

If you quit smoking right now…
• Within 20 minutes: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
• Within 12 hours: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
• Within 3 months: Your circulation and lung function improves.
• Within 9 months: You will cough less and breathe easier.
• After 1 year: Your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
• After 5 years: Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Your risk of cervical cancer and stroke return to normal after 5 years.
• After 10 years: You are half as likely to die from lung cancer. Your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
• After 15 years: Your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s.

 


How To Handle Withdrawal Symptoms and Triggers When You Decide To Quit Smoking

Source: The website of the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)

  • Quitting is the only way that smokers can substantially reduce their risk of disease. Although quitting is difficult, millions of people have quit smoking for good. Many tips are offered in this fact sheet, but everyone is different so choose the tips that will work best for you. In general, keeping busy and avoiding the things that tempt you to smoke will help you manage withdrawal symptoms and avoid your triggers to smoke.
  • Common withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting include nicotine cravings, anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety,depression, and weight gain. It may help to know that withdrawal symptoms are usually worst during the first week after quitting. From that point, the intensity of the symptoms drops over the first month. In the meantime, there are many steps you can take to make it easier to quit smoking.
  • Triggers are the moods, feelings, places, or things that you do in your daily life that make you want to smoke. Triggers for smoking may include being around other smokers, feeling stressed, drinking coffee or tea, and enjoying a meal. Knowing your triggers helps you stay in control because you can avoid them, or, when you can’t, you can do things to keep your mind off smoking.

Editors note:
After smoking for some 40 years, I finally stopped with the help of Allen Carr’s book Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
I have no association whatsoever with Allen Carr’s Easyway, but I’m happy to promote this method because I found it to be extremely helpful and effective in helping me to quit smoking.

 

If you want to seriously reduce your risk of developing a number of cancers, the message from Medical experts and Governments around the world is very clear: Don’t Smoke!

Useful Websites:

Oncoimmune.com (a simple blood test to aid in the risk assessment and early detection of lung cancer)
Allen Carr

Quit
Drugs.ie
ASH Ireland
Be Tobacco Free.Gov (USA)
Smoke Free.Gov (USA)
National Cancer Institute
See Health Promotion / Services in your own area.

Note 1. Videos and images are not part of the original articles.
Note 2. Some articles edited for content and length

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