No Smoking Day 2017 - Kick The Habit

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Highlights
  • No Smoking Day is observed every year on the second Wednesday in March.
  • This year, the theme for the day is - 'Kick the Habit'.
  • No smoking day focuses on smokers who want to quit but don't know how.
No Smoking Day, originally was being observed in the UK, but now since smoking has become a global concern, this day is observed worldwide.
No Smoking Day 2017 - Kick The Habit

How did it start?

The first No Smoking Day was on Ash Wednesday in 1984, and it now takes place on the second Wednesday in March. This annual health day is of great importance as it intends to help smokers quit the habit.

Every year, a campaign theme is promoted in the form of a phrase. Posters, banners, advertisements, leaflets, with the theme are put up in public places. Various events are organized to highlight the dangers of smoking and to create an awareness on the growing effects of the problem.

Kick the Habit - Theme for 2017

As we know, smoking, a stylish gesture for many and a relaxation method for some ultimately becomes a habit that hooks a person, making it very difficult for the individual to let go. It becomes a deadly addiction. Smoking is the root cause for various cancers, heart disease and respiratory problems.

These alarming statistics will help you kick the habit:
  • Compared to non-smokers, those who smoke have a 10 year shorter life expectancy
  • Smoking increases the risk of heart diseaseby 4 times in men
  • Smoking is the main cause of 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases
  • Smoking 20 cigarettes or more increases the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Five million deaths are due to cigarette smoking and 6 million die due to passive smoking
  • Second hand smoke or passive smoking increases the risk of asthma in children by two times

Types of Smoking

  • Active Smoking - It is the intentional inhalation of smoke using cigarettes and cigars.
  • Passive Smoking - It is when a non-smoker breathes other people's smoke. It is also called as involuntary or secondhand smoking.

Harmful Effects of Smoking

Cigarette smoking is harmful to the smoker and also nonsmokers who are exposed to the smoke. Smoking has negative health impacts on people at all stages of life. It harms unborn babies, infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

Those who begin to smoke may experience coughing, dizziness, headaches. But as it progresses to a habit, heart rate increases due to the increased blood pressure. As the habit prolongs, the symptoms become unnoticeable.

The effects of smoking can be summed to three major diseases - cancer, heart disease and impotence/fertility issues.

Heart Disease: Smoking causes an acute increase plasma adenocorticotrophic hormone, cortisol, aldosterone, and catecholamine levels which can in turn lead to indirect elevation of blood pressure. 

Each time a cigarette is smoked there is an acute rise in blood pressure. Further more studies have shown that smoking interferes with the metabolism of multiple anti-hypertensive medications.

Elevated blood pressure is one of the major causes of heart disease. Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing process in the arteries. It decreases HDL (good) cholesterol. Nicotine in the cigarette causes constriction of blood vessels which increases blood pressure resulting in hypertension. 

Cancer: Smoking is the leading cause of cancer and causes many types of cancers including the lungs, mouth, stomach, pancreas, breast and blood.

Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 chemical agents, out of which 70 substances are carcinogenic.

A major review by the Government-appointed Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) stated that passive smoking is the cause of lung cancer and ischemic heart disease in adult non-smokers, and the cause of respiratory disease, cot death, middle ear disease and asthmatic attacks in children. Passive smoking increases the risk of getting frequent lower respiratory tract infections in children. 

Impotence: Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction because blood flow into the penis is blocked by atherosclerosis. Smoking causes abnormal sperm shape, impaired sperm motility damage, reduced number of sperms and reduced volume of ejaculate.

In women, smoking can reduce the chances of pregnancy and increase the risk of asthma, obesity in the fetus if the habit prolongs during pregnancy.

Bottomline

Though there are rules, warnings and tax imposed on tobacco products, to reduce the smoking population, it is up to the individual to make a decision. Now a days, teens aged 15 or less also smoke due to curiosity, peer pressure and other reasons. The risk of disease burden would be more if they continue the habit to adulthood. So its time to say no for a day and take efforts to keep smoking at bay.

'Kick the Habit' - means that you forcefully chase the habit out of your life for good! Many would agree but wouldn't know how. Get help from a doctor or a clinical psychologist. They can help you find ways to stay away from smoking again.

Reference:
  1. Cigarette Smoke Components and Disease: Cigarette Smoke Is More Than a Triad of Tar, Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide - (https:cancercontrol.cancer.gov/brp/tcrb/monographs/7/m7_5.pdf)
  2. The Health Consequences of Smoking - (https:profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/nnbbsn.pdf)


Source: Medindia

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