The use of tobacco dates back to 1 BC when the leaves were used orally. By 1800 most of the people started using tobacco in one form or the other, some chewed it, while some rolled it in dried leaves and used it as smoke. By the year 1865 cigarette became commercialized. From then on the use of tobacco smoke has shot up. Today, tobacco smoking is becoming one of the major addictions in the world. Not only is it addictive, it is also related to a number of health related problems. People use tobacco in the different forms, as cigarette, cigar, kreteks, beedies, pan snuff and much more, but the all time favorite is cigarette.
Tobacco smoke is a cocktail of thousands of toxins and many carcinogenic substances. These smokes adversely affect the smokers and the people around him as second hand smoke is also found to contain 11, Type 1 carcinogens. The main ingredient of tobacco, nicotine is an addictive and other chemical are; arsenic, used in rat poison, cadmium found in batteries, phenol used as disinfectant, carbon monoxide poison and lot more. Cigarette indeed acts like a killer capsule with different potent poisons.
The nicotine content in the cigarette makes it highly addictive, as the content increases the more potent it becomes. Cigarette manufacturers are thus using novel method to increase the nicotine content and make it more attractive or irresistible. Menthol is added to some cigarettes to make it more addictive; menthol cigarette produces more carbon monoxide and tar and poses higher risk than normal cigarettes.
Almost 2mg of nicotine is absorbed into the body from each cigarette, when just 4.5mg in purified form is enough to kill a person. Nicotine reaches the brain 10 seconds after inhaling the smoke and promotes the release of adrenalin to produce temporary relaxed feeling. It can also give a stimulating effect on smokers, by increasing the blood pressure, heart rate and changing breathing rhythm. After finishing the cigarette, the feeling subsides, and the smoker has to light up the next cigarette to regain same 'wonderful' feeling.
Smoking can cause a lot of health related issues. It is shown to increase the chance of cancer, mainly lung cancer. Smoking also causes much other diseases like bronchitis, asthma, osteoporosis, heart disease, decreased wound healing and much more. Passive smokers are also affected; it also poses a threat to unborn and newborn children. The numbers of victims of smoking are increasing over the years.
Most people believe that the smokeless tobacco not much harmful because, we chew and SPIT it off. But the fact is all forms of tobacco are equally dangerous and there is no 'safe' tobacco. You inhale it or spit it; some part of it always gets into your body. Around 15% of high school children use chewing tobacco and it has relatively high number of female users. In Bombay more than half of the women are using it. Snuff is another form of smokeless tobacco which you sniff through nose.
Today, its use has fallen greatly and it is common only among elderly people. Smokeless tobacco is associated with a number of health risks. It can cause cancer of mouth, tongue, esophagus and bladder. It also causes bleeding of lips and gums, irregular heart rate and stroke. The only thing which can be taken as a better side of smokeless tobacco is it affects few non users.
Many steps are being taken to reduce smoking; the government has taken action to ban smoking in public, thereby reducing the environmental tobacco smoke thus saving many precious lives. The advertisement featuring cigarettes are also banned in many countries. In India, the film industry has also reduced showing smoking clips in movies as many children have taken up smoking because of hero worship. The government is trying to reduce smoking risk from their part, then why can't you?
Nicotine addiction is believed to be that hardest one to loose, but nothing is impossible. It is estimated that each year 5 million people become the victims of tobacco; you don’t have to be one among them. Discharging your addiction may be the most difficult thing to do, but no one died of quitting the habit, rather than by the habit itself.