Have you ever come across a video on social media that displays models of two different hearts, one of a non-smoker and other of a smoker? The heart of a smoker certainly seems to be nearing its death. This is a true picture of those who are addicted to tobacco in any form.
According to the data presented by WHO, every year more than 7 million people face death due to tobacco consumption and this number is expected to rise to 8 million by 2030. There is no doubt that the epidemic called tobacco is a tunnel towards the destruction of one’s life. When it comes to deaths due to tobacco, India isn’t far behind.
In India alone, every third adult is known to consume tobacco in some form or other. This is certainly the most worrying statistics. It requires maximum possible attention. Moreover, there are no safe substances in any tobacco products (acetone, tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide). These substances open the gates to a lot of complications in your body, and some might be long-term incurable effects.
Smoking is now a part of a lifestyle for many, especially those who undergo regular stress. However, they are least aware about how every puff of a cigarette is damaging their heart. Let us look at ten ways tobacco does this:
Chemicals present in tobacco harm your blood cells, the structure and functioning of the heart, and the blood vessels. This increases the chances of getting atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition where the arteries are coagulated with a waxy substance called plaque. Over time the plaque thickens and restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body. This causes the organs to shut down eventually.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs when the plaque blocks the heart vessels and causes chest pain, heart attack, heart failure or even death.
Arrhythmia is a condition which affects the rate or rhythm of the heart. For instance, your heart could beat too fast or too slow due to changes in the body conditions, which ultimately affects the rate at which the blood circulates in the body.
Cigarette smoking raises the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as a blood fat called triglycerides. This causes the waxy plaque to build up in your arteries. At the same time, it reduces the amount of good cholesterol which fights the blood fat and plaque formation.
Nicotine in cigarette smoke raises the blood pressure. It raises the heart rate and hardens the arteries while narrowing their walls. This makes your blood more likely to clot, which leads to stress on the heart, which in turn leads to a heart attack.
Nicotine is a metabolic stimulant and an appetite suppressant. Therefore, when the body gets habituated to continuous input of this substance through smoking, it automatically leads to weight gain when stopped suddenly.
Peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. These arteries carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. P.A.D usually causes irreversible effects on the arteries in the legs. It can also affect kidneys and the flow of blood from the heart to your head.
All these effects, conditions and diseases eventually worsen to cause life-threatening results like a heart attack or heart failure.
Second-hand smoke also raises risks for children and teens, because it damages their fragile heart tissues and increases harmful cholesterol. (Especially for premature babies who have respiratory distress syndrome, or RDS).
Smokers with a history of health issues have the increased risk of having worse effects as compared to others, as their heart is now more vulnerable.
“Quit smoking and lead a healthy lifestyle” is probably the most common answer you can get to this question. But you must also prepare yourself for the worst. If any major ailments like a heart attack or cancer strikes, it could wreck the financial situation of your family as the cost of treatment can run into lakhs of rupees.
Hence, financial preparedness to take care of such untoward situations is the key. One way to financially guard against these ailments is to that have heart and cancer care policy. This policy provides comprehensive coverage at minor and major stages of heart- and cancer-related ailments. It offers lump sum payouts on diagnosis, is available for longer terms, and offers a waiver of premium and income benefit too.
With increasing lifestyle ailments and rising hospitalisation costs, it is essential to consider specialised cover against heart and cancer. Also, heart and cancer care policy is available online and can be purchased from the comfort of your home within minutes!
Tobacco is constantly proven to have adverse effects on your health. To be precise, it invites a slow death. If you have decided to quit smoking, excellent. But don’t just stop there. Financially secure your heart by purchasing a heart and cancer care policy to ensure that you don’t go bankrupt in order to treat cancer/heart diseases.