Smoking tobacco is a serious form of addiction which has negative impact on health of individuals who smoke and also for those who are around them. World health organization in the effort against tobacco use recognizes May 31st of every year as World No Tobacco Day.
As it is very harmful to the individuals and society, every day of the year should be No Tobacco day.
We learned that PSG Hospitals is offering Master Lung Health Checkup every day and in connection with World No Tobacco Day, Dr. RM PL Ramanathan, Professor and Director, PSG Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, PSG Hospitals shared his perspective on Tobacco and the health hazards it causes.
“When tobacco is burnt and inhaled the harmful chemicals and toxins (more than 7000 and around 90 are cancerous) harm the lungs and other organs of the body.
This year the theme is Tobacco and Lung health. Lungs bear the major brunt and the various ill effects of tobacco on lung health include:
Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer world-wide claiming many lives. Passive smoking in work place or home also increases the risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking halves the risk of getting lung cancer by 10 years after quitting.
2.Chronic respiratory Diseases
It is the leading cause of COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in which small wind-pipes within the lungs is narrowed with phlegm, presenting with cough and difficulty in breathing. The risk is high for those who start smoking early in their life, as smoking tobacco affects lung development.
It also exacerbates asthma symptoms. Smoking cessation slows the progression of COPD and improve Asthma.
- Reduced Lung growth
Infants born to mothers who are exposed to second hand smoke and children whose parents are smokers have reduced lung growth and function. They are at increased risk of Asthma, Pneumonia, Bronchitis and frequent lower respiratory tract infections.
It also increases their risk of developing COPD in adult hood.
Smokers are twice likely to develop TB than a non-smoker. The duo increases the risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.
Tobacco smoke is a very dangerous form of indoor air pollution. It is invisible and full of toxic chemicals. It lingers in the air for up to five hours leading to second hand smoke exposure and related health risks.
Two thirds of smokers say they want to stop smoking, however long-term success rates are low. Despite the availability of effective medicines and treatments to support quit attempts, the majority of smokers choose to quit unassisted, by going ‘cold turkey’. This has proved to be the least effective method. Smokers who use a combination of medication and expert behavioural support are up to four times as likely to stop smoking successfully as those who attempt to quit unaided or with over the counter nicotine replacement therapy.
Smoking tobacco is to be treated as a disease and the motivated smoker who wants to quit should be offered help. This includes counselling by health care providers to cope up the urge and prescription of medications to prevent nicotine withdrawal consequences. They need continued support from family friends and health care team during this process. These services are provided by structured Smoking cessation programs . We have one such in PSG Institute of pulmonary Medicine.
Nowadays we see some of the adult smokers, and youngsters using E cigarettes , as a way to quit smoking, but they are not free of controversies. Some, countries like UK encourages it, even though WHO,US FDA discourages its use.
Electronic cigarettes are electronic devices that usually deliver nicotine. They consist of a cartridge containing a liquid, an atomizer(Vaporisation chamber with a heating element) and a battery. When the user activate the atomizer, it heats the liquid and produces vapor to inhale. This is popularly known as Vaping.
E-cigarettes do not expose the user to many of the constituents of cigarette smoke (e.g. Tars, oxidant gases and carbon monoxide) that are responsible for many of the tobacco attributable diseases. However, most e cigarettes contain a number of potentially toxic chemical substances. Despite this, most experts believe that inhaling e cigarette vapor is likely to be less harmful than inhaling cigarette smoke. Long term consequences and overall safety of e -cigarette vapor inhalation is largely unknown.
Concerns about the risks of e- cigarettes are escalated by the rapidly increasing prevalence of e cigarettes use among youth in developed and developing nations. Many of them are not established cigarette smokers. As they are not using to quit traditional cigarettes, it increases the risks of use of tobacco products and other substance addictions. For these concerns many countries restrict sale of e -cigarettes to youths. Indian government also proposes to ban e cigarette sale, import and manufacture. In August 2018, the ministry of health had issued an advisory to all states and union territories to ensure that ENDS, e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn devices, vape, e-sheesha, e-nicotine flavoured hookah, and similar devices that enable nicotine delivery are not sold (including online sale), manufactured, distributed, traded, imported and advertised in their jurisdictions.
Recent good quality research suggest that e cigarette was more effective than Nicotine replacement therapies in quitting smoking in adults. However, they should completely quit traditional cigarette smoking, as we don’t know the consequence of dual smoking.
Amidst these , clinicians should encourage smokers who inquire about quitting smoking to use only approved smoking cessation aids as first line pharmacotherapy”.