Tobacco can butt out a life

Nutrition check


That smoking is injurious to health is a caution that we come across very often but mere warnings do not seem to be able to deter addicts as there are approximately 1.4 billion tobacco users all around the world and at least one out of 10 people worldwide dies due to use of tobacco every year. Tobacco not only damages the lungs but also heart, kidney and even sperms. It can lead to infertility in men as well as women.

Statistics state that around six million Indians die every year due to smoking. Not just men, women are equally addicted to some form of tobacco. Recent researches say that approximately one in four women in metro cities is addicted to smoking. Couples facing problems in conceiving is one among the non-life threatening complications and is one of the leading causes of early onset of menopause among females.

Women who smoke reduce their chances of conceiving by at least 60%, and smoking is also linked to ectopic pregnancy and other tubal factor infertility. Chemicals present in a cigarette also make certain cervical changes that even put them at an elevated risk of cervical cancer. Tobacco has a massive effect on male fertility also. It damages the blood vessels and affects blood flow. Human sperm cells carry two tiny, highly charged proteins called protamine 1 and protamine 2 which are in a perfectly balanced one-to-one relationship. However, sperms of smokers carry very little protamine, which makes them highly vulnerable to DNA damage.

(The author is gynaecologist & IVF expert, Indira IVF Hospitals, New Delhi)  

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