Wednesday December 13, 2017

World No Tobacco Day special: Smoking Hukkah more dangerous than using cigarettes

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New Delhi: Seventeen-year-old Harsh Mahajan could not understand the pain in his chest while breathing or why the colour of his sputum was changing. The class eight dropout, who got addicted to the hukkah (Indian water pipe) smoking at an early age, kept ignoring his health complications till the day his parents saw him coughing blood.

After several tests were conducted at a hospital, both of Mahajan’s lungs were found to be filled with tar caused due to the tobacco smoke inhaled through the hukkah. Though medical experts started treating the teenager, he succumbed to lung cancer – serving as a warning for his friends who were similarly addicted.

Recent studies have concluded that in India the percentage of students who initiate hukkah smoking before 10 years of age has increased from 26 per cent to 45 per cent in the last one decade.

Health experts said that at least 40 percent of school-going students get into smoking the hukkah, to quench their desire for smoking cigarettes, thinking that the lower of tobacco content in hukkahs won’t harm their health.

“The existing myths compel youngsters to get into the practice of smoking hukkahs. A lot of people are still under the impression that the hukkah is an alternate to cigarettes, with less harm to health, but they are not able to understand that a typical one-hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while an average cigarette requires 20 puffs. This makes the hukkah more dangerous for the human body,” Kedar Toraskar, Chest Physician at Mumbai-based Wockhardt Hospital, told IANS.

He said that the volume of smoke inhaled during a typical hookah session was about 90,000 milliliters, compared to 500 to 600 milliliters of smoke inhaled by smoking a cigarette.

Emphasising that hukkah smoking was emerging as one of the prime reason behind the rising lung-related disease among youngsters, Toraskar said that the harmful toxins in hukkahs also caused respiratory illness, low birth weight and periodontal diseases among many.

He revealed that babies born to women who smoked a hukkah every day were likely to be 3.5 ounces less in weight than the babies delivered by a non-smokers. Explaining how somking a hukkah causes damage to the human body, Toraskar said: “The smoke produced by the charcoal burning in the hukkah contains high levels of carbon monoxide, metals and cancer-causing chemicals which does the same damage that cigarette or a bidi does to a human body.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says tobacco causes over five million deaths world wide which is likely to increase to 8.4 million if the situation is not brought under control. Tapaswini P. Sharma, senior consultant of surgery at Delhi-based B.L.K. Hospital said: “A lot of people are under the impression that the water used in the hukkah reduces the harmful affect of tobacco and causes no harm to the lungs, however this is not true as the toxins remains insoluble.”

“In fact, hookah use can also impair cardiac functions, and lead to cancers of the esophagus, mouth, lung, stomach, and decreased fertility. All the harmful effects associated with cigarettes are very much prevalent with the hookas too,” Sharma told IANS. Sudhir Khandelwal, head of the psychiatric department at AIIMS, said every form of tobacco consumption such as hukkah, inhaling and the pan causes the same damage that chewing tobacco does.

“Though a person starts with hukkah occasionally, but with time they become addicted to it,” Khandelwal told IANS, adding that the youth consuming tobacco in any form were more likely to get into active cigarette smoking. “In all, 50 percent of the cancers in India are directly or indirectly related to tobacco consumption,” he said.

On the other health damage caused by hukkahs, Rajeev Dewan, senior consultant in Internal Medicine at Delhi-based Saroj Super Specialty Hospital, said that tobacco juices from hukkahs affect the mouth and increases the risk of developing oral cancers. “As a substitute, there are also e-hukkahs available which are considered to be nicotine free. But these are all false myths as they do contain some amount of nicotine and cancerous elements which are enough to cause the same damage any tobacco related product does to a human body,” Dewan said. (IANS)

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Want to Quit Smoking (Nicotine)?: Help is Here!

Cigarettes contain Nicotine which causes addiction

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E Cigarettes are not a solution to those who wish to quite smoking because E Cigarettes too contain Nicotine. Image credit: www.SameCondition.com

Dr. M.v. Annalarasi

We at samecondition.com in the previous articles have emphasized the need to quit smoking. Like mentioned earlier, it is true that it is easier said than done. In this article, we would like to communicate to you, in case you already didn’t know, the various recommended practices to adapt while trying to quit smoking. Apart from our articles, you might have come across several sources of the ill effects of smoking. But try adapting a different perspective to look at this issue. The beneficial effects of quitting smoking are aplenty.

It is a common knowledge that nicotine is the addictive substance that keeps you glued to smoking. But to abolish it from your life immediately can have some unfavorable implications: Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, anxiety, difficulty to concentrate, intense craving to get your hands-on nicotine, depression etc.

To help you avoid quit as well aid you in a smooth transition towards “ the life without nicotine”, nicotine replacement products are recommended. These products are designed in such a way that they supply nicotine in controlled amounts. This would prepare your physical being to cooperate with your mental efforts to quit. Also, some of these products function on the mechanism of positive reinforcement and desensitizing the nicotine receptors by the nicotine replacement. Some of these products are sold under prescription and some are available over the counter. These are Nicotine transdermal patches, lozenges, inhaler, nasal spray, and chewing gums.

The safety of ‘the otherwise effective nicotine replacement therapy’ during pregnancy, remains to be determined. Nicotine in any form still poses a threat to the fetus. If you are a pregnant woman or have been diagnosed with any health condition like asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, it is advisable to better consult a physician before buying these products on your own.

  1. Nicotine (Transdermal) patches: recommended not to be used alongside cigarette smoking. It has the advantage of moderating and maintaining sustainable levels of nicotine ( lesser than in cigarettes).

 2Nasal spray: available as prescription-only drug and the dosage delivered is tapered over time.

3. Gum: a slow release resin containing nicotine and polacrilin. It has a proved smoking cessation track record of up to 70%. ( available over the counter).

Each of these substances come with their own side effects like sore throat, dry mouth, nausea, dyspepsia etc. But the effects are controlled over a period and hence signal safety with uncontested clarity.

4. Medications: There are some non-nicotine containing pharmacotherapeutic substances (FDA approved and primary line of management) that come to your aid in ‘the quit smoking movement’. Two common examples are Bupropion hydrochloride and Varenicline tartrateClonidine, an alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, used for treating hypertension has also demonstrated considerable efficacy but not FDA approved. Yet, it has been endorsed by the US clinical practice guidelines to be prescribed as a second line of treatment for tobacco addiction. Next in line is Nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, primarily prescribed to treat depression. It has also exhibited potential as the second line of treatment. The research to make patches with this drug is still under process.

An alkaloid called cytisine binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and in some clinical studies has proved to be superior to the replacement therapy.

Some of these are available commercially and some are still in the process to reach approval. It is heartening to know that the efforts to help people trying to quit are on the rise. Check the approval status of the drugs on the regulatory websites of your country. It is even better to approach a physician to get yourself a medically accurate blueprint to quit smoking.

Did you know? Nicotine vaccines might also become a reality soon. This new line of immunotherapy for smoking cessation is also underway.

Remember:

The harms due to tobacco will stay away from you if you stay away from tobacco.

The article first appeared at Same Condition website: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/trying-quit-nicotine-dont-struggle-alone/

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Goodbye Holy Smoke, Vatican City bans Sale of Cigarettes

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking.

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The faithful gather in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. VOA

Vatican City, November 10, 2017 : Pope Francis has ordered a ban on the sale of cigarettes inside the Vatican from next year because of health concerns, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The motive is very simple: the Holy See cannot be cooperating with a practice that is clearly harming the health of people,” spokesman Greg Burke said in a statement.

He cited World World Health Organization (WHO) statistics that smoking causes more than seven million deaths worldwide every year.

Cigarettes have been sold at a discounted price to Vatican employees and pensioners.

Vatican employees are allowed to buy five cartons of cigarettes a month. Many Italians ask their non-smoking friends who work in the Vatican to buy cigarettes for them because they cost much less than in Italy, where they are subject to heavy taxes.

Burke acknowledged that the sale of cigarettes has been a source of revenue for the Holy See, adding, “However, no profit can be legitimate if it is costing people their lives.”

The spokesman said the sale of large cigars would continue at least for the time being because the smoke is not inhaled.

The Vatican, a tiny walled city-state surrounded by Rome, is one of the few states to ban smoking. Bhutan, where smoking is deemed bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005. (VOA)

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Getting the best rolling papers – A small guide to having the best experience

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can.

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Choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. (representative image) Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 7, 2017 : Smoking is something that requires you to do some shopping once in a while. Whether you’re new to smoking or have been on SmokeCartel for ages, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to buy rolling papers in order to, well, smoke. However, choosing the right rolling papers can make a big difference in how your experience goes overall. There used to be a time when it was cool not to pay any attention to what you’re using as rolling paper. However, those times are fortunately gone and now consumers such as yourself can make the right decision when it’s time to roll. Here are some tips on how to get the best rolling papers.

The importance of going for the natural choice

Many rolling paper options these days are dangerous because they are infused with chemicals like chlorine. That’s of course not good at all for your body and you should try to avoid those kind of rolling papers as hard as you can. Not only do they put you in harm’s way, but they also tend to change the taste of the herb you’re smoking. Not to mention that if you’re the kind of smoker that likes to keep their herb organic, it would be highly counterproductive to just toss that into the trash in favor of a chemical-filled rolling paper option.

Choosing the best brands

If you want to have the best smoking sessions, you need to invest in the best brands available, which treat rolling papers with care and attention. Here are the names that you want to embed into your smoker memory as soon as possible:

Elements

This company offers great rolling papers, in a cool package that features a small magnet as a mechanism for keeping the package shut when it’s not being used. The papers themselves are of great quality. The rice paper rolls are incredibly thin, and a pack can hold up to 100 leaves depending on the size option you go for.

RAW Organic

RAW Organic offers tan and really thin rolling papers. According to them anyway, the papers are organic and naturally grown. You can’t help but appreciate the craft that goes into making these, but also their effectiveness and resistance. RAW Organic papers are known to be run-resistant.’

Zen Effen

Zen Effen sells their papers in paper packaging. They are naturally grown, hemp gum papers, and represent one of the thinnest options that you have in terms of high quality rolling papers. At least, as far as hemp papers are concerned. Throughout their time on the market, Zen Effen have managed to provide a very high quality combination of great flavor, on-point burn time and resistance.

Skunk Brand

Don’t let the name fool you, as we’re not talking about some newcomers that want to amaze with the name alone. They have actually been around since 1994, when they helped popularized hemp papers. These papers are known for their slow burn are made out of pure hemp.