Frequently asked questions on important topics

Zumba Fitness at Kemps Corner with Zumba Fitness Instructor ZIN Swetha Jairam
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wed
October 18, 2017
Zumba classes at kemps corner
Research Expert Panel Member ZIN Swetha Jairam
 
 

Smoking

Why is smoking dangerous to health?

Smoking is responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death. Scientists say there are over 4,000 compounds in cigarette smoke. A sizeable number of them are toxic – they are bad for us and damage our cells. Some of them cause cancer – they are carcinogenic. Smoking causes an accumulation of fatty substances in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, the main contributor to smoking-related deaths. Smoking is also a significant contributory factor in coronary heart disease risk. People with coronary heart disease are much more likely to have a heart attack.

Tobacco smoke raises the risk of coronary heart disease by itself. When combined with other risk factors, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, physical inactivity, or diabetes, the risk of serious, chronic illness and death is huge.

Smoking also worsens heart disease risk factors. It raises blood pressure, makes it harder to do exercise, makes the blood clot more easily than it should. People who have undergone bypass surgery and smoke have a higher risk of recurrent coronary heart disease.

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What medicine should I choose to quit smoking?

All of the medicines work well in helping a person to quit smoking. If you associate smoking with having something in your mouth, you may do better with nicotine gum. The patch delivers nicotine continuously for 16 hours while you are awake, or 24 hours if you use a patch that’s worn all night. If you haven’t had success with other nicotine products, the nasal spray or inhaler may help you. A non-nicotine prescription medicine such as bupropion hydrochloride or varenicline can help most people and may be used with nicotine medicines. Talk to your doctor about which medicine might work best for you.  Following are few options you can use:

Nicotine Replacement Medicines

Nicotine Chewing Gum or Lozenges

Nicotine Patch

Nicotine Spray

Nicotine Inhaler

 

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How does smoking affect my risk for respiratory disease?

Smoking injures lung tissue and affects the lungs’ ability to fight infections. Tissue damage from smoking can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is sometimes called emphysema. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. More than 90 percent deaths from COPD are caused by smoking.

Smoking also can cause other respiratory diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. Smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections, perhaps because smoking suppresses immune function. Smokers’ lung function also declines more quickly than that of nonsmokers.

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How does smoking affect my risk for cardiovascular disease?

Heart disease and stroke are cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases caused by smoking. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. Most cases of these diseases are caused by atherosclerosis, a hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Smoking speeds up this process, even in young smokers. Cigarette smoke damages the cells lining the blood vessels and heart, causing swelling that prevents the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Smoking also increases a person’s risk of dangerous blood clots, which can also cause a heart attack or stroke.

Fortunately, risks for heart disease and stroke decrease steadily after a person quits. One year after a person quits, their risk for a heart attack drops sharply. Two to five years after quitting, their risk for stroke falls to about the same as a nonsmoker’s.

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How does smoking affect reproductive health in women?

Women who smoke have more difficulty becoming pregnant and have a higher risk of never becoming pregnant. Those who smoke during pregnancy also have a greater chance of complications, including placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta grows too close to the opening of the uterus, and placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta prematurely separates from the wall of the uterus.

In addition to complications, women who smoke during pregnancy are at higher risk for premature birth, a low birth weight infant, stillbirth, and infant mortality.

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How does smoking affect reproductive health in men?

Although only a small number of studies have looked at the relation between smoking and erectile dysfunction, research findings suggest that smoking may be associated with an increased risk for this condition. More studies are needed, however, before researchers can conclude that smoking is causally related to erectile dysfunction.

Research also suggests that cigarette smoking may affect the amount of semen and sperm produced and adversely affect sperm quality.

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How does smoking affect my risk for cancer?

Certain agents in tobacco smoke can damage important genes that control the growth of cells, which increases a person’s risk for many types of cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. About 87 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking. Smokers are about 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. Smoking also causes cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), and esophagus, and it increases a person’s risk of developing cancer of the pancreas, kidney, bladder, cervix, and stomach. Smoking may also contribute to the development of acute myeloid leukemia, which is a cancer of the blood.

For smoking-attributable cancers, the risk generally increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and the number of years of smoking. Risks generally decrease after a person quits completely. Ten years after quitting, the risk of developing lung cancer decreases by as much as half.

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"Due to sacroiliac problems, I had great difficulty walking and with other physical difficulties. I was fortunate to have become acquainted with Swetha Jairam. Under her training, I have improved remarkably. With her experience in physical fitness, she can adjust her exercise programs to any age group -- including my own. She is talented, knowledgeable and skilled, young lady. I can recommend her highly without any reservations."
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