Stop Smoking for Good
August 27, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Stop Smoking for Good

اردو میں پڑھیں 

What makes cigarettes so toxic?

There are more than 5000 chemicals found in cigarettes, and many of them are harmful to human health. A few of the examples are:

Tar—tar is not a single chemical; instead, it describes several chemicals present in tobacco smoke, including cancer-causing substances (carcinogens). It leaves a sticky brown residue on teeth, fingernails, and lung tissues.

Arsenic—it is one of the compounds which has been linked to cancer of the lungs, skin, liver, and bladder.

Benzene—it is also a cancer-causing chemical. It can cause leukemia in humans.

Chromium VI—it can cause cancer of the lungs, nose, and nasal sinuses.

Cadmium—it is a metal used to make batteries. It can cause cancer of the lungs, kidney, and prostate glands.

Formaldehyde—it leads to cancer in respiratory tissues.

What is passive smoking?

Passive smoking is used to refer to the inhalation of smoke from the environment, through breathing in other people's tobacco smoke. Smoke exhaled by a smoker and smoke drifting from a lit cigarette is called second-hand smoke. This can prove to be very hazardous for nonsmokers, especially children. It contributes to thousands of premature heart diseases and lung diseases. Children who get exposed to passive smoke are more prone to respiratory infections.

The effects of smoking on our body

Smoking can result in a variety of complications in the body. Some of the overall effects of smoking are listed below:

Heart disease 

Both people who smoke or are exposed to passive smoke are at higher risk for heart attacks.

Anxiety and irritability

You might find yourself a bit on the edge if you missed your routine cigarette break.

Early menopause

Female smokers enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers.

Persistent coughing

The capacity of the lungs is reduced due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus production, leading to persistent coughing.

Tightening of blood vessels

Constriction of the blood vessels results in a reduction of the blood flow, leading to raised blood pressure and heart rate.

Reduced immunity

Smokers tend to have more respiratory tract infections, and lower levels of protective antioxidants are found in the blood.


Both men and women who smoke face fertility issues. Men face lower or defective sperm production. In females, menstrual cycle irregularities and menopause are seen.


Cigarette smoke can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, nose, tongue, nasal sinuses, throat, kidney, ovary, ureter, liver, bladder, and stomach.

Other effects include:

Reduced ability to smell and taste

Wrinkling of the skin

Poor vision

Loss of appetite

Stained fingernails and fingers

Unhealthy teeth and gum diseases

Increased blood clotting 

Can you quit smoking?

Some people successfully quit smoking by going cold turkey (abrupt cessation of a substance), while others do better with a tailored plan. A good quit plan should address your specific needs and smoking habits. Start your stop smoking plan with START:

S = Set a quit date

Choose a date from the next two weeks when you plan to quit. Use this time to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke gradually. Make a pledge in front of people who will support and encourage you to quit smoking.

T = Tell your friends and family about your plan

Tell your friends that you need their support and encouragement to quit. If you have a friend who's willing to quit too, do it together!

A = Anticipate the challenges you'll face

Withdrawal symptoms are a challenge. You should be prepared for cravings and slips and know tips for coping with them.

R = Remove cigarettes from home and work

Throw away all your cigarettes, lighters, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up everything that smells like smoke.

T = Talk to your doctor

Your doctor can prescribe some medicines to help you with withdrawal symptoms.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.