General Conference

Cigarette causes more than 50 types of diseases, including cancer

Product can also lead to irritability and depression. See tips to beat smoking

Brasilia, Brazil | Vanessa Arba

ccording to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), more than 150,000 people die annually in Brazil from complications associated with smoking. Around the world, more 8 million die each year because of tabacco. The World Health Organization has designated May 31 as World No Tobacco Day, a day set aside each year to talk about the risks of tobacco use. 

Smoking is considered the leading cause of preventable death around the world. According to cardiologist Everton Padilha, more than 50 diseases are associated with the use of tobacco derivatives. They include coronary (angina and myocardial infarction), bronchitis, emphysema, osteopenia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cancer (in the lungs, bronchi, mouth, larynx, pharynx, oropharynx, trachea, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, stomach, esophagus, kidneys, bladder, colon, rectum, urethra, cervix and blood) and vascular diseases (including stroke), in addition to decrease immunity and increase inflammation.

Smoking can also cause sexual impotence in men, in addition to affecting sperm (which can reduce fertility and increase the risk of miscarriages and deficiencies in the fetus), complications in pregnancy (premature births, intrauterine death, sudden infant death syndrome ( SIDS), pregnancy outside the uterus (ectopic), cleft palate, etc.), arterial aneurysms, ulcers in the digestive tract and respiratory infections.

In terms of appearance, smoking increases inflammatory factors in the skin, decreases the amount of oxygen needed for its regeneration and degrades collagen. This breakdown accelerates the appearance of wrinkles, changes hydration and contributes to premature aging.

Can Smoking help with Relaxation? 

"This effect is misleading," says Dr. Padilha. “Although nicotine apparently increases concentration and well-being, most of this effect is a mere sensation due to the psychological dependence on cigarettes,” he says. “In the long run, the habit increases irritability, impatience, hostility, anxiety, depression, worsens concentration, hinders relaxation and increases heart rate. And in addition, although popular culture disseminates that 'cigarettes lose weight', in the long run it can promote weight gain. ”

"Good" cigarettes?

In recent years, some products have gained popularity, especially among young people, as they are considered “harmless to health”. They are the hookahs (water pipes with flavored tobacco) and electronic cigarettes  (with pure nicotine essence or added flavoring). However, Dr. Padilha explains that, although these products have less absorption of some toxic components, nicotine, which is one of the real causes of cigarette addiction, is still there, often in greater concentration, and can cause cardiac arrhythmias. In addition, some essences contain diacetyl, which causes bronchiolitis obliterans.

Trying to quit? Follow the tips:

  • Avoid places with many smokers;
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and stimulants;
  • Break the routine. Smoking is usually related to specific moments, such as after waking up or having lunch, or having a cup of coffee. Change the location of the meal and vary the dishes and times of the activities;
  • Seek support from family and friends;
  • Do not trade one addiction for another. Eating to appease the urge to smoke, for example, is not a solution;
  • Resist! The impulse for a cigarette lasts only a few minutes. Keep in mind the phrase "I decided to quit smoking";
  • Reshape your habits, taking what is bad and introducing natural and simple factors. One tip is the eight natural remedies , recommended by the Adventist Church;
  • If you fall, don't be discouraged! Life's greatest achievements do not come from momentary impulses, but are built day by day, exercising willpower. Remember, also, to seek strength in God, for it is He “who produces in you both the will and the fulfillment, according to His good will” (Philippians 2:13).

Course How to quit smoking

The Adventist Church has an anti-smoking initiative. The  How to Quit Smoking program  promotes free courses and provides spaces in rooms of the temples themselves, or establishes partnerships with city halls, with the aim of helping anyone who is trying to quit smoking. For more information, click here to find an Adventist church near you.


This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Spanish site