Tobacco use can lead to various ailments

Myth: Healthy habits make up for smoking and using tobacco.

Fact: That’s just an excuse to puff away like a chimney. No amount of healthy diet, regular exercise and vitamin can undo the deadly effects of tobacco.

Myth: Light, mild, natural, organic cigarettes are OK

Fact: You can smoke the ‘milder’ ‘lighter’ versions and still end up getting lung cancer/die of a heart attack.

Ill effects of tobacco use

Use of tobacco causes a host of cancers – cancer of lungs, mouth, larynx and oesophagus. Smoking is the main cause of lung cancer. Chewing tobacco causes cancer of the mouth.

When you smoke, the tar present in the tobacco smoke gets deposited in your nose, throat and lungs causing cough and irritation, leading to persistent bronchitis and shortness of breath.

Smokers are more likely to suffer from blood pressure and heart attacks as the nicotine present in tobacco causes premature hardening of arteries.

Substances like carbon monoxide, hydrogen and hydrogen cyanide present in cigarette/beedi are extremely injurious to health.

Smoking during pregnancy can lead to miscarriages/premature delivery.
Passive smoking

Even non-smokers who breathe in second-hand smoke can die of cancer.
While second-hand smoke can cause cardiovascular and respiratory disease in adults, it can cause sudden deaths in infants.

Second-hand smoke can make your blood more ‘sticky’ leading to clots, which in turn increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A child when exposed to passive smoking during the first 18 months of his/her life is more likely to develop respiratory problems such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

Children who are constantly exposed to passive smoking at home are at a higher risk of developing asthma, prone to frequent cough, wheezing and breathlessness.

(The writer is an oncologist)