Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What do you know about smoking? (2)

Effect of Smoking On different Organ systems

The habit of smoking can actually affect various organs of the body. Starting from the top, i will take them accordingly. Smoking will affect, the Central and peripheral nervous systems(the brain, and the nerves), The Respiratory system (lungs), the Gastrointestinal tract(the stomach and other bowels), the urogenital system(eg. prostate in males), The reproductive system(as in pregancy), the Cadiovascular system(the heart, veins and arteries).

Let's take the Nervous system.

The Nicotine belongs to a group of hard drugs with a common characteristic of Addiction. Nicotine can be used in refined form and in regulated amounts to produce drugs which can be used in hospitals for specific treatment of some conditions ..Cocaine is even used aldo in this manner. When this is done, care is taken avaoid dependence. Dependence is said to have occured in a patient when he will no longer do well except when a particular drug is administered. In this case he usually demand for the said drug. The patient has now become adicted. It no longer easy to stop at this time because stopping abruptly could lead to very severe consequences though not worse than the result of not stopping. What is called withdrawal syndrome.

One in two long-term smokers will die from a smoking related illness. The dangers of smoking have been studied and analyzed for years. The detrimental effect of smoking on people’s health and their activities is now public knowledge. The vast majority of smokers say they want to stop. Why don’t they?

It’s hard to stop smoking even when you know intellectually that you should. That’s because the habit of smoking is not maintained by an intellectual decision. Smoking is a habit and an addiction to nicotine. Smoking is self-perpetuating-your body craves the powerful stimulant to which it has become accustomed.

Hypnosis works at eliminating the desire to smoke, whether it is from identification or replacement, the two principle reasons for smoking.

Identification is when the smoker indulges in the habit because he admires (or associates) with others who smoke, i.e. parents, peers, or celebrities. Identification smoking is the most common and the easiest to eliminate.

Replacement is when smoking takes the place of a previous habit (such as overeating), is used to replace something that is missing, (such as companionship, love, acceptance, self-esteem, security, independence), or when it fills a void created by anxiety or boredom. Replacement smokers often receive sensual gratification from smoking. They enjoy the feeling of the cigarette in their mouth or the taste of the tobacco. For cigar and pipe smokers, the act of lighting often becomes a ritual.

For both types of smokers, smoking is both a physical and mental process. So to be effective, the stop-smoking program must address both aspects.

You can see then that all this is now a phychiatric disorder and needs treatment. Though we in Africa regard phyciatric hospitals as a place for only the crazy man running naked on the street. Cigarette smokers will benefit from the services of a trained psychiatrist.This write up for today is limited to it's effect in the central nervous system.

Tommorrow, i will talk about effect os cigarette on peripheral nerves and the how to treat (stop smoking) this mental process that overwhelms smokers.

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