Ranchi, May 31: If you are breathing in second-hand smoke, which contains numerous hazardous and carcinogenic compounds, not smoking a single cigarette in your life may not protect you from the many ailments that a smoker can suffer, ranging from heart disease to lung problems.
The World Health Assembly enacted Resolution WHA40.38 in 1987, declaring April 7, 1988, to be “a world no-smoking day,” and Resolution WHA42.19 in 1988, declaring May 31 to be “World No-Tobacco Day” every year.
“Tobacco use through smoking or smokeless techniques is very much popular in India,” Dr Rakesh Kumar Choudhary, Cardiologist at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, said in an interview with lagatar24.com.
“Overall, 29 percent of people aged 15 and up are affected. Men have a 42 percent prevalence rate, while women have a 14 percent rate. According to recent data, every third adult in rural areas and every fifth adult in urban areas today use tobacco. Adults who smoke account for 11% of the population. Men smoke 19 percent of the time, whereas women smoke 2% of the time. Nearly a third of smokers began when they were under the age of 18,” according to the recent report.
Asserting that tobacco is a major risk factor for heart disease, Dr Anshul Kumar explained, “There are more than 7000 toxin chemicals present in smoke which enter the body in a person who smokes. These harmful compounds contribute to the formation of cholesterol plaques in the arteries of the heart, resulting in angina. A heart attack can occur if these plaques rupture. Tobacco usage is responsible for 9.5 percent of all deaths, with cardiovascular disease accounting for 48 percent of tobacco-related deaths. Cardiovascular diseases in younger people are more likely to be caused by tobacco use.”
Inhaling the tobacco smoke of others is known as passive smoking. When someone smokes a cigarette, the majority of the smoke is exhaled into the air, where it can be inhaled by anyone nearby. More than 7,000 compounds are found in secondhand smoke, hundreds of which are hazardous and carcinogenic.
Dr Vineet Mahajan cautioned, “People who do not smoke but are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke have a 25% to 30% higher risk of coronary artery disease than those who are not exposed. In addition, secondhand smoke raises the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
Asserting how quitting smoking has significant health benefits, Dr Rakesh shared, “After a year of not smoking, the risk of heart attack lowers to half that of a smoker, and after 15 years, it is the same as a nonsmoker. Similarly, after 5 years of stopping smoking, the risk of stroke falls to the same level as that of a nonsmoker. After stopping smoking, the risk of cancer drops significantly with each passing year.”
Dr Anshul advised, “Quitting smoking is a difficult task, but it is doable with determination. Many times, professional assistance and counselling services are required. Nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches, can help you quit smoking by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.”