Various factors have been identified that are known to cause the changes in cell DNA. These include lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical inactivity; certain types of infections; environmental exposures to different types of chemicals and radiation and genetic factors.
Tobacco use: Tobacco use in any form is very harmful. On a lighter note, one has the freedom to choose the type of cancer he or she wants. If one preffers lung cancer, smoking is the best option, if oral and throat cancer is needed one can chew tobacco regularly. Pipes, Cigars, beedis, shisha, Hans, shanku etc are all different models of vehicles waiting to pull you on a dangerous journey, away from life.
Smoking: Smoking is the most important preventable cause of cancer in the world. Giving up smoking completely is the best thing you can do for your health.
How does smoking cigarettes causes cancer? :
Tobacco smoke contains as many as 400 different chemicals that damage your cells’ DNA. these chemicals interfear with bodys normal immune and prevent to functions.
The Poisonous in products of tobacco damages lung and urinary bladder and causes
Cell changes leading to Cancer. This is why smoking causes so many diseases, including at least 14 types of cancer, heart disease and various lung diseases.
The main way that smoking causes cancer is by damaging our DNA, including key genes that protect us against cancer. Many of the chemicals found in cigarettes have been shown to cause DNA damage, including benzene, polonium-210, benzo (a) pyrene and nitrosamines.
This is already bad news, but it’s made worse by other chemicals in cigarettes. For example chromium makes poisons like benzo (a) pyrene stick more strongly to DNA, increasing the chances of serious damage. And chemicals like arsenic and nickel interfere with pathways for repairing damaged DNA. This makes it even more likely that damaged cells will eventually turn cancerous.
How does smoking weaken the body’s defences?
Smokers are also less able to handle toxic chemicals than those with healthy lungs and blood.
We all have special cleaner proteins called ‘detoxification enzymes’ that mop up harmful chemicals and convert them into harmless ones. But the chemicals in smoke, such as cadmium, can overwhelm these cleaners.
Other chemicals like formaldehyde and acrolein kill cilia, the small hairs that clean toxins from your airways.
Cigarette smoke also impacts the immune system – increasing cells which can encourage tumour growth in the lungs and suppressing the ones which kill cancer cells.
How long does it take for smoking to cause cancer?
It usually takes many years, or decades, for the DNA damage from smoking to cause cancer. Our bodies are designed to deal with a bit of damage but it’s hard for the body to cope with the number of harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.
Each cigarette can damage DNA in many lung cells, but it is the build-up of damage in the same cell that can lead to cancer. However research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked there is a DNA change which could cause a cell to become cancerous. This is why it’s better to give up smoking sooner rather than later.
Hence, one should not take pride in smoking for several years just because he is currently not the victim of his habit.
Why is smoking so addictive?
Smoking is very addictive because tobacco contains a powerful drug called nicotine. Cigarettes are deliberately designed to give you a fast nicotine hit. It takes less than 20 seconds for the drug to reach your brain from inhaled cigarette smoke.
Nicotine causes addiction in much the same way as heroin or cocaine. It is just as addictive as these ‘harder’ drugs.
This is the reason why most smokers say they want to quit but find it so difficult. If you start smoking, you may find it very hard to stop later on.
Passive smoking :
Breathing in other people's smoke, also called second-hand smoke, can cause cancer. Passive smoking can increase a non-smoker's risk of getting lung cancer by a quarter, and may also increase the risk of cancers of the larynx (voice box) and pharynx (upper throat).
Second-hand smoke can cause other health problems too, including heart disease, stroke and breathing problems.
Does second-hand smoke contain dangerous chemicals?
There are 2 types of tobacco smoke:
- Mainstream smoke, which is directly inhaled through the mouth end of the cigarette.
- Sidestream smoke, which comes from the burning tip of the cigarette.
Second-hand smoke is made up of side stream smoke and exhaled mainstream smoke, mixed with the surrounding air.
Sidestream smoke is about 4 times more toxic than mainstream smoke, although people inhale it in a more diluted form. This is because side stream smoke contains much higher levels of many of the poisons and cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes, including:
- At least 3 times as much carbon monoxide
- 10-30 times more nitrosamines
- Between 15–300 times more ammonia
How does second-hand smoke affect children?
Second-hand smoke is particularly dangerous for children. Children exposed to passive smoke are at higher risk of respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death.
Smoke can spread throughout the home, even if you open the windows. Almost 85% of tobacco smoke is invisible and smoke particles might also build up on surfaces and clothes, although the impact of this is not yet clear. If you are a smoker, smoking outside can help reduce your child’s exposure.
Is smoking in cars bad for passengers’ health?
Second-hand smoke can reach very high levels inside cars because it is a small enclosed space.
During your journey, children in the backseat will be exposed to average smoke levels around three times the recommended air pollution standard. But the level varies depending on how much you smoke, if you have all the windows fully open or air con on. Peak levels can reach as much as 35 times this recommended level.
The best way for smokers to reduce their risk of cancer is to give up smoking completely. It takes time to see the benefit but giving up smoking saves lives.
If you are a smoker, giving up smoking is the best gift you can give yourself, your friends and family. Quitting greatly reduces the risk of smoking-related cancers, as well as other diseases such as heart and lung disease, compared to continuing to smoke. The earlier you give up, the better. But equally it is never too late to gain valuable years of life by giving up smoking.
Share your story on how you quit smoking! Let the smoking friends get help and inspired to quit smoking with your true story. Mail your success story on “How I won over the evil tobacco” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Take aways:
- Tobacco is the single biggest cause of cancer
- Many types of cancer are caused by smoking
- Lung cancer risk increases dramatically among smokers
- Even light or occasional smoking damages health
- Quitting smoking can reduce cancer risk
- Cutting down is a good start, but the big benefits come from quitting
- Tobacco smoke contains many dangerous chemicals
- Chemicals in smoke damage the body in many ways
- Nicotine is a highly addictive drug
- Filtered or ‘low-tar’ cigarettes also cause cancer
- Alcohol worsens the effect of smoking
- Passive smoking causes cancer
- Pipes, cigars, bidis and shisha also cause cancer
- Smokeless tobacco can cause cancer
- E-cigarettes have not yet been proven to support smoking cessation