YOUNG ADULT PROBLEMS: CIGARETTES

My experience is that many people do not know a fraction of the detrimental effects that cigarettes can cause, merely assuming that you either get cancer or you do not. Everybody knows somebody in their eighties who has smoked 40 cigarettes a day. This is indeed true, but for every one person who tolerates cigarettes and their poisons, there are 1,000 who do not. Whichever way you look at it, cigarettes are highly toxic and very few of us have the constitution that will allow us to smoke and not develop some disease process, be it mild or terminal.

There are over 3,000 recognized compounds in cigarette smoke. We have no idea of the effect of many of these compounds on the system but we have recognized 16 compounds known to cause cancer and recently, beyond the dispute of the tobacco industry and their friends, one compound, a bendrofluoride, has been shown to trigger cancer changes in lung tissue. The tar in which these compounds are contained is a breeding ground for bacteria and, as the tar coats the delicate lung tissues, allows the bacteria to destroy the air sacks where oxygen is absorbed.

Nicotine is a most highly addictive compound proving even more difficult to withdraw from psychologically than heroin.

Conditions that are smoking-related include:

Sinusitis Anosmia (loss of smell)

Ear infections Catarrhal conditions

Taste loss Recurrent coughs and colds

Conjunctivitis Poor facial skin

Tooth and gum decay Laryngitis

Pharyngitis Recurrent sore throats

Acute bronchitis Chronic bronchitis

Emphysema (loss of Heart attacks lung tissue)

Strokes Gangrene

Stomach and Oesophageal ulcers duodenal ulcers

Ulcerative colitis

Cancer is not the most common medical condition created by smoking but of the following list smoking is implicated in increasing the chance of contracting this cancer or is directly related to its onset: cancer of the mouth, tongue, throat, larynx, bronchial tree (lungs), oesophagus, stomach, large intestine, skin and the ovaries.

It is worth remembering that the lungs do not finish growing until we are in our early twenties. Smoking before this time will damage the foundations of the lung and the earlier cigarettes are started, the worse the prognosis.

Passive smoking (inhaling other people’s smoke) carries equal risks for those who are sensitive or reactive.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Do not smoke.

Do not be around smoke.

Do not smoke indoors. Smoke lingers.

Do not smoke anywhere near children or where they live or play.

Do not smoke in front of children – they mimic.

See Smoking.

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