World No Tobacco Day – Exhale the Past, Inhale the Future
How often have you heard this cliché? Probably enough to roll your eyes as you dismiss another tired one-liner on smoking. But what if this were true?
At this rate your life could go up in smoke
Smoking has devastating effects on an individual and his family. Some of these statistics should make you sit up and take notice:
- Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.
- In addition to cancers, smoking is also a major risk factor in chronic bronchitis, heart disease and stroke
- It also triggers other disorders such as slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease.
- Globally, tobacco-related deaths from cancers, heart disease, lung diseases and stroke, among others, is expected to increase to over 8 million annually by 2030, 1.5 million (18.75% of total deaths) of them in India.
Source : hindustantimes.com
But there is still hope
For one hooked on to smoking there is promise of better days ahead, so long as he is willing to kick the habit.
When planning for life, it’s good to consider the early benefits of non-smoking. They start rolling in within the first 20 minutes of quitting, as blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal.
- Within 8 hours your blood oxygen levels increase to normal level
- Within 24 hours your risk of sudden heart attack drops
- Within 48 hours your sense of smell and taste return to normal
- Within 2 weeks to 3 months your blood circulation improves, your lungs work better, wounds heal more quickly
- Within 1 to 9 months your energy levels rise and there is lower incidence of smoking related problems such as coughing, nasal congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath
- Within a year your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of someone still on tobacco
- Within 5 years your risk of mouth, throat and bladder cancers are cut by half
- Within 10 years your risk of death from lung cancer is about half that of a person still on tobacco
Other benefits of quitting smoking include:
- Lower sexual problems in males
- Fewer pregnancy and birth related problems in women
- Healthier teeth, gums and skin
Infants and children of non-smokers will have:
- Asthma that is easier to control
- Fewer colds, ear infections, and pneumonia
- Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Non-smokers have it better
There are some other areas where non-smokers have an edge over their smoking peers, like life insurance for instance.
Many life insurance companies offer discounted premiums on their term insurance plans to certain categories like non-smokers. Put simply, online term plans which anyway enjoy lower premiums are offered at even lower rates to non-smokers.
Also, healthy individuals, as defined by life insurers, can avail of the term insurance plan without time-consuming medical tests. No Tobacco Day is not just another marketing and publicity gimmick. It’s an opportunity to living happy. It’s an important reminder about everything that is wrong with tobacco and everything that can go right if one chooses to quit. It’s an opportunity to abandon the past and reset the future.