Saturday, July 12, 2008

SMOKING-a heart-breaking habit

SMOKING-a heart- breaking habit


Smokers put themselves at higher risk for everything from asthma to cancer to heartdisease.Far more serious is the fact that when tobacco is burned (it reaches 925 c at the glowing tip of a lit cigarette),it is broken down into its chemical elements from which lethal chemical compounds are created. The period between puffs allows time for ammonia,acetone,formaldehyde,hydrogen cyanide, and some 4000 other chemicals to become irritants,poisons,mutagens,nerve gases and more than 40 types of carcinogens. In addition, since these chemicals are released into the air, they affect other people present as well.

Among the most devastating effects are those to the heart. In addition to increasing blood pressure and heart rate, many of the chemicals in tobacco also raise ‘bad’-LDL cholesterol while decreasing ‘good’-HDL cholesterol. At the same time, they constrict the blood vessels, decreasing blood flow and oxygen to all of the organs, particularly the heart. Chemical residue damages the arteries, making the blood stickier. This increases the risk of blood clots and dramatically raises the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Increases the risk of infertility in both men and women. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and you smoke, you are putting yourself at very high risk of a heart attack.

The hazards do not end with heart disease and cancer .Because smoking impairs the body’s ability to keep the lungs clear, it contributes to such respiratory illness as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and emphysema. It also increases the risk of hipfracture, peptic ulcers, cataracts, and premature mental decline.

*Each year 390,000 Americans die from the effects of smoking.
*cigarette smokers have more than twice the risk of heart attack.
*cigarette smokers have 2 to 4 times the chance of cardiac arrest.
*giving up smoking rapidly reduces the risk of heart disease.
If you smoke, quit .if you do not smoke, do not start.
Avoid long-term exposure to smoke and protect children from it.

There are approximately 4000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Many of them are toxic and affects from the functioning of organs to efficiency of body’s immune system.
The three main ingredients of cigarette smoke are,
Nicotine, carbonmonoxide, tar.
Nicotine: highly addictive, reaches the brain in less than 10 seconds it has been found in every part of the body and in breast milk.
Corbonmonoxide: Tasteless, odorless and poisonous gas taken up quickly by the blood stream &impairs breathing. It binds to Hb in RBC preventing affected cells from carrying a full load of o2.
Tar: carcinogenic, around 70% of tar is deposited in the smoker’s lung. It is also responsible for the yellow-brown staining of smoker’s fingers and teeth.
Other harmful chemicals-
Acetone, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, and formaldehyde.

Immediate effects:
*initial stimulation then reduction in brain and nervous system activity.
*mild euphoria.
*Enhanced alertness and concentration
*Feeling of relaxation
*Decreased blood flow to fingers and toes
*dizziness, nausea, acid in the stomach
*decrease appetide, taste and smell
Death due to cancer, heart diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Passive-second hand smoke-environmental tobacco smoke
-can cause a number of health problems including heart diseases, lung cancer and irritation of eyes and nose.

Tolerance and dependence-
People who use tobacco tend to develop a tolerance to the effect of nicotine very quickly. This means they need to smoke more and more in order to get the same effect. Dependence on nicotine can be physiological, psychological or both.

If a person suddenly stops smoking or reduce the amount they use, they will experience withdrawal because their body has to readjust to functioning without the drug. Most of the symptoms will disappear within days or weeks of quitting smoking, but craving may persist for years after stopping using tobacco.
Symptoms include craving, irritability, agitation, depression and anxiety,
Insomnia and disturbed sleep pattern, increased appetite and weight gain, restlessness, loss of concentration, headache, sorethroat body ache and stomach upset.

Effect of smoking on serum lipid and lipoprotein:
Smoking is accepted as a major risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD), hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.certain components (nicotine and co)have been reported to be responsible for the development of ischemic heart disease by increasing the plasma catecholamine and producing hypoxia. On the other hand smoking alter plasma lipoprotein levels increases the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation. Smoking stimulates the oxidation of LDL particles producing significant increase of triglycerides-TG and decrease of HDL cholesterol. (HDL is known to be an important protective factor for ischemic heart disease.

Smoking produces adverse effects on lipid profile and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Reverse cholesterol transport-is an antiatherogenic process. (Excess cholesterol is transported from peripheral tissue back to liver or to other peripheral tissue that in need cholesterol.)
LCAT-Lecithin cholesterol acetyl transferase a key factor in esterification of plasma cholesterol and reverse cholesterol transport.
Smoking-*increases serum levels of TG, LDL.
*decreases serum HDL
*decreases LCAT activity.
Chronic smoking results in systemic oxidants-antioxidants imbalance as reflected by increased products of lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of antioxidants like vit-a&c.inflamatory response as confirmed by increased c-reactive protein,(CRP), fibrinogen,interleukin,increased WBC count have been reported.
*First 3 or 4 days of being smoke –free are the toughest. If you can get through the 1st week without cigarette, your chances of quitting forever are good.
*to distract ,choose a substitute, such as sugar free chewing gum or candy,whistling,singing,chewing on carrot-sticks or sucking a lollipop.
*the first blast of nicotine in the morning increases energy and alertness. To achieve this state, try a round of morning exercises. Then concentrate on music, meditation or yoga.
Many cigarette manufacturers have introduced ‘low tar’, and ‘low nicotine’ version. HOWEVER, ARE THEY REALLY SAFER?-NO. In addition, do not forget that ‘additive free’ cigarette still have addictive nicotine and cancer causing tar.
Ironically, cigarettes made prior to 1950nwere so harsh tasting that smokers inhaled less, which actually reduced their risk.


1 comment:

Divya said...

ok, i'l try to quit smoking..