Release date: 9/13/2010 Smoking Cigarette smoke contains about 1x10 to the power of 17 of oxidants/free radicals and 4700 chemical compounds. Smoke particles are irritating, toxic, genotoxic, mutagens, carcinogenic, psychoactive and teratogenic and they affect the central and autonomous nervous system, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary, genital, immune, basically every system in the organism. Every day, 11000 people dies of smoking related causes, which equals the number of deaths which would come from 27 plane crashes, each with 450 passengers. World Health Organization declared May 31st World anti-smoking day. A proof of tobacco harmfulness is the fact that, in some cases, processed tobacco is used as a disinfectant for mosquito repulsion, anti-malaria chemical and pest control in agronomy. Some of the harmful compounds found in cigarette smoke are: Tar – contains about 50 carcinogenic compounds which cause malign cell transformation. Tar irritates the respiratory tract, contracts them, increases mucous secretion and disrupts lung function. A person, who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day for a year, accumulates one liter of tar in their lungs. Nicotine – is one of the most potent poisons and also the addictive agent in cigarettes. It affects the brain, speed up the heart rhythm, contracts blood vessels and increases blood pressure, causes cardiovascular diseases and increases cholesterol levels. In small amounts it stimulates, and in large amounts, it inhibits neural impulses. In the central nervous system, after the initial excitation (respiratory center, vasomotor center, center for vomiting) with the increase of the dosage follow tremors, convulsions and finally, paralysis and death. Carbon monoxide – reduces oxygen levels in the body. It connects to hemoglobin 200 times faster than oxygen. In smokers, 10 to 15% of hemoglobin may be connected to carbon monoxide which significantly reduces oxygen distribution through the body and is particularly harmful to heart patients, angina pectoris. Carbon monoxide increases blood vessels permeability to cholesterol and causes atheroma which additionally harms the heart and blood vessels. In cases of pregnant women who smoke, carbon monoxide reduces oxygen supply to the fetus, which carries a risk for the fetus development. That is why those children are usually born of low birth weight, and sudden death of infants is more frequent with smoker mothers. Ammonia – is a chemical composition which gives aroma to the cigarettes, and for which the manufacturers claim to be harmless. There is, however, evidence that it is being use to create addiction to that one cigarette brand they are trying to sell. Lead – lead poisoning may cause development arrest, increase or decrease of body mass and brain damage. People are aware of lead presence in gasoline; however, they seem to be unaware that lead is present in tobacco as well. Phosphor – is found in many household supplies and is also one of the main ingredients of rodent poison. In the form of phosphoric acid, phosphor is also present in cigarettes. As we already mentioned, cigarette smoke affects the entire organism. It damages the mouth cavity mucous membranes and causes the smokers breath. By changing the pH value of the mouth cavity, deposits appear, yellow teeth, and after sever year, periodontitis and tooth loss occurs. It causes stomach membrane inflammation, stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer. Tobacco has a negative effect on intestines; it initially opens them, and ultimately, causes intestinal laziness. It forces the heart to beat faster, increases blood pressure, and contracts blood vessels by producing plaque. It also causes painful menstrual discomforts, infertility, conception complications, ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy complications, increased uterine cancer risk, reduces estrogen levels which speeds up the menopause and increases the risk of human papilloma virus infection. It reduces the sperm count, and causes impotency by reducing blood flow to the genitals. Smoking ages the skin prematurely and weakens the immune system which leads to hair loss and bone density loss. Persons who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day are twice as likely to develop cataract, impaired hearing or complete hearing loss, 16 years before non-smokers. Tobacco smoke contains irritants which cause increased mucous excretion, ciliary epithelium function damage and bronchial contractions and the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (KOPB). Smoking is also a predisposing factor for respiratory infections and exacerbations of asthma. Research shows that smoking shortens the life expectancy by seven to eight years (8 minutes for each cigarette). It causes more deaths than AIDS, TBC, traffic accidents, homicides and suicides combined. In order to quit smoking, a plan is necessary, as well as, will, determination and persistence. There are various products which can help maintain certain nicotine levels in blood and relieve abstinence symptoms. Chewing gum – contains nicotine which is released through chewing and is absorbed into the bloodstream through mouth membranes. The products on the market contain 2mg or 4mg nicotine. The product strength is chosen based on the number of cigarettes smoked daily. At the beginning of the treatment, one chewing gum can be taken every hour. In most cases, 8 to 12 chewing gums a day is enough. Over time, the daily needed amount of nicotine reduces. The treatment should last at least 3 months. Nicotine nose spray, inhaler or nicotine containing pastilles Transdermal patches – contain nicotine which is slowly and continually released and absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin. The patch is applied to healthy, clean and dry skin in the morning, and removed at night before bed time. There are three types of patches available on the market, depending on their strength and nicotine quantities released during the day. The therapy lasts between 8 weeks and a maximum of 3 months. Non-nicotine product, varenicline – reduces the desire for smoking, relieves abstinence symptoms, and removes the pleasant sensation while smoking. The combination of this medicine with nicotine containing products is not recommended due to increased risk of side effects. Herbal medicine and dietary supplements – are used in abstinence symptoms relief, and in accelerated organism regeneration after quitting smoking. Herbal tobacco – is a substitute for the classic cigarette. It contains four herbs: coltsfoot, peppermint, wild strawberry and woodruff. It doesn’t contain tobacco and nicotine, it isn’t addictive and it isn’t harmful. There is a wide choice of aromas. Anti-depressant therapy, bupropion – it reduces the desire for smoking. It is intended for adults. It is not suitable for epileptics, liver cirrhosis patients, stroke patients, pregnant and breastfeeding women. The decision to quit smoking is already a large step forward. With the support of family, friends, our expert advice, you can quit being addicted and turn to better and healthier life habits. Do not fall for the misconceptions that smoking soothes, ensures slimness, improves the mood and increases concentration because the fact is that smoking kills. It is necessary to constantly remind yourself that much more is gained that lost by quitting. In our pharmacies, you can learn about the most suitable therapy for you, as well as about all the counter indications. Feel the pleasure of being in control of you without the help of cigarettes and exit the cigarette smoke grayness!