Facts About Smoking
When a cigarette is lighted, it burns at a temperature of 700°C at the tip and 60°C in the core. This heat breaks the tobacco into various toxins, which are inhaled inside along with smoke.
The most damaging products are tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.
The damage caused by smoking is influenced by the:
- Number of cigarettes smoked,
- Whether or not the cigarette has a filter,
- How the tobacco has been prepared.
Nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette temporarily increases smoker’s heart rate and blood pressure, thereby straining the heart and blood vessels. This predisposes one to the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Blood flow is slowed down, cutting off oxygen supply to the feet and hands, making one vulnerable to the risk of thrombophlebitis. If this remains untreated, many smokers end up with their limbs amputated.
Nicotine is the component in cigarettes, responsible for addiction. On inhalation, the body starts responding to it immediately. There’s a feeling of relaxation and relief. One gradually becomes psychologically and then physically dependent on nicotine. If the person doesn’t smoke later, there’s a craving sensation for cigarettes.
Find out if you are addicted to smoking. If the answer is yes to any of these is yes you are addicted to smoking.
- smoking more than 7 cigarettes a day;
- smoking within 30 minutes of waking up in the morning;
- smoking frequently during morning;
- finding it difficult to avoid smoking in smoking-restricted areas;
- an overwhelming need to smoke even when sick;
- suffering from headache, constipation, and becoming anxious if one is not able to smoke as and when the craving occurs.
Tar is coated on the inner surface of the lungs is like the soot in a chimney. This predisposes one to the risk of cancer. Someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day, breathes up to a full cup (210 g) of tar in a year.
Smokers usually take deep puffs and hold smoke for long durations within their lungs, thereby dragging the tar deeper inside. Carbon monoxide robs the muscles, brain, and body tissues of oxygen, making whole body, especially the heart work harder. Over time, airways swell up and let lesser air into the lungs.