World No Tobacco Day 2021: Lung cancer and other dangers of smoking and tips to quit it

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Updated: May 31, 2021 12:16 PM

World No Tobacco Day 2021, How to Quit Smoking and Tobacco Products: People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.

World No Tobacco Day 2021, Tips to Quit SmokingIt is important that smokers take a resolve to quit smoking as soon as possible and no better day to do so than the world anti-tobacco day.

World No Tobacco Day – Smoking and Lung Cancer, How to Quit Smoking: Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It is responsible for 13% of all new cancer cases and 19% of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The most significant risk factor for lung cancer is cigarette smoking. Lung cancer is also increased by using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes. Tobacco smoke contains about 7,000 compounds, many of which are toxins.

People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Lung cancer is increased even if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day or only smoke occasionally. The greater the danger, the longer a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked per day.

Important Risk Factors are:

  • Air pollution (Coal burning, burning of wood and other solid fuels)
  • Tobacco Smoking /Second hand Smoke (20-50 times higher risk as compared to non-smokers)
  • Medical Condition (Tuberculosis and COPD increases the risk of lung cancer)
  • Family History (Higher risk with positive family history)
  • Occupational Exposure (Inhalation of asbestos, silica, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and diesel exhaust).

According to Dr. Adithya Murali, MD DM, Consultant Medical Oncologist at ASTER CMI Hospital, Bangalore, tobacco causes 8 million deaths every year. “Studies conducted this year show that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers. The virus primarily attacks the lungs and smoking weakens the lungs, thereby making it difficult to fight COVID and other diseases. Smoking is also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes which put such people at a greater risk of COVID.”

Dr. Vijith Shetty MD DM, Consultant Medical Oncologist, K.S.Hegde Hospital Mangalore, said “Tobacco consumption is often perceived as safer than cigarettes or smoked tobacco products. However, chewing tobacco is a risk factor for the development of oral cancers and precancers (abnormal cells which have undergone some changes and can become cancerous). Chewing tobacco also puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease, gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.”

“Smoking can cause cancer in any area of the body, including the larynx, ureter, bladder, cervix, oesophagus, liver, lung, pancreas, stomach, colon or rectum, throat, tongue, and tonsils, among other places. Smoking also raises your chances of getting cancer and other diseases,” Dr. Srinivas B.J MD DNB, Medical Oncologist , HCG Hospital Bangalore, said.

It is important that smokers take a resolve to quit smoking as soon as possible and no better day to do so than the world anti-tobacco day. Here are some tips if you have finally decided to quit smoking:

  • Prepare yourself: You need to prepare yourself in advance. Remove all triggers and things that remind you of smoking. Throw away all the leftover cigarette packs and ashtrays, and any other thing which may trigger an urge to smoke. If your partner also smokes, it is better that you both leave it altogether or else quitting smoking will be very difficult for you.
  • Change your schedule: Mix-up things in your life. Disrupt your urge to smoke. If you smoke while doing a particular work then avoid doing it for a few days or do it differently. For example, if you have a habit of sipping tea and smoking in a particular area of your house, you need to modify this habit. Experts suggest that one can also try some deep breathing exercises to curb the urges.
  • Exercising: Morning exercising gives you energy for the rest of the day. It also helps fight your urge to smoke. Go outside for a walk, or exercise at home. Boost your energy levels and fight smoking.
  • Reward yourself: Gift yourself a treat or some reward for staying smoke-free. According to experts this makes quitting smoking a bit easy. Resisting your temptation to smoke is a tough task and overcoming it must be rewarded. If you made it through a couple of hours in the beginning and then a few days, give yourself a reward, treat yourself with a movie or buy something you like.

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