Why Quit Smoking
Introduction to Tobacco:
In 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in America, he saw the natives using an herb, claimed to be “Godsend” given its numerous uses. The natives maintained that the herb cured asthma, intestinal obstruction and alleviated oral pain. It whitened teeth, reduced thirst and healed snakebites as well. Believing this magical panacea, Columbus brought it to Spain and named it nicotine in the honor of the French ambassador Jean Nicot. This was how tobacco debuted into the world.
Consequently, the weed made alarming inroads across the world. In 1970, Brown and Williams crossbred a strain that was 8.5-3.5 percent rich in Nicotine. During 1900, scientists started observing and studying the ill effects of tobacco. They found some startling facts about Nicotine and its composition chemicals. The researches established that nicotine and associated chemicals were harmful for both the persons who smoke and others who are in a smoker’s vicinity.
What is Tobacco smoke made of ?
There are more than 4,000 chemicals released by tobacco burning. Out of which 50 chemical are carcinogenic. Three most important ones are:
- Carbon Monoxide: It is a colorless and odorless chemical, which replaces Oxygen in blood cells.
- Nicotine is an alkaloid that enters the blood stream and is a prime cause of addiction.
- Tar is sticky substance that is responsible for producing various end- chemicals known to cause cancer.
Content of Tobacco in Various Products
As nicotine is the addictive factor here, its levels in smoking products become important to decide the addiction factor. A cigarette contains about 13.7 - 23.2 milligrams of tobacco per gram whereas a cigar has about 20 grams of dry tobacco. The nicotine concentration in cigarette and tobacco is anywhere between 5.9 - 335.2 grams.
Presence of poisonous metals like Beryllium, cadmium, chromium, Nickel, gases like 1, 3- Butane and organic substances suchlike Arsenic, Benzene, Polydium 120 and radioactive vinyl chloride were confirmed in the chemical analysis of smoke contents.
What is Tobacco Addiction ?
Most of the smokers cannot resist smoking because they are in love with that feel-good and ‘blank- out and open-up’ high, they experience, every time they smoke. Nicotine, the alkaloid, is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches into the brain. Here, it reacts with the receptors to release a hormone called endomorphine, which gives smokers the sudden euphoria; but when the alkaloid level drops in the blood stream not only does the feel good vanish, but a withdrawal symptom is also experienced. To get rid of this withdrawal, the need of next fix is felt strongly.
This is how, a person gets addicted to the nicotine or tobacco. Its addiction is similar to as of heroin or cocaine but far more obsessive and longing. Whether it’s the various form of smokeless tobacco available in market such as chewing tobacco, snuff, toothpaste pipes, hookahs (water pipe), bidis or kreteks, they all are material of incessant addiction and injurious to health.
Tobacco has been packaged and marketed in ingenious ways to lure people across the world. The advertisements heavily play the machismo factor. A survey states that tobacco companies spend more than four billion dollars or, to be accurate, 11 million dollars on daily basis to attract you towards the oh-so –benefits of cigarettes.
The many forms of tobacco are:
- Cigars: When tobacco is processed in a cigar, a substance called nitrosamine is produced which is a known carcinogen. Cigars have greater level of tar and other carcinogen substances. As cigar wrappers are less porous than cigarettes, the process of tobacco burning during the smoke is less complete and hence, the higher concentration of toxins is at large. No wonder, cigar is a major source of indoor air pollution.
- Hookah or water pipe - has so many names to its credit such as argileh, ohelyoon, Hubble-bubble, shisha, boory or goza but in any ways, its harmful effects are as it is. The smoke passes through a partially filled water bowl before inhalation. Smokers have their own reasons and one of them is its being less addictive and harmful, but surprise! It is just as addictive and carcinogenic like any other tobacco product.
- Bidi - is a flavored cigarette popular in India. Made by rolling tobacco in a dried Tendu leaf, medically, it is the cause of heart attack and cancer of mouth, throat, larynx and esophagus.
- Kreteks - These are mixture of tobacco and cloves. Prolonged smoking is responsible for ailments such as lung cancer and lung infections. It is more common in South East Asian countries.
- Snuff - is a finely ground or shredded tobacco that is either sniffed through the nose or placed between the cheek and gum. A wad of tobacco inside the cheek does the trick for addicts. This contains at least known 28 cancer causing agents. The possibility of cancer in the mouth is greater with snuff.