21 October 2004

Cigarette Smoking – A very Serious Health Hazard

Cigarette Smoking – A very Serious Health Hazard
Dr.A.Sreekumar Menon
Psychologist & H.R.D Consultant

We pick up cigarette smoking habit unaware of it deleterious consequences to our health. We develop this habit due to physiological, psychical/psychological and social reasons. The physiological reason is that the nicotine contained in the cigarette stimulates our brain and the smoker feels well being. Or it appears to be a pleasurable experience, though short lived. Psychical reason is that it releases one from mental and emotional tension, For instance when a person is under the pressure of work, he develops tension experience of discomfort. When one gets conditioned to it, whenever one is under tension, immediately the tendency is to take to smoking. As the disabled person takes himself to crèches. In other words, it is due to inner weakness and lack of mental courage to face the objective situation which is stress inducing. Same psychodynamic mechanism works in the case of those who are alcohol or drug dependent. When a person is able to remove stress by being one calm and composed by practicing Relaxation techniques, Meditation etc will be able to stop smoking. A smoker being a smoker fulfils his need to be independent, though it is unhealthy way of satisfying this human need. During adolescence, the person is rebellious of the authority and crave for being independent. By smoking he proclaims to the world that he has overgrown dependency of his childhood and become independent as adult. Social factors are imitation of peers, to give them company etc. A person may pick up the habit when he is in the circle of his friends. In Indian culture, smoking symbolizes manliness. Or masculinity smoking is not a part of feminine culture in India as in other countries. Women generally do not smoke.

In addition to those factors outlined above, the youths do not know precisely about the possible health hazards of smoking. They are not exposed to health education in a convincing way. If the youth are taken to hospitals treating cancer and Lung diseases a. shown the X rays of patients, are told about the ill effect and if they are made to see the patients suffering, the message will be convincing to them and will deter them from smoking.

The ill effects of SmokingSmoking affects lungs, heart and other systems of the body and reduces life span. The diseases of the lungs are Asthma, or difficulty in breathing and oxygen shortage in the inhaled air with its attendant effect on the functioning of heart, direct effect on heart due to de-oxygenation of blood, leading to heart attack, deposition of plaques in the arterial walls causing high blood pressure and subsequent heart failure, It has been found that the burnt paper coating in the cigarette can give rise to carcinogens which can cause lung cancer for which no effective remedy is available now .. A high percent of patients with Lung Cancer has a long history of Tobacco use like cigarette smoking, Tobacco chewing etc.

In summary all steps should be taken to help the people not to take to smoking

The author can be contacted to this address
Residence No: 080 – 25341374
Mobile no: 9845770744
D-1, Malnad Mansion Maruthi NagarPost New ThippasandraBangalore – 560 075

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