It’s not a secret that smoking is injurious to health. You look around, and it’s written all over; even on a cigarette carton itself. Also, most of us know that second hand smoke is not good either. And yet, cigarettes smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the United States and exposure to second hand-smoke causes over 50,000 deaths each year among adults. Even smokeless tobacco containing nicotine increases the risk of a life threatening ventricular arrhythmias. And then we have our youngsters who have also ventured into this relatively new territory of smoking “Hookahs”. Some people even try to be responsible when they stick to organic, water based or flavored-nicotine-free hookahs. You can call it what you want, but the bottom line still is that you are basically putting smoke down your nose, mouth, throat, lungs, heart and turning everything that’s supposed to be red inside- into BLACK. Also, with a hookah, not only are you inhaling all the stuff that your body wasn’t designed to and can hot handle, you are also exposing yourself to hundreds of other health relates issues such as all kinds of infections, diseases as serious as hepatitis, asthma, anaphylaxis, bronchitis, cancer and many more. In fact, second-hand smoke is a bigger issue in hookah smoking because of the added charcoal smoke from burning the tobacco.
Like any other addiction, smoking or nicotine addiction reinforces award related circuitry in the brain and as you go on, it only gets harder and harder to overcome this problem. You only need 1 smoke to get started, and more than often, there is no looking back. You might start to “try”, at least that’s how you justify it. But why do you want to even try something that you know would kill you for sure. Its like saying “let me try jumping into an enclosed cage with a grizzly bear”. If you survive that one time, you are going to go in there again, for the adrenaline rush, and again and again because it would make you feel powerful or may even give you a sense of accomplishment. No matter how abstract this comparison sounds, in a real world, that is how dangerous smoking is to one’s health. Though its easy to blame our brains and how we are hard-wired, it is also not worth forgetting that it is not that hard to know the facts and make responsible and informed decisions for yourself.
The commercial sector has stepped up and come up with products like patches or gum and those may be a good step forward. I have my reservations on how far these dummy-aids will go. This is a problem that we face, concerning adults and responsible citizens. So in the end, it only comes down to an individual and how they see this problem. Just knowing that it can kill you, is apparently not reason big enough. At least it hasn’t been for the billions of smokers worldwide.