Tobacco is the most preventable cause of cancer. Number of years of research has shown a clear connection between the two. As per the predictions made by several experts, by the time we step into the year 2020, people in India are going to have a staggering record of 1.5 million deaths each year as a result of tobacco. All this is absolutely preventable.
There is no such thing as safe product of tobacco nor there is any safe limit for tobacco use. Tobacco in all forms, including cigarettes, chewable tobacco, beedis, pipes, hookah and cigars cause harm to the body even if they get consumed in smaller quantities.
Tobacco can cause cancers of any part of the body. Many think that only oral and lung cancers are associated with tobacco. The fact is there is NO cancer that is not associated with tobacco.
Also it is important to remmeber that using filters don’t make smoking safe. In fact there is evidence to suggest that using filter increases the risk of one type of lung cancer.
Different Types of Tobacco
There are different types of tobacco, which after consumption that can lead to the development of cancerous cells in the body. They include:
- Smoked Tobacco: Different smoking variety of tobacco is cigarettes, cigars, hookahs and beedis. The Tobacco smoke consists of more than 7000 chemicals, including toxic ones like arsenic, nickel, methanol, cyanide, acetylene and cadmium. 70 out of these chemicals are carcinogens and more than 250 of them are extremely toxic in nature.
- Smokeless Tobacco: Smokeless Tobacco generally comes in the form of chewing tobacco, found in gutka, pan masala or just loose leaves. These are very common India and many think that htese are safe. There are a minimum of 20 known carcinogens, in the smokeless form of tobacco.
Multiple harms are caused to the bodies of those who consume tobacco in any form. As and when a puff is taken from a cigarette, the following problems occur:
- One’s heart rate and blood pressure goes up instantly.
- There is an immediate rise in the level of carbon monoxide in the blood.
- Over a period of time, the lungs get damaged, thus hampering their function.
As time progresses, it tends to cause damage to the immune system and DNA, leading to the mutation of genes. The carcinogens in the tobacco act as irritants, which over a period of time cause damage to the DNA. Hence becoming a primary reason behind all cancers.