November 17 - WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY

World No Tobacco Day is held every year on the third Thursday of November and aims to raise awareness and to inform people about the dangers of using tobacco and the risks of being a passive smoker.
 

Smoking is a major problem in the modern society. It was found that smokers die 10-15 years earlier than nonsmokers, and one out of two people dies from a disease caused by smoking.
 

The negative effects of smoking is not limited only to those who smoke, but will be also reflected on those who surround them. The researchers claim that children in families who smoke suffer more often from acute and chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and pneumonia.

 

However statistics show that smoking:

- affects the immune system - because smoking increases the number of white blood cells (lymphocytes) and can alter the balance between different subsets of T lymphocytes;

- may cause cancer - because smoking reduces the number of NK cells - Natural Killer who have a very important role in protecting the body against cancer. A percentage of 30% of deaths from cancer are attributable to cigarette smoking;

- causes bronchitis - the chronic cough is the first symptom which in the beginning appears only in the morning but then is becoming permanent, accompanied by respiratory failure;

- causes lung diseases - more than 90% of pulmonary chronic diseases are caused by smoking, by associating chronic bronchitis (the chronic inflammation of the airways) and emphysema (the stretching and breaking of the pulmonary alveolus);

- causes atherosclerosis (the hardening and narrowing of the arteries) - the carbon monoxide and nicotine (substances existing in a cigarette smoke) is breaking special ties between arterial cells, which initiates atherosclerosis. If obstruction occurs in the blood vessels, the increased blood pressure and aortic aneurysm can occur. If the obstruction happen to the heart, it can trigger myocardial infarction. One third of deaths from stroke are attributable to smoking. If the obstruction occurs in the brain, strokes that occur are 50% more common to smokers compared to non-smokers;

- causes headaches - headaches and migraines occur frequently to smokers, because of the carbon monoxide contained in the cigarette and the decreasing of the cerebral blood flow; 

- causes cavities - smokers have three times more cavities than non-smokers. This is happening because the dental plaque favors the bacterial growth, leading ultimately to tooth decay;

- causes halitosis - breath malodor associated with smoking and that can’t be removed by any mouthwash or toothpaste;


Each year, worldwide are carried out public communication campaigns aimed to inform smokers on the harmful effects of tobacco and to promote a healthy lifestyle. Thousands of people are striving and quit smoking every day. 


 The benefits of quitting smoking include:

- Increasing life expectancy;
- Decreasing the risk of suffering from a myocardial infarction;
- Decreasing the risk of developing a cancerous tumor;
- A much healthier life;
 

In 1987, the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day as a way to attract people’s attention to the very high prevalence of smoking and the negative effects that it has on health.