A report in The Hindu, published in the mid-2015 indicated that more than 25 percent of men and 1.6 percent of women in India, over the age of 15, are smokers. Focus on the above-30 age group and we find that almost 30 percent of Indian men smoke daily. Research shows that the fatality rate is considerably higher for those who take a puff on a daily basis, when compared with occasional smokers. However, even those who can avoid the daily cigarette are not safe because smoking is the cause of several ailments such as cancers, respiratory diseases, hypertension, and more. The shocking reality is that even if you do not smoke, but live or work in the vicinity of others who do, you are still at risk from passive smoking. You inhale second hand smoke from the smoker’s cigarette and expose yourself to many of the risks that smokers face. As a non- smoker, you should focus on how to avoid passive smoking. One good way is to educate the smokers around you about the harmful effects that smoking has on their health and fitness, so that they are motivated to kick the habit.
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Five Ill-effects of Smoking on Health
- Impaired Digestive System: Frequent smoking causes ulcers in the stomach lining and intestines. This is because smoke irritates the sensitive tissues here. Acid reflux is another common side effect of excessive smoking because the gut muscles are weakened by tobacco. A frequent smoker is at a great risk of developing cancers in the stomach and intestine, too.
- Higher Risk Of Blood Cancer: It is common knowledge that smoking causes lung cancer. But did you know that this dangerous habit can also heighten the risk of blood cancer? In fact, studies have indicated that smoking can increase the risk of leukemia by a startling 30 percent. The toxins in cigarette smoke damage the blood cells, causing them to mutate. This may result in blood cancer.
- Weakened Bone And Muscles: Those who want to avoid early onset of bone and joint diseases like arthritis should stay clear of cigarettes. Smoking increases the risk of these problems including lower back related ailments or rheumatoid arthritis. That’s not all. It also enhances your chances of osteoporosis. Smoking impairs the reduction of bone forming cells and this leads to reduced bone mass density, which is the cause of many problems.
- Impaired Reproductive System: Smoking increases the risk of infertility even in women who have successfully given birth before. For those opting for in-vitro fertilization, smoking impairs their rate of success. In men, smoking causes erectile dysfunction, which inhibits their ability to have children. Exposure to second hand smoke can also have equally detrimental effects, meaning that you should actively explore how to avoid passive smoking if you are a non-smoker trying to conceive.
- Greater Risk Of Heart Related Diseases: Even young smokers are at great risk of developing heart diseases and this risk is very high in those who smoke more than one cigarette a day. The nicotine in cigarette smoke affects blood vessels making them harder and thicker. Clots may be formed in the blood vessels and the overall blood circulation is hampered by this. This may result in insufficient blood supply to the heart, which leads to a stroke.
You are not safe from these ill-effects of smoking just because you are not a smoker yourself. Being in the same working environment or the same living space as smokers exposes you to these health risks. If you have a colleague at work or a family member who smokes incessantly, your first priority is to learn how to avoid passive smoking. Of course, if you can educate the smoker about how harmful the habit is and convince them to quit, you can safeguard their health as well as your own most effectively!