Tobacco is a herb belonging to genus nicotina and family Solanaceae. N.tobaccum or abbreviated as nicotina tobaccum is volatile, oily and colorless liquid with poisonous alkaloid. Tobacco grows and is on sale in many countries. It is one of the most used addictive drugs. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes tobacco are made from dried leaves of the tobacco plant. The percentage of cigarette smoking is increasing all over the world, which is an issue of concern. Let us remind ourselves of the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.
Dangerous Effects of Cigarette Smoking
Smoking a cigarette can have a lot of drastic effects on one’s health. Inhaling cigarette smoke the cigarette smoker exposes him to numerous toxins which include various tobacco constituents. Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of harmful chemicals among which 70 are carcinogenic.
The Spectrum of Health Effects
Most of the cigarette smokers tend to smoke many cigarettes per day. The repeated inhalation of toxins causes a broad spectrum of short-term, intermediate and long-term health effects that affect major organ systems.
Stages of Effects of Tobacco Smoking
There are three stages of effects of tobacco smoking:
- Short term OR immediate health effects
- Intermediate health effects
- Long-term health effects
Short-Term OR Immediate Health Effects
The term immediate health effects occur within days of cigarette or tobacco smoking. The symptoms include;
- Feeling of mild euphoria
- Decreased blood pressure and heartbeat
- Initial stimulation, then reduction of activity of the brain and nervous system
- Bad breath
- Abdominal cramps
Intermediate Health Effects
The intermediate health effects refer broadly to the health outcome that occurs between immediate and long-term health effects
Depletion of Circulating Antioxidant Micronutrients Concentration
One of the major causes of intermediate effects of cigarette smoking is exposure to oxidative stress.
The shift in balance oxidant/antioxidant in favor of oxidants is what many know as oxidative stress.
Oxidants are the oxidizing agents produced during the various types of endogenous and exogenous processes.
Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is the biological oxidants. Living organisms produces these particularly by the process of metabolism.
Reactivity of ROS
ROS are highly reactive molecules and can damage the different structures of cells in a body like proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acid.
Cause of an Oxidative stress:
The main cause of an oxidative stress is an overproduction of oxidants such as ROS, which can cause damage to the viability, activation, and proliferation of a cell. The antioxidant system that aerobic organisms have is an integrated antioxidant system comprising of antioxidants micronutrients.
Function: The function of this antioxidant micronutrient is blocking the harmful effects of ROS, improve health status and reduce the susceptibility to a wide range of diseases.
Effects of Tobacco Smoking In Expectant Mothers
Another intermediate effect is tobacco smoking in expectant mothers. It could directly cause harm to the fetus as well as infants in several ways
Long-term Effects of Cigarette Smoking:
Long-term effects refer to the effects that occur late in the adult state. Some of the symptoms that may be experienced are:
- Increased risk of stroke and brain damage
- Cancer of nose
- Cancer of throat
- Blockage in blood supply that could lead to heart attack
- Slower healing wounds
- Cancer of mouth
- Early menopause
- Low fertility and increased risk of miscarriages.
Due to the severe effects that tobacco smoking could put on one’s health, people should try to make awareness in society. People can conduct different seminars so that people feel motivated to quit these toxic things. This can help save the lives of thousands of people that die each year due to tobacco-related illnesses.