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Ill effects of tobacco

Nicotiana tabacum called tobacco belongs to the same Solanaceae family, members of which also yield, potato, tomato and brinjal so dear to all of us on our dinner plates!

In this century, tobacco has already caused 100 million deaths according to WHO. Nicotine has been incriminated directly in Atherosclerosis, which when rife can lead to heart attacks, brain strokes, limb vascular insufficiency, renal problems etc. It also damages lungs to produce chronic bronchitis and emphysema, both of which can make the life of the patient miserable. Beedis, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookah are some of the means of tobacco abuse. Some chew tobacco in gutkas and some others inhale the same as snuff! In whatever form it is abused, all the ill effects ensue and in different persons, different systems are affected. Smoke from cigarettes has been shown to have chemicals which can induce cancers. There are traces of radioactive chemicals in the tobacco smoke which cause damage in a different manner.

While several maladies which affect the humans are not in their hands, tobacco and alcohol are entirely within the human temptations. Those who suffer the ill effects of tobacco abuse need to blame themselves and their friends who got them into this miserable habit. It is not difficult to quit smoking. All you need is a firm resolve and the will power. It is not wise to use the nicotine patches and chewing gums to aid in quitting. They also have the same dangerous chemicals. One needs to develop the mental strength to come out of this habit. Some addicts need the help of psychiatrists to come out of the tobacco habit.

Youngsters and women who are in the presence of active smokers also get the chemical damage. Those of you who visit pubs need to bear this in mind. Passive smoking by mothers during their pregnancy causes serious damage in the growing fetus.

Let us resolve to make our country tobacco free by spreading the message and proper health education.

- Dr. Anil Kumar Mulpur

VP and Clinical Director, Narayana Hrudayalaya

Malla Reddy Hospital

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