15 steps to quit smoking
10/01/2020 | Mariana Reis - Médica especialista em Medicina Geral e Familiar
Current consumption in Portugal and worldwide.
The tobacco epidemic is one of the
biggest threats to public health that the world faces today and is responsible
for the death of 7 million people a year.
Europe has the highest prevalence of
tobacco consumers in the world. Estimates suggest that about 29% of people over
the age of 15 consume tobacco products, with a higher prevalence in men than in
The prevalence in men between 2000 and 2015 showed a decline in the consumption of tobacco in European countries, with an average decline of 1.5% per year.
In Portugal, data from the 2014 National
Health Survey indicates that around 20% were smokers aged 15 and over. The
prevalence of consumption was higher in men (27.8%) compared to women (13.2%).
The 25-34 age group was the one with the highest prevalence of consumption
The harms of tobacco
In the '50s, tobacco was accepted in society without questioning its harmful effects. But in 1964, in the United States, an extensive US Department of Health and Human Services report was published regarding the health effects of tobacco use.
Besides nicotine, cigarettes contain over 4000 substances, several of them with toxic and irritating effects, such as carbon, monoxide, and acetone. More than 40 recognized carcinogens have been identified in cigarette smoke, such as benzene, benzopyrene, arsenic, cadmium, nickel, among others.
Harmful effects of tobacco on health
1. Increased risk of almost all cancers 2. Development of chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease 3. Increased cardiovascular accidents
(stroke and venous thrombosis) 4. In pregnants: risk of miscarriage,
prematurity, placenta previa, perinatal mortality. 5. Decreased fertility in both genders 6. Early Menopause 7. Changes in blood lipids 8. Osteoporosis 9. Worsening asthma and difficulty
controlling it 10. A decrease in physical performance 11. Decreased taste 12. Bad dental condition 13. Early Skin Aging Tobacco is now known to be one of the
leading causes of premature death in the world, accounting for about 18% of all
causes of death. In 2016, according to estimates prepared by the Institute of
Health Metrics and Evaluation, tobacco accounted for 46.4% of deaths from
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 19.5% of cancer deaths, and 12% of
respiratory infections deaths in the world. lower tract, by 5.7% of deaths from
cerebrovascular disease and by 2.4% of deaths from diabetes.
Addiction syndrome, whatever its
substance, is a complex phenomenon. It consists of a set of physiological,
behavioral and cognitive phenomena that develop after repeated use of the
substance, typically associated with an intense desire to use it, difficulty
controlling impulses and a high priority given to this behavior over other
activities or obligations... Moreover, it is now known that each individual's
genetic profile has implications for the risk of developing dependence.
Nicotine is a psychoactive substance
with a high capacity to induce physical and psychological dependence. Once
absorbed, nicotine reaches the brain in less than ten seconds, leading to
dopamine production in a very important brain area. Thus, some effects on
nicotine are to improve attention and memory, reduce stress and anxiety, and
decrease appetite. However, it induces tolerance, which means that repeated
exposure to the same amount of nicotine leads to reduced effects, which may lead
to increased doses consumed.