Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Harmful Effects of Cigarette Smoking

 Harmful effects of cigarette smoking are numerous.  Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits any one can develop. It is one of the leading causes of death. It is highly addictive and extremely difficult to get rid of.
the habit
Wikimedia Commons: Gereunited

Smoking and Your Health
                                                                                                                                        Smoking is very dangerous for your health. Once you pick up the habit, the number of cigarettes you smoke goes on increasing day by day. I picked up the habit when I was at college and smoked about two packs of cigarettes a day.  All my efforts to kick the habit were futile. I always remembered the famous quotation by Mark Twain “It is easy to quit smoking. I have done it a thousand times“.

Only when I got attacks of bronchial asthma found it hard to breathe, I got rid of the habit. Even then it was very difficult to stop. But the discomfort I was going through by far outweighed the pleasure I was getting out of smoking.

Finally after several false starts (stops), I finally got rid of the habit. When you decide stop cigarette smoking, you are aware one single puff can bring back your habit in full force. You will be counting days, weeks and months. Only after six months I was sure I was rid of the habit.

But even I got over the smoking habit, bronchial asthma remained. I suffered for years. I was taking salbutamol regularly. I was also on cortisones. Later I changed over to inhalers.

I was always looking for some remedy. My problem was acute in winter. I smoked for thirteen years. But I suffered from bronchial asthma for 30 years. I tried alternative systems of medicine. But nothing happened.

One season rains were heavy. My problem was very acute. I was taking greater dosage of medicines than that was prescribed. As a final resort I decided to learn pranayama ( breathing exercise). Fortunately I found an ayurvedic doctor, who knew and could teach pranayama well. I had two sessions with him.

I was taught six sets of breathing exercises to perform daily.

First exercise breath in out rapidly ten times.

 Second was take in a deep breath, hold it for 4 seconds, and breath out.

Third was to take in a deep breath hold it for 8 seconds and breath out slowly.

Fourth was to take in a deep breath and hold it for 12 seconds and breath out slowly in 8 secs.

Most important thing is that the breath you take in has to be deep enough so that you expand your lungs properly.

Fifth is breath in and out deeply in deeply 30 (10x3) times. As you take in the breath lift both your hands straight over your head. Bring it down as you breath out.

Finally breath in and out rapidly 20 times.

As I started to practice this my bronchial asthma stated to decline. After three months, I was almost rid of the problem. Even now I am almost free of the problem. Occasionally, I do feel slightly breathless. Then I take a puff of salbutamol. But I am not doing pranayama regularly. When I do experience the problem, I start once again. I have realized it would have been better not to have started cigarette smoking. At least I have stopped before it was too late.

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