A recent informal survey carried out in some secondary schools showed that after alcohol, tobacco was the next most common drug abused among the children.
It was offered to them by friends and family. It is easily accessible and advertisements encouraging use are on the rise.
There are over a billion users of tobacco worldwide (approximately 20% of the world’s population). Tobacco is said to kill up to half of its users with over 7 million deaths per year.
Tobacco leaves present in several forms: cigarettes, cigars, loose tobacco, pipe tobacco, shisha etc.
Contains over 4000 dangerous chemicals. The most common, nicotine is powerfully addictive.
Short term effects of tobacco:
- Mood regulator,
- Appetite suppressant,
- Bad breath and body smell,
- Dizziness, feeling of pleasure,
- Decreased sense of taste and smell,
- Increased heart rate, respiration and blood pressure.
Long term effects of tobacco
- Dependence (experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop smoking),
- Tolerance (where greater nicotine dosages are required to achieve the same magnitude of response)
- Increased risk of heart disease leading to stroke, heart attack.
- Increased risk of cancers, lung infections,
- Fertility issues and sexual dysfunction.
Pregnancy: Increased risk premature births, stillbirths, and early death of newborn.
Overdose: uncommon but possible
Passive smoking (non smokers exposed to smoke) is as dangerous as active smoking. Refuse people smoking around you by either telling them to stop or leaving the scene.
There is no safe level of smoking/sniffing/chewing tobacco products. If you or anyone close to you smokes and will love to quit, do get to your health care provider for quitting tips.
Don’t forget to share this post!
About the author
Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.