Smoking Helps In Losing Weight Or One Lung At A Time - Make a Wise Choice

  • 3 Aug 2022

There are around 267 million tobacco users in India. Among those above 15 yrs, 28.6% of the population currently uses tobacco products. Out of this, 42.4% are men and 14.2% are women.

Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves that is smoked, chewed and sniffed. It contains an addictive substance called nicotine and it is thus a chemical in tobacco that keeps you smoking. Its dependence is a risky thing. It reaches the brain within seconds of taking a puff. Here it increases the release of neurotransmitters that regulate mood and behavior. Let’s discuss how tobacco and nicotine are risky for our health in this blog.

Why Is Nicotine Consumption Risky? 

This nicotine is as addictive as alcohol, cocaine and morphine. Health risks of this nicotine primarily include lung and heart disease. Most people in India have quit smoking but are smokeless tobacco users. The tobacco or nicotine in these products is still risky as these smokeless tobacco products are to be kept in mouth, cheek, lips or placed in nasal passage and then absorbed or chewed upon or taken in. The urgent need of the hour is to motivate people to join smoking cessation and rehabilitation programs, which help people quit this habit.

What Are The Health Risks Or Effects of Nicotine On The Body?

Watch our video on the adverse effects of tobacco usage here.

  • Decreases the appetite
  • Boosts mood
  • Relieves a sense of minor depression
  • Increases activity in intestines
  • Creates more saliva
  • Increases heart rate and blood pressure
  • May cause sweating, nausea or diarrhea
  • Stimulate memory and alertness
  • Gives  a temporary sense of well-being

What Are Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms?

  • Intense craving for nicotine
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Tension
  • Frustration
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Problem concentrating

How Can The Smoking Habit Be Broken?

Although it’s hard to break the smoking habit, participating in a smoking cessation program or rehabilitation program ups the chances of success. These programs are an initiative of hospitals, health departments, community centers, work sites, national organizations etc. In some cases, NRT or Nicotine Replacement Therapy also serves as an advantage. It comes in forms of gum, throat lozenges, nasal spray, skin patches etc. NRT products can be purchased without prescription. Sometimes medicines are also started by HCP’s or Health care Providers to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings of nicotine in a smoker.

It is not well-known that smoking damages the lungs causing lung cancer, emphysema, cancer, diabetes, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchitis etc. Smoking is thus another name for disease or disability that harms nearly every organ of the body. 

Women who smoke either as a habit or during pregnancy are more prone to suffer from COPD than men and their baby’s growth gets retarded causing pregnancy complications and harm to babies.

Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable disease and premature death in India and abroad. There are 2 types of smokers – active and passive. Passive smoking is equally risky as active.

What Is The Mechanism Of Nicotine Addiction?

Nicotine acts on brain receptors to release neurotransmitters that produce psychoactive effects in a smoker. But after certain repeated exposures or continuous smoking, there develops tolerance to these effects as a result, physical dependence occurs. Factors that contribute to smoking behavior or nicotine addiction are stress, environmental factors, advertisements, genetics, mental illness, age and substance abuse.

Any kind of drug or substance abuse is an addiction or vicious cycle for humans. So is the tobacco addiction and all kinds of substance withdrawals cause numerous bad effects on the body.

What are E-cigarettes?

‘E’ stands for ENDS or electronic nicotine delivery systems in E-cigarettes. They are a new concept, a part of NRT. They are nicotine free cigarettes and help smokers to stop smoking nicotine cigarettes for a minimum of 6 months. They have very few side effects but should be safely disposed of as its waste is toxic and hazardous.  

What Are The Ingredients Of Tobacco And E-cigarettes?

  • Smokeless tobacco- carcinogens (cancer causing agents), formaldehyde, cadmium, polonium-210 (radioactive material).
  • E-cigarettes- nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, lead, cadmium, nickel and heavy metals associated with health problems, flavorings.

What Is Vaping?

It refers to the use of pseudo- or e-cigarettes that simulate the experience of smoking without exposure to the health risk of smoking. These give the flavor of nicotine in the vape. People use vape devices nowadays to get this flavor.


               Vape device and e-cigarettes. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Quitting Smoking?

  • Better vision
  • Brighter teeth
  • Prevention of lung disease
  • No harm to body in general
  • Decreased belly fat
  • Decreased risk of diabetes
  • Less heart disease and  cancer risk
  • More dopamine production in brain
  • More responsive immune system 

What Are The Disease Risks From Smoking In Males & Females?

  • Reduced fertility
  • Stroke
  • Blindness
  • Head & neck cancers
  • Gum infection
  • Aortic  rupture
  • Heart disease
  • Leukemia
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Hip fracture
  • Pneumonia
  • Hardening of arteries

The phenomenon of hardening of arteries is known as atherosclerosis. Uncontrolled tooth decay and colorectal cancers are also seen in people who smoke more than 5 packets of cigarettes a day.

Can There Be Smoking Cessation Milestones?, YES

  • Day 1- risk of heart attack goes down
  • 48 hours- taste and smell receptors start to heal
  • 2 weeks- breathing & circulation improves
  • 6 weeks- withdrawal symptoms disappear
  • 1 year- rate of decline of lung function becomes normal


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