A: Yes, cigarette smoking can become an addiction in the same way as the use of alcohol, tranquilizers, and other drugs. The essential features of addition include: compulsive use of a substance (ie., use that is no longer under the voluntary control of the user), tolerance (a need to increase the dose to achieve the same effect), and often physical dependence, as shown by withdrawl symptoms when use of the substance is stopped. Many cigarette smokers show all of these features.
A: Theoretically, the low tar and nicotine brands that have taken over a large share of the Canadian cigarette market in the past few years may offer a slightly reduced risk of lung cancer. But only theoretically.
Several facts not widely known are:
1.The “light” effect is generally acheived through air dilution using ventilation holes near the filter.
2.Regular smokers who switch to those low tar and nicotine cigarettes tend to compensate by smoking more cigarettes, or by inhaling more deeply and longer, or by covering up the ventilation holes. Thus they do not really reduce the amount of tar and nicotine they inhale.
3.Smokers of these cigarettes have a greatly increased risk of heart attack because they get more carbon monoxide by inhaling more deeply and longer.
Most of our actions have costs as well as benefits. Although you know that smoking is bad for your health, do you know all the different types of problems caused by smoking?
Do you know what are your chances of developing various chronic diseases?
Here is a partial list of health problems caused by smoking:
- cancer of the lung, bladder, mouth, voice box, throat, kidney, cervix and bowel; heart attack, circulatory problems, stroke,
- lung disease including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis;
- flu, pneumonia, colds,peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, tooth loss, gum disease, osteoporosis, sleep problems, cataracts, thyroid disease, and menstrual problems.
- Smoking is also related to infertility, sudden infant death syndrome and infant health problems. Continue reading “Q: What Does Smoking Cost You?”