According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, suicides, motor vehicle injuries, and murders combined. Are your CNAs aware of the effects of smoking? Do they know how to help clients who are trying to kick the habit? By sharing the following information and tips at your next CNA inservice meeting, you may give your aides a new perspective on the dangers of smoking.
What Can Smoking Do to You?
For many years, the American public has known about the very harmful effects of smoking-from bad smelling breath and hair to more serious health issues such as cancer and strokes. The latest U. S. Surgeon General report states that it’s even worse than anyone knew. “The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows.” Smoking harms almost all of the body’s organs, even the skin.
Amazingly, most of the major causes of deaths of the elderly are linked to smoking and to secondhand smoke. So, why do people smoke, anyway?
There are a lot reasons. For many, smoking may have looked sexy or glamorous. Hollywood certainly portrayed that image for decades. Smokers may think it gives them confidence or makes them look “cool.” Some people think smoking relaxes them or helps control their weight. Others say they like the taste of tobacco.
Of course, everyone knows that smoking is an best bongs to buy for gift addictive habit. That could be the real reason why most people continue to smoke–despite knowing that smoking is harmful to them and to others.
The chemicals in tobacco are very toxic and addictive. Yet, each year tobacco companies spend billions and billions of dollars advertising their products to encourage people to continue smoking or to start smoking.
Read on to find out more about the harmful effects of smoking. You may be shocked and surprised at what you learn!
What’s So Bad about Tobacco Anyway?
All forms of tobacco are hazardous to the body-even chewing tobacco and snuff.
Believe it or not, there are over 4000 chemicals in tobacco and around 400 of them are harmful. At least 63 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer in people.
Here are just a few of the ingredients found in tobacco-and the smoke it creates:
Acetone-a chemical used in nail polish remover.
Hydrogen Cyanide-rat poison.
Carbon Monoxide-an odorless, colorless toxic gas.
Arsenic-a fatal poison.
Formaldehyde-a chemical used to preserve the dead.
Nicotine-the chemical that makes cigarettes so addictive.
Lead-a poisonous metal.
Why Is It Difficult to Quit Smoking?
Author Mark Twain once said, “Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” Why is it so hard to quit? The answer is nicotine, one of the many dangerous and toxic chemicals in tobacco. Nicotine is extremely addictive. Found naturally in tobacco, it produces physical and “mood-altering” effects that the brain’s “pleasure centers” find satisfying for a short period of time.
Nicotine dependence-can it happen to you? You bet it can…and very easily, too. Studies have shown that it may take only a few weeks of smoking for the body to begin to crave it.
Because of the large surface area of the lungs, when cigarette smoke is inhaled, nicotine reaches the brain within seven seconds-faster than drugs that are given through an IV! Smokers build up a tolerance to nicotine so that the body wants more and more of it. Eventually, they can withstand higher doses of nicotine without feeling sick.
It has been suggested that a person is highly dependent on nicotine if there is a need to smoke within 30 minutes of waking up. The level of dependence on nicotine is determined by how long a person has been smoking and how much they smoke.
Some signs of nicotine addiction include: an inability to stop smoking; continuing to smoke even when health issues arise; giving up social activities in order to smoke; and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit-such as insomnia, depressed mood, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, headache, drowsiness, frustration, anger, stomach upset, weight gain, decreased heart rate, and concentration troubles.
Some Tips to Help Your Clients
If your client is a smoker, it’s very important to encourage him not to smoke in bed, near drapes or to fall asleep in a chair while smoking. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of fire related deaths in the home. Smoking causes about 30% of fire deaths and causes over 2,400 injuries each year in the United States.
If you are a smoker as well, think about quitting with your client so that you can help each other “kick the habit.”
Most people experience nicotine withdrawal when they quit smoking. Some symptoms are worse than others. Encourage your clients to get regular exercise-even a short walk will help. Here are some other tips for helping clients with nicotine withdrawal:
To help with irritability and nervousness, encourage them to try deep breathing exercises and to cut back on caffeine.
To help with increased appetite, suggest drinking more water or fruit juice and eating healthy snacks. Chewing gum may help, too.
For stomach and bowel problems, suggest drinking more water, eating more fruits, vegetables and foods with fiber.
Remember…It takes most smokers several attempts to quit before they are successful. So someone should never give up after only one try. And, while withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, they are temporary, lasting only one to two weeks.