Puffing the smoke of burning tobacco through cigar, cigarette, beedi, hooka (pipe), causes chemicals like nicotine and tar, to reach the Lungs. These are responsible for causing lungs diseases and finally cancer.

Data received from the Centres for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) associated with the World Health Organization shows that the risk of lungs cancer is about 25 times greater for smokers than for nonsmokers. Data from CDC has also indicated that about 90 percent of deaths by lungs cancer are due to smoking alone and only 10 percent due to other causes.

In view of this alarming situation, World Health Organization celebrates ‘No Tobacco Day’ on May 31 every year to make the people aware of the dangers involved in smoking, when special publicity is given through lectures, seminars, articles in news papers and special TV shows in countries all over the world.

Some mucus is produced in the lungs in non-smokers due to cold and seasonal changes and there is a natural mechanism of sweeping it clean by broom like hairs, called ‘Cilia’. However, nicotine and tar, reaching the lungs through smoking, reduce the number and movement of cilia and hence their effectiveness in cleaning the mucus which grows rapidly. This causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD).

Tobacco contains nicotine which reaches the brain through lungs within about 10 seconds of puffing. In 1964, the Surgeon General of USA published a study linking smoking with heart diseases and lungs cancer. Nicotine is the main culprit as it converts casual smoking into habit and the poisonous tar is a byproduct. When nicotine reaches the brain, the smoker experiences a ‘kick’ or a sense of pleasure and euphoria similar to heroin or cocaine. This causes an urge to smoke more and finally results in a habit, difficult to quit.

Persons who desire to stop smoking suddenly experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms like cravings, a sense of emptiness, irritation, depression and anxiety, and even bad dreams and nightmares. Reviews indicate that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and other methods are most effective when supported by proper counseling and psychiatric care.

Now, all the governments world over, corporations under corporate social responsibility funds, and charitable trusts are providing free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy to help the persons who want to quit smoking for the sake of their own welfare in particular and welfare of the society in general.