World No Tobacco Day May 31: The Global Pledge to Stop Smoking

World No Tobacco Day

May 31 is the world no tobacco day, a global public health campaign created by the WHO. It is a call to stop consuming tobacco by any means during a 24-hour period. Moreover, concomitant awareness campaigns are held to warn the smokers and nonsmokers of the smoking hazards.

Tobacco is not only consumed by smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes but also by sniffing and chewing. Since smoking tobacco has been proven according to many studies to be extremely dangerous, it triggers plenty of diseases such as lung cancer, heart diseases, and liver diseases. As a result, the average lifespan of a human being has tragically minimized. Besides, it can lead to dementia and decline in the cognitive functions.

According to the WHO, tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death worldwide. It causes about 6 million deaths every year. That’s more deaths than those due to alcohol, drug abuse, homicide, and suicide combined. While the passive smoke (second-hand smoke) raises the risks to have a smoking-related illness. It could even lead to death.

Quit Smoking

Tobacco increases the liability to

  • Heart diseases.
  • Hypertension.
  • Liver diseases.
  • Strokes.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Bladder, larynx, and mouth cancers.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Cataracts.

Some who try to quit smoking, go for chewing tobacco products, while others try the light/mild cigarettes instead. Not because the chewing is smokeless means it’s harmless. Also changing to light cigarettes doesn’t necessarily indicate a less harmful smoking, yet it’s tobacco.

Chemicals burning in Cigarettes

1. Nicotine

Though nicotine isn’t cancerous, it’s the number one reason smokers don’t stop smoking. Due to its highly addictive properties, nicotine alters the brain functions including the mood, perception, and consciousness.

Smoking readily introduces nicotine to the bloodstream and then distributes to the brain, hence it causes a rapid sense of pleasure and calmness. However, there is always craving to smoking because the effects do not last long. Nicotine is deadly in large doses.

Pregnant females who smoke have high risks of miscarriage or premature birth. In addition, fetal exposure to nicotine can lead to impaired fetal brain and regressive lung development.

2. Tar

Tar causes bronchial diseases, lung cancer, and damage to the air sacs of the lungs. It is brown and sticky, thus, it stains the lung tissue, teeth, and fingernails.

3. Carbon monoxide

It reduces the oxygen delivery to the body organs, the most critical of which are the brain and heart. Consequently, heart diseases, dizziness, and vomiting occur. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide causes death.

Infographic Source: Visually.

Quit Smoking

Although some smokers don’t find it hard to quit, others need help to manage the cessation. Quitting is done gradually to avoid the withdrawal symptoms being severe and make the relapse less likely. Visiting the smoking cessation clinics are the perfect decision for that.

Withdrawal symptoms

  1. Irritability.
  2. Attention difficulties.
  3. Frustration and depression.
  4. Sleep disturbances.
  5. Increased appetite.
  6. Powerful cravings for smoking.

The FDA have approved products like the nicotine chewing gum and transdermal patch to be used during the smoking cessation therapy because such products help the quitter to cope the withdrawal symptoms by delivering a controlled dose of nicotine.

Doctors advise the smoking quitters to manage their stress and enhance skills like problem-solving skills and social skills.

Infographic Source: UK HealthCare.