Today is World No Tobacco Day to help bring awareness to the risks associated with cigarette smoking. The World Health Organization’s goal for Americans is a 30% reduction in the use of tobacco by 2025. However, we are off track to meet that goal. Tobacco kills 7 million every year, even though most people are fully aware that tobacco causes cancer and heart disease. China and Indian have the highest number of cigarette smokers, and statistics are estimating the percentage of tobacco users to actually increase in the Middle East. More than half of the population in China are not even aware that smoking increases the risk of heart attacks. Worldwide we have only seen a 7% decrease in smoking since 2000.
The need to create awareness for passive smoking is just as important. Passive smoking is another word for secondary smoke – inhaling the exhaled smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. It is estimated that over 38% of children under the age of five are exposed to passive smoking. These children are at risk for respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, chronic cough, ear infections, and it’s thought to contribute to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis), not to mention heart disease and lung cancer. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins such as tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic, and DDT. While nicotine is an ingredient and is addictive, it does not causes lung cancer or other respiratory diseases. In small doses, it acts as a stimulant to the brain, similar to caffeine. Scientists are also unable to verify that nicotine, while speeding up your heartbeat as any stimulant does, leads to any cardiovascular issue. The controversy around e-cigarettes (or vaping) is the objection to the nicotine, but while addictive, nicotine does not cause cancer or increase your risk for heart disease.
If you have been diagnosed with COPD, asthma, or lung cancer, IACT Health currently has clinical research trials for your consideration. Please call 706-321-0495 to find out more about enrolling! Without participation in clinical trials, we cannot make advancements in medicine.