Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Teenage smokers at greater risk of developing lung cancer or heart disease
This World No Tobacco Day, Global Hospital Mumbai pledges to curb teenage smoking
Mumbai: May 31, 2016: Younger the age at which people start smoking, greater the certainty that they will end up with one of several life threatening diseases. Early smoking is associated with subsequent heavier smoking, higher levels of dependency, a lower chance of quitting, and an overall higher rate of mortality. Adolescent smoking causes serious risks to respiratory health, both in the short and long term. Youngsters who smoke are two to six times more susceptible to cough and increased phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath than those who do not. Moreover, smoking impairs lung growth and initiates premature lung function decline which may lead to an increased risk of chronic obstructive lung disease later in life.
Dr. Dr. Praveen Kulkarni, Cardiologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai, says “Cigarette smoking during adolescence and young adulthood begins the damaging processes that leads to cardiovascular disease. Damage to the circulatory system becomes evident in young smokers, and may become clinically significant in early adulthood.”
Many teenagers and adults underestimate the effects of smoking, and do not believe it will have any effect on their bodies until they reach middle age. Smoking-caused lung cancer, other cancers, heart disease, and stroke typically do not occur until years after a person's first cigarette. The truth, however, is that smoking has numerous immediate health effects on the brain and on the respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, immune and metabolic system. While these immediate effects do not all produce noticeable symptoms, most begin to damage the body with the first cigarette itself – sometimes irreversibly – and rapidly go on to produce serious medical conditions and health consequences.
Children are also more susceptible to the effects of passive smoking. Parental smoking is the main determinant of exposure in non-smoking children. Bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) are significantly more common in infants and children who have one or two smoking parents. Parental smoking has also shown to increase a child’s risk of resorting to smoking.
Dr. Dr. Samir Garde, Pulmonologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai, shares, “I have personally seen many cases where children have picked up smoking under the influence of smoker parents. I have been urging them to quit so that their young children are not exposed to this habit early on, especially at home. Habit of smoking is also picked up by adolescent and teenage girls which if continued in their early thirties; leads to herd of problems like - infertility (inability to conceive), intrauterine fetal deaths, premature deliveries and giving birth to asthmatic child! In short; tobacco smoking not only affects the individual but also destroys health of entire forthcoming generation! The incidence of smoking has shown a decline of 15% in the youngsters in The United States over the last one year. Since us Indians like to follow the westerners in many walks of life; giving up on smoking would be one most important area to follow their suit.”
Every day 80,000 to 100,000 young people around the world become addicted to tobacco. Secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide each year, including 165,000 children. If current trends are to continue, 250 million children and young people will die from tobacco-related diseases. This World No Tobacco Day calls for urgent attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to its negative health effects. Quit today to prevent a host of medical conditions at a later stage in life.