Smoking is an act/habit of inhaling fumes from a burning cigarette or beedi or pipe. Generally, tobacco is the major content of them, rarely with other blend/stuff.
A smoker not only pollutes himself, but also makes others to smoke passively. Most people who live around smokers smoke many cigarettes unconsciously and unknowingly.
Origin of smoking tobacco
Herbs usually produce fragrance while they are burnt. Initially, Egyptians and Greeks were found to inhale fumes of burnt herbs for medicinal purpose. Researches suspect that America must be the birthplace of tobacco, since only after Columbus it has been known to spread all over the world. The Portuguese take the credit of introducing the smoking habit in India. Tobacco is generally used in various ways i.e., smoked, snuffed, chewed, drunk or rubbed against skin. It had been learnt that ancient doctors sometimes prescribed tobacco smoking to soothe nerves.
The addictive effect of tobacco made people use tobacco persistently. Originally, they smoked raw, folded tobacco leaf, followed by other advancement, paper rolled, filtered, flavoured, etc. Kings used to smoke on those days with specially made mouth tube from a burning bowl. Blending other herbs and aromatic substances with tobacco may vary according to the craving or desirable taste of the smoker.
Every smoker knows people had suffered due to the smoking habit and it had finally snuffed out their lives. Even then, they continue the habit. In fact, every 10 seconds, a smoker gets killed by this habit.
This habit development is a preventable social act with effective anti-smoking campaign, teaching the bad effects of smoking and to cope with life’s challenges. Teens should be made aware that the after-effects of smoking will be more dangerous than the punishment for smoking from their parents. People should realise that the smoking habit often lays the foundation stone for drug addiction.
To make a healthier tomorrow, steps have been taken by every government/country to stop smoking i.e., through restriction in advertisement, statuary warnings, restricted sales to under 18s, ban on smoking in public places, increasing taxation to make smoking cost more, etc. In spite of all these, cigarette sales stay high.
Statistics of smokers
From the Christian era till the last decade, the uptrend has been identified in spite of all anti-smoking campaign, statutory warnings, increased tax, etc. But awareness about the side-effects of smoking and fear of lung cancer and heart attacks drags has brought down the incidence in this last decade throughout the world. But it is pathetic to note women and teens statistics seem to remain in uptrend. Depression and club activities often lead one to this addiction. Smoking parents become the main culprits for passing the habit to their children.
Contents of Tobacco smoke – The major constituents are tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, ammonium compounds, acetone, methanol, phenol, napthalene, butane, mercury, lead, cadmium, urethane, arsenic, hydrogen cyanide, etc. Many of these are carcinogenic i.e., have the tendency to produce cancers.
Addiction – Any routine habit will go to our subconscious mind and remain there to induce us to do our routine routinely. More than that, smoking addiction is extraordinary craving mainly due to nicotine and ammonium compounds. They will trigger our brain to pass signal for top up of addictives, once satiety level drops.
Many people would state a variety of reasons for their smoking.
Some would say they get relieved of constipation.
Some would say they feel fresh and active after smoking.
Some would say they have good sleep after smoking.
Some others would say they find mental freshness and are able to concentrate well.
In reality, nicotine and other compounds in tobacco smoke are found to stimulate brain temporarily. But one should be aware that every action has its own opposite reaction. So, this addictive booster will finally end in retardation of brain activities and premature ageing. So, altogether, a smoker will get fenced and will be made to remain on the dark side of health in the midst of his/her own smoke.
Risks of smoking – The risk of suffering usually depends upon the health status of the individual, period of smoking, number of cigarettes per day and the content of the smoke. Continuous smoking habit debilitates and ruins one’s health. Some would say they take costly cigarettes which have filters. Be aware that even then you are prone to all bad effects.
Poisonous effects of smoking can attack any part of the body from head to foot, since blood has become contaminated, but most common sufferers are lung and heart. The smoke entering the lung usually converts oxygen into carbon monoxide to cause bad effect. The deeper the puff and more the time of holding smoke in the lungs will cause more damage to the lungs. The common sufferings are
- Discoloured lips and stained teeth
- Foul breath and nasal/sinus allergy
- Respiratory disorders like recurrent cough, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, emphysema, lung cancer, etc. Heart attack
- Increased blood pressure and stroke Blocks in peripheral blood vessels causing TAO (Thrombo Angitis Obliternas) or gangrene which can end in amputation
- Peptic ulcer and constipation
- Premature ageing and death
- Males may suffer from lowered sperm count & Impotency
- Female smokers often suffer from delay in getting pregnant and early abortions. They would also poison the foetus when they smoke during pregnancy.
General treatment – The bad effects of smoking cannot be treated unless it is entirely rooted out. Cessation of smoking generally improves one’s health. There are many treatments for putting an end to the habit. Among them, herbal cigarette, nicotine replacement therapy, psycho therapy / counseling and other chemical treatments are popular. Even though there are a lot of treatments, no treatment can be effective unless the person wishes to quit smoking or has the will power to stop it. De-addiction treatment is usually given with supplements as vitamins and minerals to combat withdrawal symptoms.
De-addiction treatment and ways to quit smoking
Addiction usually requires top up of nicotine and other ammonium compounds. This habit should be managed with mind deviation, suppressing temptations or cravings and medicines. Most of the people get trapped again with this habit due to lack of confidence and support to combat temptations and cravings. One who has found difficulty in quitting smoking can follow these procedures
- Short period smoking habit should be quit immediately
- Long period (addicted) smoking habit should be tapered to reduce withdrawal symptoms/sufferings.
- Keep yourself always busy and active
- Avoid circumstances which favour/urge smoking
- Don’t go for a relaxed mood
- Don’t be in midst of smoke/smokers which can induce craving
- Be stubborn with resolve to quit or otherwise a single cigarette or single puff will override you
- Mind deviation should be followed to manage the temptations or cravings. For ex- doing exercises, playing, walking, chewing gum, drinking juices, etc.
- If you find it difficult to quit even with interest to quit, then don’t throw the remnant of your smoked cigarettes – preserve them to caution you as bricks of your own tomb. In course of time, you can reject the craving.
- Always cherish the advantages of quitting, related with cleanliness, fresh breath, good health, money saved and time got.
BAD EFFECTS OF SMOKING AND QUITING THE HABIT OF SMOKING
Doctors should guide smokers properly about the way to quit the habit without suffering from withdrawal symptoms since many a time withdrawal symptoms and cravings make the quitter tumble down again into the debilitating habit. It is ultimately the mind which controls. Homeopathy treatment can support one’s mind to cope up situation for quitting the habit.
To remove bad effects of smoking, removing the habit is a must, without which bad effects cannot be rooted out. Many succeed in getting out of the habit for some time and not ultimately ending in quitting. In course of time, they it find difficult to overcome craving/temptation. Homeopathy can help in these situations.
Homeopathic medicines can really do wonders in mind and manners. Homeopathy can help smoker quit smoking by reducing the craving and to combat the bad effects of smoking. But it can only help if you have wish/interest to quit. Also keep in mind that only functional changes can be reverted to normalcy, whereas structural changes cannot be revoked to normal. So, to evade bad effects, it is better to take effort to quit at the earliest.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used in case of bad effects of smoking and for de-addiction are Aranea diadema, Arnica, Caladium, Cannabis Indica, Centaury, Cherry plum, Daphnae Indica, Ignatia, Lac.Can, Menthol, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Scleranthus, Tabacum, Tarentulla H, Thuja, Tuberculinum, Walnut, etc. These medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homoeopath.
Say goodbye to smoking habit and lead a bright life
(Disclaimer: The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)