Know it or not?
- A survey in 2014 found that there were 54.8 million Thai people aged 15 years old and over and as many as 11.4 million, or 20.7%, of them smoked. Ten million of them were regular smokers and 1.4 million others were light smokers.
- A quarter of smokers will die of smoking-related diseases in 10-20 years. Such diseases kill as many as 42,000-52,000 Thai people yearly.
- Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals including more than 250 toxins and over 50 carcinogens, especially those causing lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- There are many ways to quit smoking: 1) abrupt cessation, 2) behavior therapy, 3) cessation drugs, and 4) acupuncture.
Do you smoke? If you do, you risk persistent cough, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, and lung cancer, which is the most dangerous. Besides, people will not stay close to you for smoke smell. Are these reasons enough to make you quit smoking?
Why do people smoke? Many may cite numerous reasons to have cigarettes as their buddies. The reasons include tension, bad temper, lack of creativity, and need for good-looking, society and relaxation. These reasons block smokers from considering the final destination that cigarettes will lead them to. In fact, everyone knows that cigarettes are harmful to smokers and people nearby. Yet, many people are addicted to smoking and rarely want to quit it. Smoking has become their habit and they believe that smoking relieves tension. They welcome nicotine, an addictive substance in cigarettes.
Doctor Pratan Vathesatogkit, a pulmonologist at the Pulmonary (Lung) Center of Bumrungrad International Hospital, says smokers take nicotine into their blood and it takes only six seconds to reach the brain. This is the reason why smokers relieve their tension at once. In fact, the effect is short-lived. When the level of nicotine drops, good temper and relaxation subside. Consequently smokers endlessly need cigarettes to maintain their comfort and this results in addiction.
The National Statistical Office found from its 2014 survey on the smoking habits of Thai people that of 54.8 million people who were 15 years old and over, as many as 11.4 million or 20.7% smoked. Ten million people were regular smokers and 1.4 million people were light ones. It is estimated that a quarter of the smokers will die of smoking-related diseases in 10-20 years because cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals. Of them, over 250 are toxins and more than 50 are carcinogens. Consequently as many as 42,000-52,000 Thai people die of smoking-related diseases annually. Common diseases among them are lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and emphysema. Is this information scary?
If you want to avoid risks regarding the future outcomes of smoking, you can do so simply by quitting smoking and taking good care of yourself. There are many ways to quit smoking as follows.
- Quit smoking immediately – This sounds to be the easiest way but statistics show that 90% of the people who try to simply quit smoking by themselves fail because they normally suffer nicotine withdrawal and will have to resume smoking just within a week.
- Behaviour therapy – It is to change a habit and avoid any emotion that will create smoking desire. Smokers are motivated to quit smoking and supervised by doctors and nurses.
- Smoking cessation drugs – There are two categories of such drugs. One involves the drugs that contain low levels of nicotine substitutes. The drugs are available in the forms of nicotine chewing gums and nicotine patches. The other category refers to nicotine lozenges that relieve the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
- Acupuncture – The treatment method reduces smoking desire and relieves anxiety.
Apart from the above-mentioned tips, smokers, especially long-term ones, should also undergo screening tests for smoking-related illnesses. Such screenings allow smokers to receive early treatment if they are developing dangerous diseases like cardiovascular disease, emphysema and lung cancer.
Those who quit smoking eliminate risks of diseases and improve their health. Heart rates and blood pressures will return to normal, ending hypertension. Senses of smell and taste will be restored. It will be easier to breathe because burdens on tracheas are lifted. Blood circulation will also improve. More exercises will be possible and coughs will be less frequent. Let’s quit smoking because it is easy to do so and is highly beneficial.
Source: Doctor Pratan Vathesatogkit, a pulmonologist at the Pulmonary (Lung) Center of Bumrungrad International Hospital