Friday, April 13, 2012



Say No To Smoking for health

The relationship between cigarette smoking and the development of many serious diseases is becoming clearer. This has led to an increase in inquiries in the health community and mental health.

WHO considers an addiction to snuff dependence? Such dependence, as well as many others, must be addressed properly, because nicotine can control some important aspects of a person's behavior.

Like other euphoric substances (alcohol and cocaine), on snuff is able to produce effects that enter into the mood of the person and their deprivation triggers search behavior of the substance.

The cigarette smokers have a significantly reduced life expectancy compared to the rest of the population. Some authors have estimated that 5.5 minutes of life lost per cigarette has been smoked. In 30 - 35 years of age who smokes two packs a day, life expectancy decreased from 8 to 9 years compared to a nonsmoker the same age. 

 Effect in Human

It has not been widely established, unlike other addictions, which smoking causes serious psychological disturbances, apart from the impulse or need to consume and how hard it is abandoned.

Cigarette smoke contains lots of toxic substances, including carbon monoxide (CO). CO has high affinity for hemoglobin, red blood cell component that carries oxygen to the tissues, so that red blood cells of smokers lose 15% of the oxygen carrying capacity. This can injure the heart and circulatory system. Can be found also other gases such as nitrous oxide and hydrogen oxide, responsible for cough and restrict the flow of air through the bronchi. 

Tar is a carcinogen that causes absolute and encourages the development of various tumors.

Nicotine produces an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, cardiac output and oxygen consumption in the tissues.
The risk of lung cancer is 10 times higher in a smoker, and heavy smokers (2 or more packs per day) the risk is 15 to 25 times higher.
The children of smoking mothers weigh less at birth compared to infants of nonsmokers. 


Currently there are a variety of interventions to help the smoker to quit their habit, many of whom have better long-term, between 6 and 12 months. Numerous studies have demonstrated that treatment approaches that incorporate behavior change of the person are those that offer a greater chance of success. 

Lately it has incorporated the use of nicotine replacement therapies in the form of gums and patches.

For treatment to be effective must be met in three stages: • Commitment to quit and setting goals. • Initial change: mainstay of treatment includes group therapy, nicotine replacement, behavioral management techniques and relaxation, individual follow-up, etc.. • Maintenance of quitting: mainly ready to face the withdrawal symptoms, as many of those who relapse have at least one symptom of nicotine withdrawal

The latter is very important because it is responsible for 70% of those who quit falls in the same year.

History of Smoking

The first Europeans who came to America found that the Indians smoked a pipe leaves snuff, and introduced the practice in Europe in the mid-sixteenth century. Almost all the snuff was consumed in pipes, cigars or as snuff. This pattern changed in the early twentieth century, when every smoker had been consuming more than one thousand cigarettes a year. The general attitude of society was that the tension eased snuff and had no ill effects. During World War II doctors recommended sending cigarettes to the soldiers, so it was included in batches of rations. 

However, epidemiologists were quick to note that lung cancer, rare before the twentieth century, had increased considerably in the early 1930's. Some organizations initiated studies comparing the deaths of smokers with non-smokers over a period of several years, either to die of cancer or other causes. Furthermore, experimental animal studies showed that many of the chemicals in cigarette smoke are carcinogenic. In 1962, the U.S. government chose a group of ten scientists to analyze the evidence available to them. Their findings were included in the annual report on health in 1964, which stated that "smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance to justify the need for appropriate remedial actions."

The first step taken in 1964 was to include a warning on cigarette packs. This warning was reinforced in 1969 to read as follows: "Health authorities warn that the snuffs seriously damage your health." Since 1971 banned all cigarette advertising on radio and television. In the 1970 and 1980 several cities and states passed laws requiring spaces reserved for non-smokers in public places and work. In February 1990 a federal law banned smoking on all domestic flights whose duration is less than six hours. In Europe the situation was similar including the warning on cigarette packs that smoking is harmful to health and banning smoking in public places. These measures are aimed at eradicating this habit as bad.

The risks of passive smoking

Passive smoking is a person who does not smoke, but is forced to breathe air laden with snuff smoke in enclosed spaces (offices, public places or at home). The so-called "secondhand smoke" includes two types of smoke exhaled by the smoker and the cigarette that usually when qualm. Ester mixture contains over 4,500 chemicals of which over 40 are known to cause cancer in humans or animals and many are strong irritants. The secondhand smoke is also called snuff environmental smoke, and exposure to it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. 

It is estimated that a person who breathes the smoke present in an environment where smoking takes damage equivalent to smoking one cigarette per hour. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) has classified secondhand smoke as a known cause of lung cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen). The agency estimates that the United States, passive smoking causes about three thousand deaths annually from cancer in nonsmokers.

Exposure to secondhand smoke irritates the nose, eyes and throat. Also can irritate the lungs, resulting in coughing, excess phlegm, chest discomfort and reduced lung function. The secondhand smoke can affect the cardiovascular system. A person who is married to a smoker has a 30 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer than a person living with a nonsmoker. 

Children at risk

The secondhand smoke is a serious risk to child health. Exposure to secondhand smoke seriously affects the lungs of young children that are under development. Among the most seriously affected by this exposure are infants and young children of smoking parents, for whom an increased risk of infections, lower respiratory system, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, increased hospitalizations annually. It also increases the possibility that these children suffer a decline in lung function and symptoms of respiratory irritation like cough, excess phlegm and asthmatic breathing. It can also cause middle ear infection, the most common cause of infant surgical ward. 


Asthmatic children are especially at risk. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of them suffer episodes and increased symptom severity and that many patients get worse due to secondhand smoke. Also it may be the cause of thousands of children without asthma, the contract every year.

Another risk to consider is the passive intoxication of the fetus when a pregnant woman smokes but does not live with smokers. This issue is so important that in some countries, smoking is prohibited in places where there is a pregnant. 


Message to the smoker

It is now difficult to be a smoker. As the public becomes aware that smoking poses a danger not only for him but for others, people who do not smoke, they begin to speak more frankly and smokers are proving a group disapproved.

If you choose to smoke, here are some things you can do to protect those around him:
  • Do not smoke around children. His lungs are very susceptible to smoke.
  • If you are pregnant, stop smoking.
  • Become active in the development of smoking policy in your company. Encourage the establishment of smoking cessation programs for those interested.
  • Keep your home smoke free. Because smoke lingers in the air, can expose them if they are not present when you smoke.
  • If you must smoke inside, limit yourself to do it in a ventilated room with windows open.
  • Submit your home tested for radon. Radon contamination in combination with the smoke produced by smoking is a much bigger risk to health than each alone.
  • Do not smoke in a car with the windows closed with passengers.
The high concentration of smoke in a small, closed compartment substantially increases the exposure of other passengers.

Many people quit smoking; most of them fail on their own, without the help of a program or medication. But if not, there is help.
It may be that your employer will offer a treatment, or ask your doctor.

In the house:

  • Do not smoke in your home, or allow others to do so.
  • If a family member insists on smoking indoors, increase ventilation of the place where people smoke. Open windows or use exhaust smoke.
  • Do not smoke around children, especially infants and preschool children, as they are especially susceptible to the effects of smoke snuff.

Where children:

  • Do not allow babysitters or others working in your home to smoke indoors or near their children.
  • Find out the rules for smoking who cares for her children during the day, babysitters, day care, school, among others.
  • Help other parents understand the serious health risk to the child by secondhand smoke. Work with your parent-teacher associations, your school board, community leaders and other citizens interested in getting the child's environment smoke-free.

What to do at work?

We recommend that every company has a smoking policy that effectively protects nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to tobacco snuff. Many companies and organizations already have standards in place but their effectiveness varies. Simply separating smokers from nonsmokers, and in the cafeteria, you can reduce exposure, but even so, the latter will be exposed to re-circulated smoke or seeping to places of no smoking.

Two options to effectively protect non-smokers are:
  • Prohibiting smoking indoors or limit it to rooms especially designed, thus preventing smoke from escaping to other parts of the building.
  • The costs of establishing rooms designed for this purpose vary according to the building and possibly more costly to eliminate smoking completely.

If smoking is permitted inside a building should occur in a room that meets certain conditions. The air in the smoking room must be taken directly to the outside by an exhaust fan. Do not continue to circulate in other parts of the building. It is necessary that the amount of air that is removed from the room is greater than the amount received, ensuring that secondhand smoke does not leak to the nearby places.

The smoking cessation programs sponsored by companies form part of any general rule for smoking. If smoking is permitted in designated areas outdoors, they should not be placed near the doors (or near air intakes of the ventilation system) where nonsmokers are forced to cross the smoke of smokers congregating around doors. Some companies have installed outdoor locations with shelters and ashtrays for the convenience of the smoker. With these measures the company will be protected from potential lawsuits from employees who do not smoke, which would otherwise be affected by pollution from smoking. 

Smoking and its consequences

Why quit?
What are the physical benefits?
What do to quit smoking?

Why smoking is considered an addiction?

Among the substances contained in cigarette nicotine is present, which is responsible for producing drug addiction.
When smoked, nicotine enters the circulation and reaches the brain. Blood levels of the substance halve in the first 30 minutes and this partly explains the need for frequent whistle smoker. The body develops tolerance to nicotine and then it takes more and more cigarettes to achieve the same effect.

Why people start smoking?

People start smoking, usually in adolescence, for several reasons:
  1. Peer pressure: Many people, especially young people, care about their appearance, do not want to be different, if their friends smoke they should also smoke to feel accepted.
  2. Misleading advertising messages: magazines, television, radio, etc., make people believe that smoking is beneficial and that they will see better smoking.
  3. Insecurity: Some people choose to smoke to try to feel relaxed or when they are with other people.
  4. Concern about body weight: many people smoke because they mistakenly believe that if you leave a lot of weight increase.

What is the health problems related to smoking?


There is evidence that smoking causes specific health risks: 

  • It Smoking creates addiction to nicotine. 
  • It decreased sense of smell and taste. 
  • Low physical ability, headaches, contractions, cough, asthma, frequent colds and bronchitis. 
  • Osteoporosis, early menopause, wrinkles, impotence. 
  • In pregnancy, increased fetal death, premature labor, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome in infants
  • Atherosclerosis and vascular disease: angina, myocardial infarction, hypertension, aneurysm, stroke.
  • Diseases of the mouth and teeth including oral cancer.
  • Other types of cancer: breast, cervix, lung, bladder, kidney and pancreas.

What are the physical benefits if you quit smoking? 

  • In the early days of the body improves oxygenation and less fatigue, and headache contractual and more physical ability.
  • In the first weeks improves the taste, smell, texture of the skin and decrease asthma, bronchitis and colds. 
  • In the first months reduces greatly the risk of vascular problems such as heart rate and brain, improve emphysema and chronic bronchitis and can improve sex life. 
  • In the early years, and increasingly, reduces the risk of cancer by smoking and improving osteoporosis. 
  • In pregnancy, the risk to the fetus and newborn decreases greatly.

How dangerous is passive smoking?

  • Nonsmokers who breathe tobacco smoke regularly (at home or at work) have specific health risks including:
  • Increased risk of lung cancer, emphysema and heart attack is more than other people who are passive smokers.
  • In children increases the frequency of bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and sudden infant death.

How to quit?

Quitting smoking is a physical and mental task. The person must be prepared and be convinced to want to try to leave for their benefits. Some motivations to quit are as important as an example to children and grandchildren, increase (regardless of age) physical performance, not depending on the cigarette, prevent disease, avoid pregnancy problems, save money, etc..

Tips for quitting: 

  •  Think about why you want to quit. 
  • Select a date to quit smoking (does not leave "little by little"). 
  • Ask for support from family, friends and coworkers. 
  • Eat a balanced, drink plenty of water and not drink alcohol to excess. 
  • Do things that enhance stress (exercise yoga, recreation, etc.)

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