World No Tobacco Day 2022: Every year more than 8 million people die of tobacco consumption according to WHO yet tobacco consumption continues to rapidly increase among people of all age groups in the country. Highly addictive, it can play havoc with your cardiovascular and respiratory health apart from putting one at risk of many types of cancer. Even for non-smokers, the second hand smoke could have deadly health outcomes. World No Tobacco Day is observed across the globe every year on May 31 to spread awareness around the risks of tobacco consumption. (Also read: Esophageal Cancer: Types, symptoms, prevention and treatment)
On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Dr. ChandraVeer Singh, a consultant otorhinolaryngologist, and head and neck onco surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals Mira Road, talks about the ill effects of tobacco on one’s health and also the need of quitting tobacco in every form to lead a disease-free life.
“Tobacco products including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff, contain poisonous substances (toxins), cancer-causing agents (carcinogens), and nicotine. More than 80 fatal chemicals are found in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco products. The country faces a dual burden of tobacco use in the form of smoking and smokeless tobacco. The most prevalent form of tobacco use in the country is smokeless tobacco and commonly used products are khaini, gutkha, betel quid with tobacco, and zarda,” says Dr Singh.
He adds that oral cancer due to tobacco consumption has also become a challenge in India. Uncontrolled tobacco usage can also lead to other serious life-threatening health complications.
Here are all the shocking harmful effects of tobacco on your health:
Risk of oral cancer and other types of cancer
If you are consuming tobacco on a daily basis then you will get oral cancer in later life. Tobacco products can cause cancers of the cheek, gums, and inner surface of lips leading to higher mortality and morbidity rates in the country. Other types of cancer seen due to tobacco consumption are throat, larynx, esophagus, kidney, and pancreatic cancer. Various studies confirm that tobacco use causes insulin resistance, hypertension, acute respiratory disease, and osteoporosis.
Cigarette smoking causes cognitive impairment, headache, anxiety, stress, irritation, frustration, and sleep problems.
Asthma and heart attack
Coughing, wheezing, common cold, tuberculosis (TB), asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer are also on rise due to smoking. These health issues can lower one’s quality of life. Smoking also narrows the blood vessels of the heart causing a heart attack.
Smoking can impact one’s fertility and make it difficult to conceive. Smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke can harm the reproductive system. It can even damage the DNA in sperm. Smokeless tobacco causes impairments of ovarian function, oocyte quality, and hormonal regulation. It will negatively impact the mother and the baby. Smoking during pregnancy raises the risk of complications, such as preterm labor and delivery, birth defects, sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), miscarriage, and ectopic pregnancy.
“Quitting tobacco in all forms can do wonders to your health. Avoid passive smoking and opt for a smoking cessation program to improve your health. You will get that urge of smoking while at a bar or a restaurant. So, avoid triggers in every form. Create a smoke-free zone at home. Try to distract yourself from tobacco cravings by exercising. One tends to smoke while he or she is under stress. Try other relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation,” says Dr Singh.