Belize : Belize | Nov 13, 2009 at 5:48 AM PST
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smoking more and more

Good health is an asset. But at times unhealthy lifestyles can deteriorate its quality. Smoking is one such example. A common perception is that smoking causes lung cancer. But this is not all. It actually is also a cause of mouth, throat, stomach, lips, bladder, uterus and breast cancer. Moreover, it is also responsible for heart and breathing problems. The list of problems associated with smoking is quite long but we will be highlighting its harmful effects on the heart.
Effect on heart
Tobacco contained in a cigarette has around 400 harmful chemicals that are a cause of various illnesses. The three basic ingredients nicotine, carbon monoxide and tar are extremely noxious to the health. Nicotine quickens heartbeat and increases blood pressure. It also harms the inner surface of the blood vessels and causes blood clotting. Likewise, carbon monoxide mixes with the blood and prevents proper flow of oxygen to the body. Tar gives rise to breathing problems.
Smoking increases the risk of fatty deposits and blood clots in the blood vessels that bring blood to the heart. Complete blockage of these vessels causes a heart attack.
Filter cigarettes
Smokers usually use filters while smoking as they assume the harmful effects to lessen with it. But regardless of the filter, the poisonous chemicals enter the body with the smoke.
Hukkah and bidi
These are much more injurious than cigarette smoking as they contain unrefined tobacco.
Effect of second hand smoke
Smoking not only harms the individual's own health but also of those around them. Research suggests that the chance of developing heart disease in passive smokers is increased by 30 percent.
Smoking cessation
Smoking cessation requires willpower. To aid this effort, an individual can reduce his need by using nicotine gum, which has a less amount of the chemical. With strong self-will, one can start chewing a normal gum. Skin patches are another way of quitting. These are adhesives that stick on the hand. A small amount of nicotine enters the body through this and the need is fulfilled.

hasnain malik is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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