How many times have we heard, seen and even recited the line ‘Smoking Kills!’. Infinite times would be the ideal answer. Cut to reality- how many times have we stopped to actually pay heed to it. Instead many smokers or prospective smokers, tend to find loopholes or easy ways around accepting the harm it imposes on our health by believing myths that encourage the usage pattern.
Today, let’s debunk some of the popular myths around smoking
Myth #1: Smoking occasionally is harmless
Busted: A very popular myth, many smokers believe that smoking a couple of days in a week or social smoking can mitigate the health risks accompanying Tobacco. Every cigarette smoked is doing its own portion of the damage. Even small amounts of Tobacco tend to damage your blood vessels and leave your blood more vulnerable to clotting. Smoking anything from even one to four cigarettes a day can double your risk of dying from heart disease. The fact being there is no safe level of exposure to Tobacco smoke.
Myth #2: Opting for light and flavoured cigarettes are safer
Busted: Today we have a vast and extensive range of Cigarettes, leaving us with so many options to pick our smoking preference from. This extensive array of choices include Cigarettes made with different filters, paper, or blends of tobacco labelled as light, ultralight, or mild. However, with more options, it becomes tougher to quit. Some people buy into the names and tend to think that smoking the milder variants does less damage. But that is far from the truth. You get just as much tar smoking a light cigarette as a regular one. Infact, studies have proven that in many ways the products were manufactured and marketed in a way that was misleading; making law enforcement bodies take note and issue restrictions against Tobacco companies labelling cigarettes as “light” anymore. But, unfortunately, if you do visit your neighbourhood Tobacco vendor, you will still see the same products, stacked on shelves, in similar packaging, continuing to lure and mislead customers.
Myth #3: Too late to Quit
Busted: One of the biggest myth smokers have is that it’s too late to quit. Infact, research says that even if you’ve smoked your whole life, it’s worth it to stop. Quitting at any age will help you improve your health and quality of life drastically. Your heart rate and blood pressure will go down, and your lungs will start to work better instantly.
Myth # 4: Tobacco smoke contains only a handful of dangerous toxins
Busted: This is far from reality. In real world, more than 250 dangerous toxins are found in Smokeless Tobacco. From which 180 of these chemicals are harmful to the human body in other ways while 70 of them have been proven to cause cancer. Infact, these same chemicals can be ingested by eating rat poison, sucking on an exhaust pipe or licking a car battery. Unfortunately, non-smokers who happen to walk through a cloud of tobacco smoke are exposed to all the same toxins.
Myth # 5 Smoking Cigarettes only causes lung cancer.
Busted: A common misunderstanding is that smoking just causes lung cancer. Although lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women, it only contributes to a quarter of the tobacco-related deaths yearly. According to the National Cancer Institute, the full list of cancers that can result from tobacco-related causes includes oesophagus, throat, larynx, mouth, kidney, bladder, liver, stomach, pancreas, cervix, colon and rectum cancer.
This means that even if cancer is avoided, additional potential effects include chronic bronchitis, diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke and cataracts, among other things. Plus, smoking impairs immune function generally, leaving the smoker susceptible to many other ailments.
Myth# 6 Medical advances decreases the risk of developing lung cancer due to smoking
Busted: Infact, on the contrary over the last 50 years, the risk of lung cancer for smokers has actually increased despite the decrease in the number of cigarettes consumed per smoker.
Myth # 7 The main risk of smoking for pregnant women is premature delivery.
Busted: Smoking makes it not only harder for a woman to conceive in the first place but also increases the risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, low birth weight and a cleft lip/palate. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also becomes more likely when a woman smokes during or after pregnancy.