Tobacco – The Silent Killer
Tobacco kills best of its consumers is undoubtedly true since it comes along with a lot of harm to the body. Irrespective of the fact that people are aware of the ill effects, it is still being produced and consumed widely. Oral cancer is one of the most common disease due to tobacco consumption. It’s a devastating disease and a challenging fatal health problem faced by the mankind. It ranks number one in terms of incidence among men and third in women. There is a disbelief by many of its consumers that smokeless forms of tobacco is less harmful than the smoke form. But this is completely false. Both are equally harmful.
Forms of Tobacco
The smokeless forms of that come in the different varieties namely Pan, Gutka, Zarda, tobacco leaves and the smoke form includes Cigarettes, Beedi-Cigarettes etc.
Do you know these facts ?
The tobacco consumer not alone harms himself by its consumption but the smoke let out by Cigarettes and other forms also harms the individuals around. This is termed as second-hand smoking. Studies have proven that second-hand smoking is as harmful as direct smoking. If pregnant women is exposed to second hand smoking, it has deleterious effect on the growing foetus as well.
The smoke emitted from tobacco products get lodged in the surroundings as well. For instance, on carpet, curtain, car etc. This is termed as third hand smoking and it has harmful effect on children who are often exposed to these things at home
Ill effects of tobacco consumption
Tobacco contains a highly addictive substance called Nicotine. It is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, over 20 different types or subtypes of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions. Every year, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use.
Oral cavity related ill effects include Oral and oropharyneal cancer, gum and periodontal diseases, staining of the teeth, implant failure, nicotinic stomatitis, leukoplakia. Around 75 percent of oral cancer is linked to modifiable behaviour such as tobacco use and alcohol consumption.
Systemic diseases include cancer of the lungs, leukemia, stomach, kidney and pancreas can be affected as well. It also causes diseases such as stroke, heart disease, chronic lung disease, hardening of arteries, reduced fertility, asthma and many more.
Tips to quit usage
Tobacco cessation centres are available to help people willing to quit this habit. The quitting process is not a onetime procedure. It can be achieved only gradually over a period of time and it involves not just support and guidance from the doctor but also has role of close family, friends and relatives of the quitter. The one who wants to quit should be determined and follow guidelines of the doctor. Withdrawal symptoms are quite common during the process such as irritability, nausea, dizziness etc but it can be dealt with strong will power. Nicotine patches are also used during the process. Thus, it is very important to educate, motivate the tobacco users to quit the habit of tobacco consumption and direct them to proper centres for stopping this habit.
Take Home Message
Smoking has now become a trend among youngsters and it is not a good sign. Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens. Thus, it is very important right from schooling to institutions offering higher studies to stress on the ill effects of tobacco and parents play an important role in monitoring the activities of their children and avoid getting their kids indulging in such deleterious habit. Being responsible doctors, its important from our part to educate, motivate and help our patients come out of tobacco consumption and lead them in right path.
Article by: Dr. Siri P.B.