Part with cigarettes or perish

If mind is made up, quitting tobacco is possible: Docs

By Author  |  Published: 29th May 2017  11:52 pmUpdated: 29th May 2017  11:55 pm

Hyderabad: Within ten seconds of inhaling a cigarette, nicotine, the primary chemical in tobacco, quickly reaches the brain causing release of epinephrine, popularly known as adrenaline into the body. The adrenaline triggers a sensation of pleasure and energy in the body. However, the euphoria is short-lived and fades away very quickly, leaving the mind to crave for more nicotine.

This is how people tend to become addicts to tobacco, which is a leading cause of cancer but very hard to give up the habit.

On the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day 2017’, which falls on Wednesday, psychiatrists from Hyderabad said that if the mind is made up, quitting tobacco is possible.

“We call it motivational therapy, which means somehow motivate the addict to give-up smoking or consuming tobacco directly. Today, people are more aware of the ill effects of tobacco but somehow they come up with reasons to justify their tobacco consumption,” says senior psychiatrist D Keshav Rao.

Doctors have also coined the term ‘Nicotine Dependence Syndrome’ to describe dependency on nicotine. “Nicotine acts on the pleasure centre of the brain and that’s why people tend to find very difficult to quit. However, a little bit of treatment and willpower could do wonders in quitting the habit,” says senior psychiatrist, Continental Hospitals, K Jyothirmayee.

Doctors point out that smokers are very much aware of the damage they are doing to their health and through passive smoking to their children.

“Parents who smoke should not share a bed with their infants of less than four months old. There are ample studies indicating that passive smoking impairs immune system in children and even adult non-smokers,” says paediatrician and co-founder of Nivedita Ravuri in a statement.

According to doctors, passive smoking (also known as sidestream smoking) is about four times more toxic than mainstream smoke. The cigarette smoke contains close to 4,000 chemicals and out of them, nearly 69 chemicals are carcinogenic.

Eye specialists say that tobacco chemicals can damage the eye. “These chemicals get into the bloodstream of smokers as well as passive smokers and induce damage to parts of the eye starting from surface of eye, through the crystalline lens, to macula and optic nerve and the retina,” says Head of Medical Services, Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Telangana Region, Maramganty Vamshidhar in a statement.