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From Fashion to Folly

02:04 AM Nov 01, 2023 IST | Dr Showkat Shah
from fashion to folly
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How Smoking Fuels Heart Disease and Addiction in Kashmir

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n my more than ten years of working in khyber medical institute srinagar, I have personally experienced hundreds of young smokers comes to our hospital as Major and Massive Heart  attacks,which required either coronary stenting or bypass surgeries..

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Smokers usually have multi vessel or diffuse disease in their coronaries that’s why they required either multivessel stents or bypass surgeries..

Smoking among the young generation in Kashmir is a fashion now a days and ultimately this smoking also leads to drug addiction later on.

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Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.

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Smoking causes Lung and oropharynx and Gastrointestinal Cancers , Heart diseases, Strokes, irreversible Lung Diseases, COPD,, chronic bronchitis and Emphysema,Diabetes, osteoporosis, skin n mental diseases and many other deadly diseases.

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According to the World health Organisation, Smoking and Tobacco kills more than 8 Million people each year .. and around 1 million dies due to passive smoking effects (second hand smoking)..

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Cigarette smoking is responsible for 50 % of all avoidable deaths in smokers with half of these due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and strokes…

How smoking Harms the Cardiovascular system!!!

People who smoke are upto 6 times more likely to have a heart attack compared to non smokers ..

Smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels, Chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the blood to thicken and form clots inside the arteries,blockage from a clot can lead to heart attack and sudden death..

Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases and causes approximately one of every four deaths from cardiovascular diseases.

The risk of Cardiovascular diseases increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day ..

Smoking causes instant and long term rise in blood pressure.

Smoking disturbs normal heart rhythms .

Smoking lowers Body’s HDL which is good cholesterol and raises LDL which is bad cholesterol,, and also increases Triglycerides,again predisposing heart attacks ..

Smoking causes instant and long term increase in heart rate ..

Smoking reduces blood flow from the heart .

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the body’s tissues.

Smoking increases the risk for blood clots .it damages blood vessels and doubles the risk of strokes.

Smoking is the most common cause of peripheral artery diseases ( e.g.,  vessels get damaged in arms, legs, hands and feet which can cause gangrene also.

Smoking also causes life threatening condition what is known as abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Women smokers have a higher risk of dying from an aortic aneurysm than men who smoke!!!

Risks of secondhand smoking

Exposure to smoke poses health hazards to pregnant women , infants and young children!!

Children and infant exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to have ear infections and asthma.. they are also at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS )…

Quitting Smoking Benefits and Tips

The best thing all smokers can do for their Hearts is to Quit

Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels very quickly but the damage is repaired quickly for most smokers who stop smoking !!

Even a few cigarettes now and then damage the heart , so the only proven strategy to keep your heart safe from the effects of smoking is to Quit smoking!!

Smokers who quit smoking start to improve their heart health and reduce their risk for cardiovascular diseases immediately..

Within a year , the risk of heart attack drops dramatically, and even people who have already had a heart attack can cut their risk of having another heart attack if they quit smoking!!

Within 5 years of quitting smoking lowers their risk of stroke to about that of a person who has never smoked.

Quit all at once

Know what triggers you to smoke .

Do you smoke after a meal , while driving or when you are stressed ? Make a plan to handle each trigger ..

Stopping smoking reduces the risk for heart disease, the risk for repeat heart attacks and death by heart disease by half !!

To b successful, you should be mentally ready ..

Physically you need to do daily exercises.

Try new activities to replace smoking ..for example ,

Instead of smoking after a meal , take a brisk walk in your neighbourhood or around your office building.

Avoid other people who smoke .

Remove cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters from your home , office and car !!

Don’t smoke at all , not even one puff !!

Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine because People who drink alcohol are more likely to start smoking again after quitting!!

Be prepared for withdrawal challenges!!

If you feel like smoking, wait a few minutes for the urge to pass ..

Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting smoking !!

Regardless of how long , how often or how much you have smoked ,, Quitting smoking will help a lot definitely.

Dr Showkat Shah is MS Khyber Medical Institute and critical care specialist

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