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Smoking

We are aware that smoking in itself is NOT a Medical Condition, however, it can lead to many serious conditons. This page has been included here for very sound reasons, not least the fact that the Transport Industry workforce is one which has a higher proportion of smokers than many other industry sectors.

Introduction
Fact - a cigarette is the only consumer product which, when consumed as intended, kills half of its regular consumers.

Medical research has determined that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer, emphysema, and cardiovascular disease among other health problems. The World Health Organisation reported that tobacco smoking killed 100 million people worldwide in the 20th century and warned that it could kill one billion people around the world in the 21st century.
The Transport/Logistics Industry (especially among its drivers) has one of the highest proportions of smokers compared to other industry sectors.

History
Tobacco smoking is the inhalation of smoke from burned dried or cured leaves of the tobacco plant, most often in the form of a cigarette. People may smoke casually for pleasure, habitually to satisfy an addiction to the nicotine present in tobacco and to the act of smoking, or in response to social pressure. In some societies, people smoke for ritualistic purposes. According to the WHO (World Health Organisation) about one-third of the world's male population smokes tobacco.
Tobacco use by Native Americans throughout North and South America dates back to 2000 BC. The practice was brought back to Europe by the crew of Christopher Columbus. It took hold in Spain and was then introduced to the rest of the world by trade. Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It has been growing on the northern continents since about 6000 BC and began being used by native cultures circa 3000 BC, and has been smoked in one form or another since circa 2000 BC. There are pictoral drawings of ancient Mayans smoking crude cigars from 1400 BC.

Medical Conditions
Tobacco smoke contains nicotine and harmane (a MAO inhibitor), which combined give rise to addictive stimulant and euphoriant properties. The effect of nicotine in first time or irregular users is an increase in alertness and memory, and mild euphoria. Nicotine also disturbs metabolism and suppresses appetite. This is because nicotine, like many stimulants, temporarily increases blood sugar levels.

Smoking Kills Cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. Smoking is a major factor in coronary heart disease and stroke and may be causally related to malignancies in other parts of the body. It has been linked to a variety of other conditions and disorders, including slowed healing of wounds, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease.
Generally accepted conditions caused through smoking are:

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Men and smoking Impotence is one of the less well known effect of smoking, however, an estimated 120,000 men in their 30s and 40s are impotent as a direct result of smoking.

Women and smoking Lung cancer used to be rare among women, but it has now overtaken breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Currently, 28% of men smoke compared with 26% of women, but rates are much higher among women aged between 16 and 24. Children who grow up with parents who smoke are much more likely to start themselves.
Women who smoke also increase their risk of:

Smoking Facts
Once lit, a cigarette reaches a temperature of nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat helps release thousands of chemical compounds, including poisons like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, at least 43 carcinogens, and numerous mutagens. All of these are drawn into the body when a smoker inhales - that's the reality of smoking:

Smoking Kills Attitudes towards smoking have changed dramatically in the last few decades, but there is still much to be learned about the effects that smoking has in different ways. Smoke intake and exposure to tar and carcinogens all contribute to health problems, which in turn can be compounded over time.

Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) deaths. A small sample of the many chemicals that can be found in tobacco smoke are:

Further Reading
We have used many sources to produce the information detailed above. Please use the links below to read more and also (for those who wish to do so) find information on how to Quit.

Health Effects of Smoking - Health Insure
Go Smoke Free - NHS Choices
Quit Smoking Now - Quit.Org.UK
Quit the Weed - Quiting Smoking.Org

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