Smoking: A silent killer

(Kanwal Ashfauque, Karachi)

Cigarette smoking is one of the most dangerous lifestyle habits. In Pakistan, 40 per cent males and nine per cent females are smokers and the number is increasing day by day. Tobacco use presents a serious health challenge and has emerged as an epidemic in the last decade. It kills nearly six million people each year, of which 100,000 deaths occur in Pakistan. Of the six million deaths, more than 600,000 are victims of passive smoking. It causes many different cancers for example as chronic lung diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis, heart disease, pregnancy-related problems, and many other serious health problems. It has also causes many other types of cancer, including cancers of the throat, mouth, nasal cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

More people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. COPD is an obstructive lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It causes serious long-term disability and early death. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Smoking can cause blockages and narrowing in your arteries, which means less blood and oxygen flow to your heart. Because smoking affects your arteries, it can trigger stroke. A stroke happens when the blood supply to your brain is temporarily blocked. Brain cells are deprived of oxygen and start to die. A stroke can cause paralysis, slurred speech, altered brain function and death. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs—otherwise known as "breathing." Because cigarette smoke irritates air passages, it can trigger sudden and severe asthma attacks. In most of the posh areas of Karachi, Women do smoke, Smoking can cause ectopic pregnancy in women, which is when a fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. The egg can't survive and, if left untreated, can be life-threatening for the mother. Smoking also causes reduced fertility, meaning it makes it more difficult to get pregnant. The effects of smoking not only impact mom's health, but also that of her baby. Smoking while pregnant can cause babies to be born prematurely and/or with a low birth-weight. Babies born too early or too small have increased risk of health complications and even death. Smoking can make you go blind. It damages your eyes and can result in vision loss. Age-related macular degeneration is caused by smoking. It is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 65 and older. People who smoke are at a greater risk of developing diabetes mellitus than non-smokers. This is not a widely known fact among smokers. Diabetes mellitus has rapidly risen to become one of the major contributors to life threatening conditions. Apart from its association with diabetes, cigarette smoking may also increase the likelihood, hasten the onset and worsen the severity of diabetic complications. For example, diabetic nephropathy (diabetes kidney disease) may be significantly worse in the backdrop of hypertension and narrowing of the renal artery – two consequences of smoking.
Here are some dangerous chemicals in Cigarettes:

§ Acetylene
§ Ammonia
§ Benzine
§ Carbon monoxide
§ Cyanide
§ Formaldehyde
§ Methanol
§ Tar

Cigarettes do not just harm the people who smoke. They also harm the people who are near cigarettes and breathe the smoke. Parents, as well as all adults, should remember that they are role models for children. Children copy what they see. They learn many things, like smoking, by watching adults. Each Cigarette you smoke is supposed to shorten your life by 11 minutes. “A cigarette is a pipe with a fire at one end and a fool at the other”. please don’t be the fool. . !!!
“Kill smoking before it kills you”

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