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Nicotine is named after J. Nicot, 16th century French diplomat who introduced tobacco in France. 

Nicotine is a toxic alkaloid found in tobacco leaves, who scientific name is NICOTIANA TABACUM.

“Smoking is dangerous to your health,” as the warning goes, but still one cant just kick the habit of smoking.  Perhaps, knowing further the health hazards to both smokers and non-smokers will help one make a resolve. 

Smoking is the chief avoidable cause of death in our society.  Smokers are more likely to contract heart disease than non-smokers- some 17000 die each year from smoking-related Coronary heart disease; lung, larynx, esophageal, bladder, pancreatic and kidney cancers take their toll on smokers at a rapid rates.    Some 30% of cancer deaths (130,000 per year) are linked to smoking (NIDA statistics).

COLD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis are 10 times more likely among smokers than non-smokers.

Smoking pregnant woman/mother face the risks of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth, low birth weights and fetal and infant deaths are most likely to occur.

Cigarette smoke contains some 4000 chemicals, several of which are known carcinogens which activates cancer cells in the body.  Other toxins and irritants found in smoke can produce eye, nose and throat(EENT) irritations.  Carbon monoxide, another component of cigarette smoke, combines with hemoglobin in the blood stream to form carboxy-hemoglobin,a substance that interferes with the body’s ability to obtain and use oxygen.

Noted as the the most dangerous substance in tobacco smoke is NICOTINE.  Although it is implicated at the onset of heart attacks and cancer, its most dangerous role is reinforcing and strengthening the desire to smoke.  Because nicotine is highly addictive, addicts find it very difficult to stop smoking; of 1000 typical smokers, fewer than 20% succeed in stopping in the first try.  Although the harmful effects of smoking cannot be questioned, people who quit can make significant studies in repairing damage done by the smoking habit.  For pack-a-day smokers, the increased risk of heart attacks dissipates after 10 years, as the likelihood of contracting lung cancer as a result of smoking can also be greatly reduced by quitting.   

Smoking in homes and confined areas will likewise have a doubly hazardous effect on the members of household and people around as they breathe the same dangerous chemicals that smokers do.  Children of parents who smoke get nearly twice as many colds and sore throats as the children of parents who are non-smokers and most likely, they, too, become smokers themselves, beginning in their early teens.  (to be continued…)

By DMII Tetuan Circle –Morality in Media

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