Cigarette Smoking and Its Health Risks. Why do I need to know about the health risks of cigarette smoking? Cigarette smoking is the most preventable cause of illness and death. Cigarettes are filled with nicotine, which acts like a poison in your body. What are the health risks of cigarette smoking? You may have breathing problems that make it difficult for you to do daily activities or play sports. You have a higher risk of bone fractures because smoking can cause osteoporosis (brittle bones). If you fall asleep with a lit cigarette, you can start a fire.
Cigarette smoking can also cause the following health problems: Cancer: Smoking increases your risk of many kinds of cancer. The most common cancers are lung, lip, mouth, or throat cancer. Heart and blood vessel disease: The nicotine in tobacco causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure. Nicotine also causes your blood vessels to narrow. This can lead to blood clots in your heart or brain and caused a heart attack or stroke. Cigarette smoke has carbon monoxide in it. This can decrease the amount of oxygen flowing to your heart and other organs.
Lung disease: The chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage your lungs. This causes a buildup of dirt and waste products in your lungs. Many people who smoke have a long-term cough as a result. Cigarette smoking may also cause long-term lung infections or diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis. You are also at higher risk for respiratory illnesses, such as colds or pneumonia. Gastrointestinal disease: Cigarette smoking increases the amount of acid in your stomach. This can cause an ulcer or gastric reflux.
Women and smoking: You have a higher risk of heart and blood vessel disease if you smoke and take birth control pills. The risk is more serious is you are 35 years or older. You may have a harder time getting pregnant if you smoke. If you are pregnant and smoke, you have a higher risk of miscarriage or having a stillborn baby. Babies born to mothers who smoke often weigh less and are at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Why should I quit smoking? Your health will improve and your risks for many diseases will decrease. Your breath, clothes, and hair will no longer smell like smoke.
Tobacco will no longer stain your teeth. Tobacco smoke is dangerous to others. If you quit, you will decrease the risks to those around you, such as your children or family members. Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking Health Effects Fact Sheets Overview Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking causes many diseases and reduces the health of smokers in general. Smoking and Death Smoking causes death. • The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States. ,3 • More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined. 2,4 • Smoking causes an estimated 90% of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80% of all lung cancer deaths in women. 1 • An estimated 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung disease are caused by smoking. 1 Smoking and Increased Health Risks Compared with nonsmokers, smoking is estimated to increase the risk of • coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times, • stroke by 2 to 4 times, men developing lung cancer by 23 times, • Women developing lung cancer by 13 times, and dying from chronic obstructive lung diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema) by 12 to 13 times. Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease • Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. 1 • Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries) and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease (i. e. , obstruction of the large arteries in the arms and legs that can cause a range of problems from pain to tissue loss or gangrene). Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm (i. e. , a swelling or weakening of the main artery of the body—the aorta—where it runs through the abdomen). 1 Smoking and Respiratory Disease • Smoking causes lung cancer. • Smoking causes lung diseases (e. g. , emphysema, bronchitis, chronic airway obstruction) by damaging the airways and alveoli (i. e. , small air sacs) of the lungs. Smoking and Cancer Smoking causes the following cancers: • Acute myeloid leukemia • Bladder cancer • Cancer of the cervix • Cancer of the esophagus • Kidney cancer • Cancer of the larynx (voice box) • Lung cancer Cancer of the oral cavity (mouth) • Pancreatic cancer • Cancer of the pharynx (throat) • Stomach cancer Smoking and Other Health Effects Smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including increased risk for— • infertility, • preterm delivery, • stillbirth, • low birth weight, and • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). • Smoking is associated with the following adverse health effects: • Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked. • Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.
Smoking and Others (Passive Smoking)If you smoke, one good reason to give up smoking is to benefit those who live and work with you. If you cannot give up, you should make every effort to keep cigarette smoke away from other people. On this page • How does smoking affect other people? • Some statistics • How can I stop smoking? • Further help and information • References How does smoking affect other people? • Children and babies who live in a home where there is a smoker: o Are more prone to asthma, and ear, nose and chest infections. o Have an increased risk of dying from cot death (sudden infant death syndrome). Are more likely than average to become smokers themselves when older. o On average, do less well at reading and reasoning skills compared to children in smoke-free homes, even at low levels of smoke exposure. o Are at increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer as adults. • Passive smoking of adults. You have an increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease if you are exposed to other people smoking for long periods of time. For example, the risk of developing lung cancer is increased by about 20-30% in people who are regularly exposed to other people’s cigarette smoke.
Cigarette smoke is also an irritant, and can make asthma and other conditions worse. • Unborn babies. Smoking when you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. See separate leaflet called Pregnancy and Smoking for details. Some statistics the overall health impact of passive smoking is large. Although the health risks from passive smoking are small for the individual in comparison with the health risks from active smoking, the public health consequences of passive smoking are high due to the large numbers of people exposed.
For example, passive smoking by people living with smokers in the UK increases the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 50-60%. It is estimated to cause around 2,700 deaths per year in people aged 20-64, and a further 8,000 deaths per year among people aged 65 or older. It is estimated that children breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke resulted in 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital admissions in 2011 in the UK. Up to five million children are thought to be regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home. The results of a survey on children’s views on smoking ere published on the Department of Health’s website. The survey revealed that children want smoke-free lives. The survey found that: • 98% of children wish their parents would stop smoking. • 82% of children wish their parents wouldn’t smoke in front of them at home. • 78% of children wished their parents wouldn’t smoke in front of them in the car. • 41% of children said cigarette smoke made them feel ill. • 42% of children said cigarette smoke made them cough. How can I stop smoking? Compare About 2 in 3 smokers want to stop smoking. Some people can give up easily.
Willpower and determination are the most important aspects when giving up smoking. However, nicotine is a drug of addiction and many people find giving up a struggle. Help is available. GPs, practice nurses, or pharmacists can provide information, encouragement, and tips on stopping smoking. Also, throughout the country there are specialist NHS Stop Smoking Clinics which have a good success record in helping people to stop smoking. Your doctor may refer you to one if you are keen to stop smoking. Various medicines can increase your chance of quitting.
These include nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which comes as gums, sprays, patches, tablets, lozenges, and inhalers. You can buy NRT without a prescription. Also, medicines called bupropion (trade name Zyban®) and varenicline (trade name Champix®) can help. These are available on prescription. See separate leaflets called Nicotine Replacement Therapy, Bupropion (Zyban®) and Varenicline (Champix®). Costa Rica’s Anti-Smoking Law As Strange As Aliens. The newly passed anti-smoking law is as strange as aliens, because everyone knows about them but nobody takes the subject as an absolute truth.
Neither is too surprising, for many the law is nothing more than a continuing joke the government plays on its people. For without a doubt, even with the law in place, in Costa Rica “the smoker continues to be king”, for even the law cannot respond to the call, as the government has been unable to properly inform the public and the institutions responsible to ensure compliance. All the information out there right now is mostly by word of mouth, passed on from one person to another and not necessarily the correctRoberto Castro, of the Direccion de Vigilancia del Ministerio de
Salud (Surveillance Directorate of the Ministry of Health) recently said that the Fuerza Publica (polilce) is empowered to issue fines of ? 36. 060 colones to anyone disrespecting the law. But, where is the fine paid? For his part, the director of the Fuerza Publica (chief of the nation’s police force) said that they will wait until the regulations to comply with the law. The regulations are expected within the next 90 days, but many doubt that they will be ready, as legislators pass a law and the government is not ready for its enactment. Again.
Just as with the introduction of the tax on corporations that went into effect on January 1, but not payable until April, again, because because the government was caught with its pants down. some place, like medical centres and schools have already banned smoking and have set out their regulations for its enforcement. In some places like elevators, trains, ATM’s, restaurants, cafes, bars and shopping centres, among others smoking is banned. Again, a private initiative which is reinforced with the passing of the anti-smoking law, but without the teeth to bite the smoker who persists.
With the law in effect anyone can now demand that law be respected. Customers can complain to the manager of a restaurant, shoppers can call on the mall management and employee on the boss, for example, to have the smoker butt out. But, in reality, how is the complaint handled and who has the authority to ask the smoker to quit? In an effort to simplify the process, ideally the Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) should provide a phone number to either take the complaint or at least to provide information on how to deal with the situation. However, Costa Rica is a country where all that is simple is made difficult.
Knowing Costa Ricans there is sure to follow many complaints and without a doubt one or more challenges to the Constitutional Court, smokers allege to be a “target”. In an ideal Costa Rica, smokers should just quit smoking in public spaces. And if they really care for their health, quit smoking altogether. Thrombosis, hypertension, cancer of the esophagus and pancreas, tachycardia, emphysema, lung cancer and bronchitis are just some of the many ills caused by tobacco smoking. Hopefully the ? 20 colones tax on each and ever cigarette sold will hurt the smoker where it hurts the most, their pocketbook.
Or at the very least fund programs to help patients with cancer and prevention campaigns. This is a time for the current administration to really show that it can tie up its pants and act in the best interest of the public by applying the law and get rid of an epidemic in which only a few get rich and benefit from the death of others. The government has a great opportunity here to show that it can act and quickly by introducing the regulations way ahead of the three months set out in the legislation, introduce concise guidelines and make the public aware of the law and its cost for not respecting it.
Costa rica? s law The number of countries with anti-smoking laws is growing, and Costa Rica might soon join the ranks. Lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban smoking in some public places and raise the tax on cigarettes. Costa Rica has been trying to pass the ban since 2008, but the bill has couldn’t get through the legislature. If it finally passes, Costa Rica won’t be alone among Latin American countries with anti-smoking laws. Of course, just because laws are on the books, doesn’t mean everyone is snuffing out their smokes.
Some 14. 2 percent of Costa Ricans smoke, most between ages 20 and 39, according to the Costa Rican Social Security System. Casual smokers proliferate in the country’s nightlife. But that could change soon. Lawmakers last week passed a bill that will ban smoking in all public spaces, including bus and taxi stops, public buildings, restaurants and bars. The legislation goes further: It prohibits the sale of individual cigarettes; adds a 4-cent tax per cigarette, bumping up the price of most 20-cigarette packs from around $2 to $2. 0; bans cigarette advertising; and mandates that most of the box must carry graphic or textual health warnings. The bill will be reviewed by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court before it can get the president’s signature and go into law. Costa Rica is considered a progressive country on health and environment policies, but it’s been slow to reform its lax smoking rules. If the court gives the green light, Costa Rica will become the 10th Latin American country to enact a law following guidelines set by the World Health Organization for 100 percent smoke-free public spaces.
The legislation is expected to take effect in mid-summer, giving businesses and government some time to adjust. Residents too will have time to cope. “Every person who comes to a bar here, they smoke and they drink, wherever they go,” Sanchez, 22, said. “I think it’s a law that’s very stupid. ”Aleman, 20, said she’s pleased that inconsiderate smokers will be stopped from carelessly blowing smoke into someone’s face. Still, she sees the law as too strict, since bars cannot maintain a smoking section. But if there’s no area or smokers, she always could walk outside to smoke? Or: “I’ll smoke less,” Aleman said. “Go outside to smoke — why bother? It could be raining and freezing outside. That would be the worst. ”Her statement typifies why 100 percent smoke-free policies have been successful in other countries. Research shows businesses don’t fold or lose huge profits over a loss of cigarette-smoking clientele. The places simply get cleaner. The most desperate effort to rid Costa Rica of ineffective smoking laws started almost four years ago.
Lawmakers helped teach doctors in the National Anti-Tobacco Network how to be politicians. The doctors, in turn, negotiated behind the scenes with lawmakers presenting the grimmest of facts and telling them “this is how the tobacco industry manipulates the truth. ” The Social Security System (Caja) conducted a poll showing 93 percent of Costa Ricans supported laws for a smoke-free public. The momentum did little to dull the influence of the tobacco industry lobby that had dictated smoking policies in the country since the 1980s.
Only on Monday, long after lawmakers who spearheaded the movement reached their term limits and exited office, did a toughened anti-smoking bill pass the Legislative Assembly. Advocates garnered enough support in the assembly to pass – in a 46-2 vote – a comprehensive anti-tobacco bill on Monday, winning at last an uphill struggle. “We have demonstrated to the tobacco companies that we are not too small and so weak like they believed we were,” said Teresita Arrieta, of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Institute (IAFA). The bill bans smoking in places such as bars, restaurants, public buildings, bus stops and taxi stands.
Individual cigarettes will be taxed an extra ? 20 (4 cents). The bill requires cigarette packs to display text and photo warnings on at least 50 percent of the box. The legislation strengthens some of the weakest tobacco-use laws in Latin America. One question in particular lingers in the minds of skeptics. Can the law be enforced? The bill still awaits the signature of President Laura Chinchilla, and then must be published in the official government newspaper La Gaceta before the rules become official. From there, a 90-day adjustment period begins before fines go into effect.
Many expect the law’s publication will come around March 15, meaning the day cigarettes must be extinguished from public spaces would be in mid-June. In that time, lawmakers and health officials will determine the reglamentos, or regulations, that define how the law will be implemented. Health Vice Minister Sisy Castillo, who was a major force in pushing the bill through, displayed confidence that the country can create rules that establishments and people will not have trouble following. “We are already working on the [reglamentos],” Castillo said. We are far along with these regulations in regards to law enforcement. ” She said the Health Ministry has met with members of the National Police and Chief Prosecutor’s Office to discuss how to handle those caught violating the law, and the best way to supervise bars and other localities where smoking will be banned. Castillo emphasized to The Tico Times that the reglamentos will address foreigners, including tourists, who disobey the smoking law. Large percentages of the cigarette taxes will be earmarked toward treating tobacco-related illnesses and funding programs that assist people in quitting smoking.
In 2010, the Caja spent nearly $146 million on health expenses tied to smoking and tobacco-related illnesses. Tobacco plays a large role in cardiovascular illnesses, one of the country’s leading causes of death. Almost 15 percent of the country smokes, according to a Caja survey. Those caught smoking in a prohibited area can face a fine of ? 36,060 ($70). Producers, sellers and advertisers not following the regulations can be hit with a fine of ? 3. 6 million ($7,022). The penalty for selling single cigarettes, packs with fewer than 20 cigarettes or tobacco products to minors would be ? 80,000 ($351). The government will have the power to close businesses with outstanding fines. As the law moves closer to enactment, advocates expect to parry lawsuits taken up on behalf of the tobacco industry and the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants and Affiliates – a longtime mouthpiece of tobacco companies that oversees bars and nightclubs. Carmen Granados, a Citizen Action Party lawmaker, believes the country has taken the necessary steps to prevent legal action by tobacco companies from succeeding.
She worked on a committee headed by Rita Chaves of the Access Without Exclusion Party to construct the current version of the bill. When the original bill was written, draftees invited experts to vet every aspect of it, even bringing in legal advisers from the U. S. ’s George Washington University, in Washington, D. C. , to observe the proposal. Moreover, the bill follows standards set by the World Health Organization, and has been adopted in nine other Latin American countries, including Brazil, which became the largest country in the world to put into practice such measures, in December. We should not fear lawsuits, because if we did a good job, then this law will be unaffected,” Granados said. “Yes, tobacco companies are going to try to go after the law … but it’s shielded so nobody will touch it. ”Lawmakers opposed to the bill attempted to halt its passage Monday. The passage came in spite of a challenge by 10 lawmakers to send the bill to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) to review the constitutionality of the reforms. The Legislative Assembly did not receive a notification from the Sala IV in time to prevent the vote.
Granados said tobacco manufacturers still can challenge specific articles in court, and the Sala IV can decide whether to review the suits. Tabacalera Costarricense, an affiliate of Philip Morris International, has stated the law could result in an increase in contraband cigarettes in Costa Rica due to the cigarette tax increase. A lawsuit is expected about that issue. Anti-tobacco advocates in Costa Rica dismiss the argument about a flourishing cigarette black market, saying research shows that it is simply untrue. Studies also show that in countries with similar reforms, business rarely, if ever, suffers as a result of the ban.
IAFA’s Smoke-Free Spaces Program created plenty of tobacco-free settings in sports arenas, restaurants and malls before the law’s adoption. Arrieta, who heads the program, believes the difficulty of transitioning from a country where smoking is accepted to one that prohibits it has been exaggerated. This law is designed to protect public health and does not infringe on individual rights, since a person does not have the privilege to endanger the health of another, Arrieta said. She already has seen it work in Costa Rica’s notoriously hazy bars.
She visited a place called Blue Moon in Cartago, east of San Jose. Smokers took cigarette breaks outside. The inside was packed with clients. Blue Moon manager Michael Mattey said the bar opened in July and remains successful, an image of how other bars might thrive in a Costa Rica free of smoking. “It seems all the people who come like it for the same reason, because they don’t smoke,” Mattey said. “But people who smoke come too, and they also seem to like it. Who knew? : The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year in the United States