Did you know that tobacco use kills nearly 6 million people worldwide each year? Tobacco is the second leading cause of disease and death, with more than 5 million deaths occurring due to direct tobacco use and more than 600,000 due to exposure from second-hand smoking. Despite being a preventable cause, this man-made epidemic only continues to grow. India being the second largest consumer of tobacco globally, accounts for approximately one-sixth of the world’s tobacco-related deaths. On this ‘World No Tobacco Day’, we wish to guide our readers, smokers and non-smokers, about tobacco’s harmful effects.
Tobacco consumption is of two types- smoked tobacco and smokeless tobacco. It is the nicotine present in tobacco that affects our body in two ways:
- Every single puff from a cigarette or chewing tobacco hits like dose of nicotine, which enters the bloodstream.
This stimulates adrenal gland to release epinephrine,
This further act on the central nervous system to increase blood pressure, respiration and heart rate
- Nicotine increases levels of neurotransmitter dopamine
This affects brain pathways that control reward & pleasure.
Additional compounds increase dependence
Tobacco consumption have adverse effects that can lead to serious ailments and eventual early death.
The government and various NGOs are taking major steps to curb tobacco consumption. Though the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has taken various initiatives to spread awareness against tobacco’s harmful effects , a large number of young population still remains vulnerable and are constantly persuaded to take up tobacco till it becomes an addiction . Consumed in any form, tobacco gives results within seconds. It puts the consumer at ease and pleasure, which lasts for 25-30 minutes and hence becoming highly addictive. One must lookout for following situations that often make people that the wrong decision of taking up the habit.
How to treat tobacco addiction?
Tobacco addiction is considered as a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit. Following are the methods used to treat tobacco addiction:
- Nicotine replacement therapy :
- Nicotine chewing gums
- Nicotine transdermal patch
- Nasal spray
- A controlled dose of nicotine is given to the patient to avoid withdrawal syndromes (irritability , attention difficulties , sleep disturbances ,increased appetite , powerful cravings for tobacco)
- Drugs like bupropion and varenicline are non-nicotine medications that are used for smoking cessation.
- Behavioral intervention (counseling)
Often behavioural intervention and medications go side by side since together they give more effective results . Further researches are going in developing new smoking cessation therapies, like a nicotine vaccine.
We, the team Dentition, have our own IDA (Indian Dental Association) affiliated “Tobacco Intervention Initiative Centre”. In this feature, we not only provide oral care, but also counseling and treatment for tobacco consumption. Success of this treatment depends a lot on patient’s motivation and his/her family support.
It is never too late to quit a habit
Or help a loved one quit.
“HABIT IS HABIT AND NOT TO BE FLUNG OUT OF THE
WINDOW BY ANY MAN, BUT COAXED DOWNSTAIRS
A STEP AT A TIME “– MARK TWAIN