Smoking is the act of inhaling the fumes from a burning substance, usually tobacco. It has consistently been referred to "as the single most important preventable cause of premature death".


Smoking can be divided into two categories:  active (actively smoking oneself) and passive (inhaling smoke because of proximity to a smoker). Cigarette smoking Is the prime, but not the only, culprit; pipe and cigar smoking, while less hazardous than cigarette smoking, are not without risk.  Even smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, tobacco pouches, and snuff dipping) has now emerged as a major cause of oral disease and death from oral cancer.


The average 20-a-day smoker is estimated to inhale tobacco smoke about 70,000 times a year. It is therefore not surprising that, with such abuse, a number of diseases, many of them fatal, are associated with smoking. These include cancer (particularly of the lungs, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, pancreas, cervix, kidney, and bladder), coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease (strokes, intra­ cerebral  haemorrhages); and  COAD (chronic obstructive  airways disease. comprising   chronic bronchitis and emphysema).


Smoke contains over 4.000 chemicals; 43 of them are carcinogenic  (cancer promoting). Carbon monoxide, which avidly binds to haemoglobin  (what is termed the life of the red blood cell in humans)  and   reduces   its   oxygen- carrying capacity, is also present.


The major component, however, is nicotine, which has a variety of effects on the sympathetic nervous system in humans. It is highly addictive­ comparable to heroin and cocaine-and produces an increased heartbeat rate; raised blood pressure; and increased discharge of sympathetic nerves in the autonomic nervous system.


Diseases Related To Smoking

Coronary  heart disease,  particularly heart attack is the primary cause of death  related  to  cigarette  smoking. This is caused by athercsderosls (deposition of a type of fat (lipids) and fibrous tissue in the walls of arteries). One of the major risk factors for which is smoking. Lung cancer, which is directly causally related to smoking.


Peripheral vascular disease, which affects the feet and lower limbs, is more prevalent in smokers. In severe cases this may lead to amputation of a foot or digit because of gangrene (death of tissues). The risk of developing peripheral vascular disease is again dose-related, and may decrease once the patient stops smoking.


Dangerous Even For The Unborn

The effects of tobacco smoke on the unborn child are now well catalogued. Many studies have shown an association between cigarette smoking and the increased incidence of babies having low birth weight spontaneous abortions, still births, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).


Furthermore, certain complications of pregnancy some of which may be life-threatening (such as raised blood pressure), are also associated with smoking Involuntary smoking exposure (passive smoking) is detrimental 10 the health of adults and increasingly, children, who according to recent studies, run a higher  risk of developing   lung problems.  From the data  to date, it appears that passive smoking carries a 15 relative risk of developing cancer of the lung as compared to non-smokers. There are also increased risks of heart attack and cerebrovascular diseases.


Despite all these dangers associated with smoking, some people still feel it is cool to smoke, rather it is sinful not cool Islamically, one is combining two SIOS in one, wasting wealth (as it is neither food nor a nutrient) and killing oneself (even the makers say this openly: smokers are likely to die young they say), both of which Allaah has forbidden. Allaah says:

"And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you."  (Q4:29)

and He says, "But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spend thrift, verily spendthrift are brothers of shaytaan (devil shaytan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord (Q:17 vs 27-28)


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited



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