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Smoking and Health

             Smoking is an addictive menace posing not only a health hazard for the smoker but also to people surrounding the smoker. People who breathe other people smoke are termed as passive smokers.
             The 1998 report of the United States Surgeon General subtitled "Nicotine addiction" concludes, "The pharmacological and behavior processes that determine tobacco addition are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroine and cocaine".
             An estimated one third of the global adult population or 1.1 billion people are smokers, by the year 2025 this number will increase to over 1.64 billion. Reason being;.
             • The world population will rise from current 6 billion to 8.5 billion.
             • People will live longer by not dying from childhood illnesses.
             • More women will become smokers.
             In developing countries, an estimated 48% of men and 7% of women smoke, while in industrialized countries 42% men and 24% women smoke.
             WHAT'S IN THE SMOKE?.
             The United States Environmental Protection Agency 1992 clause EPA/600/6-90/006F states that tobacco smoke contains over 4000 chemicals in the form of particles and gases. Many potentially toxic gases are present in higher concentrations in sidestream smoke than in mainstream smoke and nearly 85% smoke in a room results from sidestream smoke (Seidman, DS et al. European J Obstet & Gynec and Repro DUC Biol 1991; 41: 105-116). The particulate phase include tar, nicotine, benzene and benzo (a) pyrene. The gas phase includes carbon monoxide, ammonia, dimethylnitrosamine, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and acrolein. Some of these have marked irritant properties and some 60 are known or suspected carcinogens (cancer causing substances), The United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified tobacco smoke as class A, known human carcinogen along with asbestos, arsenic, benzene and radon gas.
             Passive smoking can cause symptoms such as eye irritation, headache, cough , sore throat, dizziness and nausea and produces small but measurable changes in the air passages in the lungs of otherwise healthy individuals.

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