Increase in number of people addicted to smoking is alarming. According to National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted in 2006, the estimated number of smokers in US is 47.1 million. Out of which 26.2 million (23.5%) are men and 20.9 million (18.1%) are women. The tobacco in cigarette comprises of more than 4000 chemical compounds, of which 400 are toxic substances. The main toxic substances are tar (carcinogen), nicotine (addictive), carbon monoxide (reduces oxygen in body), and components of gases (which causes COPD). Research has revealed that each cigarette decreases life by about 11 minutes. Thus, smoking reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years.
Harmful effects of smoking:
When a person tries to smoke for first time he suffers from cough, sore throat, nausea and other adverse feelings generated in body, as body knows that smoking is injurious to health.
* Smokers frequently suffer from respiratory infections and several minor complaints such as cough and cold.
* Smokers are sensitive to dreadful diseases such as cancer (lung, pancreas, bladder, kidneys, oesophagus, cervical), heart diseases, cardiovascular diseases, lung diseases, respiratory problems (asthma) and they can be easily attacked by several other problems related to kidneys, liver and pancreas.
* Excessive smoking also leads to loss of good skin texture.
* Smokers are easily exposed to diseases, as smoking weakens a person and reduces the stamina and immunity (resistance power).
* Two cigarettes a day destroy the entire vitamin C from body. The loss of vitamin C destroys the skin tissues.
Harmful effects on non-smokers:
Kids or babies are likely to get asthma and infections of ear, nose, and chest when they come in contact with people who smoke.
How to get rid of smoking?
Quitting smoking is very difficult, as it is very tough to sustain the withdrawal symptoms. Self-motivation helps in reducing the addiction of smoking. Herbal medicine can be used to stop smoking, which pretend to give the nicotine effect and avoids all the side effects.
Natural sources to quit smoking:
Some of the natural herbs that help in quitting smoking are Oat Straw (Avina sativa), Lobelia (Lobelia inflata), Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), and St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). Also, it is said that natural therapies like Acupuncture and Hypnotherapy helps in quitting smoking.
Techniques to quit Smoking:
* Music is excellent way to divert mind from desire to smoke.
* Meditation helps to get control over mind when a person has urge to smoke.
* Breathing exercises releases out all toxic substances that are concentrated in the body and helps to have control over the desire to smoke.
* If a pinch of rock salt is placed at the tip of tongue, it reduces the feeling of desire to smoke.
* Consumption of vegetable juices (carrots), fruit juices (grape and orange) and celery juice (juice extracted from celery plant) frequently in a day helps in discharging out nicotine and reduces the feeling to smoke.
* In order to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, two tablespoons of honey and plenty of water should be taken daily.
Governments are attempting to spread awareness among people about harmful effects of smoking and banned smoking in all indoor places. Quitting smoking has instantaneous and long-term advantages for a person as it improves stamina and energy. There is a saying ‘Smokers never become old, because they die younger’.