Smoking kills, there is no denying it. Every year, according to World Health Organization, tobacco kills approximately 6 MILLION people each year, more than 5 million users and ex users and the rest are nonsmokers exposed to second hand smoke.
I am a non smoker but I am worried about those “almost 1 million” non smokers that die each year just because someone decided to indulge their dirty habits in our proximity. Now, it may seem I am a bit too harsh on smokers but I am simply concerned, not only for my health, but for their health as well and the health of our nation in general. Tobacco is an epidemic spreading rapidly, already “claiming” more than one billion people worldwide.
The worse thing is that more and more youngsters pick up smoking early in their life just because it is “cool”, and justify using it because they don’t see any symptoms and feel healthy. But what they don’t know is that tobacco is a gradual killer, several years can pass before the first symptoms of smoking can be noticed. Most smokers will ignore those symptoms and attribute it to something else, and when they finally start to acknowledge them it is usually too late.
I apologize for the above rant but I feel obligated to bring awareness to my readers and visitors since the list of conditions and diseases that smoking causes keeps getting bigger and bigger. On of the recent additions to the list is back pain.
Researches confirm that smoking can heighten the risk of back pain by up to 30%, and not just back, many sufferers complain about neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, as well as pain in the leg and the hip. Although they complain about the pain, most people will not see, or refuse to see the relationship between tobacco and it`s negative effects on bones and joints
Since cigarettes contain almost 6000 different chemicals, smoking can and will have an effect (negative) on most of our tissue groups. But the good thing is that it can be reversible, if you quit smoking before it`s too late you my save yourself from permanent damage.
Just to give you a better idea of negative effects of this habit I will list a few conditions linked to it (according to http://orthoinfo.aaos.org):
- 1. Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis represents a weakening in the bone tissue making it more prone to injury and fractures. It is estimated that bone fractures are 30-40% more frequent with elderly smokers. Smoking can weaken the bone in several ways:
- It can reduce the blood supply to the bone tissue
- The nicotine slows down the production of bone formin cells
- It can decrease calcium absorption abilities of your body
- 2. Common injuries.
- Rotator cuff injuries are 50% more severe when compared to those of nonsmokers
- Traumatic injuries are more common with smokers
- Bursitis and tendinitis are 50% more often with smokers
- 3. Wound healing.
- Wound healing takes longer because of the negative effect of smoking on tissue forming cells
- Post operative complications occur more often
- 4. Athletic performance. Since smoking slows the lung growth, there will be less oxygen available when performing sport or other physical activity, resulting in lowering of your capabilities.
Giving Up Smoking
A lot of people might say “I know how hard it must be but you have to try.” I`m not going to pretend I know how you are feeling and what you must go through, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of new, previously unknown methods for giving up smoking are popping out in recent years. Methods such as yoga or meditation and hypnotherapy. Many people are skeptical but I say try them out and then judge.
Good luck to you, and don’t give up, fight that nasty habit!