The uncontrolled growth of cells in any part of the body is cancer. It is a group of disease. Cancer kills millions of people every year in our world. Few can be curable if diagnosed in the early stages. We can do a lot to minimize the risk of cancer. The hereditary risk factor is only about 5% to 10%. The rest comes from our lifestyle, diet and environment. We see here the many ways to reduce the cancer risks.

Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals and metals. Out of this 43 are known cancer-causing and 400 are other toxins. These include:

• Nicotine
• Tar
• Carbon monoxide
• Formaldehyde
• Ammonia
• Hydrogen cyanide
• Acrolein
• Arsenic
• Cadmium
• Radioactive lead and polonium
• Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
• Nitrosamines
• Pesticides such as DDT and its metabolites

Nicotine is highly addictive. Nicotine from the smoke needs only few seconds to go through the lungs to reach the brain. It is a stimulant to the brain in small doses, but in high doses it is a depressant.

From the chewing tobacco more nicotine reaches the blood and thus to the brain. All tobacco products including cigars or snuff are not safe.

Apart from lung cancer smoking is known to be a risk factor for many cancers and they include:

• Lung

• Larynx
• Oral cavity including lips
• Throat
• Esophagus
• Stomach
• Pancreas
• Cervix
• Kidney
• Bladder
• Acute myeloid leukemia

90% of the lung cancer is caused by smoking. Men and women are equally affected. There are many other health problems coming from smoking and the use of other tobacco products. They include:

• Women’s reproductive health is affected
• Can affect embryo
• Reduced fertility
• Miscarriage
• Premature birth
• Stillbirth
• Can make asthma and pneumonia worse
• Excess production of free radicals and thus many organs can be affected
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Bronchitis
• Aneurysms, bulging or ballooning of the arteries
• Emphysema, causes shortness of breath
• Causes poor blood flow in the legs and arms.

Passive smoking or secondhand smoking is worse than smoking. Never allow others to smoke inside your home or where children or non-smokers are there.

Pregnant woman or breastfeeding mothers should not smoke or use any tobacco products.

Go and consult your doctor and there are many ways to quit smoking or the use of tobacco products.

If you stop smoking the body needs 10 years to recover completely. Stop smoking immediately and improve your quality of life.