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Smoking 29 - 08 - 2002

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Smoking Good day, Today’s subject is on smoking. Yes, I know, most of us have given it up already. In that case just skip this letter. If on the other hand, this letter helps just one person give up the habit, then it was worth it... A quotation by George Bernard Shaw goes like this: "A SMALL FIRE at ONE END and - a BIG FOOL at the OTHER" This is an apt quotation for those who are slaves to smoking, for there is not a single thing about smoking in itself that is attractive, and many smokers actually dislike tobacco. The man or women who takes it up for one or the other reason, mainly psychological, soon acquires a mental habit which, in time, become a purely physical addiction. To say that the body craves the tobacco in any form is a gross insult to the inherent intelligence of the body cells. The body repels and abhors tobacco, as it does all poisons. The first puff of a cigarette by a non-smoker shows how alert the body is in its defence capacity. An all-out defensive action is started at the first contact of these poisons with the living organism and continues throughout the life of the smoker. With each succeeding smoke, the defensive action of the living cell gets less and less until all vital activity of the cells concerned is reduced, and the organism is prostrated with exhaustion in deep stupor. The so-called "tolerance" of the smoker to his particular brand, like the pet sedative of the drug addict is but a mask hiding the true state of the living organism - complete enervation and exhaustion. Some of the 19 poisons ( cigarette smoke contains more than 3000 chemical substances ) in tobacco are the deadliest in their toxic effect, for example: CARBON MONOXIDE- prevents oxidation of the blood. NICOTINE- half a drop is fatal ( the quantity of nicotine in most tobacco ranges from 2 to 7 %, it is more abundant in cheaper and domestic varieties ). FORMIC ALDERYDE- a strong irritant. CARBOLIC ACID- burns your throat. FURFURAL- responsible for "short windedness" and tremors. ACROLEIN- degenerates the brain cells. SALT PETRE in the paper keeps the "fag burning" 1 cigarette causes a rise of 10 - 15 points in your blood pressure, i.e., increasing the work of your heart by 10%. The blood vessels going to the heart are constricted and this is what increases the blood pressure. The presence of nicotine in the blood also results in an increase of serum fatty acids and creates the tendency for blood platelets to stick together. Nicotine also inhibits pancreatic bicarbonate secretion, resulting in a more acid condition in the body. This situation produces adverse systemic consequences. Tar contains small quantities of carcinogenic substances. They are believed to be one of the major factors that lead to lung cancer and other types of cancer amongst smokers. Smoke particles are as small as 1/70.000 inch. A smoker exhales most of the particles, but as many as 25% of them may be trapped on the lining of the lungs. Cells in the lining later absorb the particles. This absorption may cause the cells to function improperly and damage the lining of the lung. The particles can also cause excessive scar tissue within the walls of the lungs. Smoke particles probably help cause progressive destruction of the walls of the air sacs in the lungs of long-term smokers. These irritants cause immediate coughing and bronchial constriction after smoke inhalation. Here are a few facts: Studies have shown that men who smoke more than one pack per day are about 20 x more at risk of developing lung cancer than a non-smoker. A person who stops smoking has a decreased risk of developing lung cancer compared to the continuing smoker, but the risk remains greater than the non-smoker for as long as 10 to 15 years after the person stops smoking. Pipe and cigar smokers experience mortality rates from cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx and esophagus approximately equal to those of cigarette smokers. The risk of developing cancer of the lung is lower than the risk of cigarette smokers, but is significantly above that of non-smokers. Chronic bronchitis and emphysemas death are also about 20x more frequent in people who smoke heavily. Cigarette smoke accelerate arteriosclerosis and may double the risk of myocardial infarction ( heart attack ). Peptic ulceration occurs more frequently and has a higher mortality rate in cigarette smokers than in non-smokers. The rate of healing is also slower. Sitting next to a smoker, a non-smoker can be exposed to carbon monoxide levels more than twice as high as the maximum set for industry exposure. The unpleasant conclusion is: Every cigarette smoked is a tiny drop of old age creeping on you unnoticed. So there you have it all. Health is there for you too. So light your match and burn the cigarette at both ends. Then the fire burns and the fool with it too. The wise one stands back and smiles. Until next week, take care, The Crazy Nut Team

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