Yes it is!
Hard to believe? You don’t see people dropping dead in the streets from smoking do you?
Just because you don’t see it though, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen!
Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable death and disease in Australia.
Every year, about 16,000 Australians die from diseases related to their smoking.
One in two lifetime smokers will be killed by their habit.
Would you wear a deodorant that killed half the people who used it?
Half of these deaths will occur in middle age. That is probably about the age of one of your parents or guardians.
Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. As well as tar and nicotine, there is also the gas carbon monoxide (found in car exhaust fumes and used in gas chambers), ammonia (found in floor cleaner), butane (that might be the fuel in a cigarette lighter, no wonder cigarettes light so easily!) and arsenic (found in rat poison). Then there is cadmium (batteries), acetone (nail polish remover), and formaldehyde (for embalming dead bodies)…the list goes on.
Of those 4,000 + chemicals in tobacco smoke, 69 are known to cause cancers of the lung, throat, mouth, bladder and kidneys, in fact just about every part of the body.
Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco. The mixture of nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure, straining your heart and blood vessels. This can cause heart attacks and strokes. It slows your blood flow, cutting off oxygen to your feet and hands. Some smokers end up having their limbs amputated.
It is the tar in tobacco smoke that causes lung cancer. Tar is made up of many chemicals, including gases and chemicals that cause cancer. It coats your lungs like soot in a chimney.
Emphysema is an illness that slowly and permanently rots your lungs. People with emphysema often get bronchitis again and again, and suffer lung and heart failure. They find it very difficult to breathe, a bit like being held under at the pool, and gasping to take a breath. That is a bit like living with emphysema.
Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers than non-smokers. Smoking makes the blood cells and blood vessel walls sticky which allows dangerous fatty deposits to build up.
For 10 years researchers were studying people who had died in car accidents in the USA. They could tell the difference between a smoker and non-smoker simply by the amount of this fatty build up in the aorta. Smokers had these deposits, even teenagers!
Girls who start smoking as teenagers are more likely to experience premenstrual tension, heavy periods, severe period pain and irregular periods. They are also more likely develop breast cancer as adults. Researchers found that breast tissue may be most vulnerable to cancer-causing chemicals during puberty. This is when the breast tissue cells are rapidly multiplying. Go back and read about the p53 gene again. It may help to explain to you why this happens.
You guys don’t get away with it either. Smoking reduces the flow of blood to the extremities of the body, one of which is the penis. Males who smoke are far more likely to become impotent.
You know what that is, can’t get a hard on, can’t get it up.
Nicotine is a very powerful drug. Some studies suggest that it is as addictive as heroin or cocaine. The latest research suggests that some people can become dependent on nicotine after smoking only a few cigarettes. In fact scientists now believe that younger brains are more sensitive to nicotine than the brains of older people and that young people may be more prone to becoming dependent on nicotine.
When smoking a cigarette, nicotine is delivered to the brain in just a few seconds. In fact ammonia (that’s the toilet cleaner stuff), is added to the tobacco in cigarettes by the tobacco companies to speed up nicotine delivery. Cigarettes are the most efficient nicotine delivery system yet devised. It is just that it this also the filthiest and most dangerous system as well. Take another look at the section on the contents of tobacco smoke.
When you become dependent upon nicotine, your body “needs” nicotine to feel “normal”. So as the nicotine leaves your body, your body lets you know that it is running short.
Your body sends you this information in a number of ways. You get “cravings” which is the urge to smoke. You body is telling you that it is dependent upon nicotine to feel normal. You may feel irritable or anxious. This is another sign that you are not in control, but that you are dependent upon nicotine. Nicotine is telling you what to do. You are dependent upon nicotine.
- When you find yourself unable to go out without your packet of cigarettes
- When you get anxious when you do not have cigarettes with you
- If you have to have a cigarette, even if you don’t feel like one, when you know that you will not be able to smoke for some time.
Try this are you hooked on nicotine test?
(adapted from HONC test with permission John R. Polito)
|Nicotine Dependence 10 Warning SignsDo you normally inhale the cigarette smoke deeply into your lungs?
Do you enjoy cigarettes more when you inhale the smoke deeply into your lungs?
Do you find it difficult not to have a cigarette when you are with friends who are smoking?
Is it hard to keep from smoking in places where you are not supposed to, like school?
Do you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day?
Do you normally have your first cigarette within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning?
How dependent are you?
If you answered YES to:
0-1 Probably not dependent
2 Possibly dependent
5-6 Strong dependence
You will feel the benefits of quitting straight away as your body repairs itself.
You will have more money.
And it can improve your social life, not to mention your chances in attracting a partner.
You probably don’t need to read all this.
You know it already, right?