HEALTHY LIVING WITHOUT SMOKING
Smoking is simply defined as an activity of inhaling and exhaling the smoke of lighten cigar or cigarette. Generally, this activity has been becoming a habit for several people in the middle of our society. Moreover, those who are called as active smoker would rather think that smoking is more fun than jogging without considering its impact towards either their own health or the passive smokers’ nearby. People rarely consider that smoking is a bad habit. Because basically, those who have been taken smoking as their habitual activity (active smoker) would rather think that smoking is the therapy of stress feeling and depression. In this case, contradict with the idea of smoking which can be taken as an alternative way to remove stress feeling and depression; I would rather think that smoking is very harmful to our physical and psychological health. Because the tobacco smokes from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes contains over 4,000 chemical compounds and breathable, suspended particles. While in some cases, smoking can cause the emergence of poverty and unproductive population in our society.
Virtually, there are two main actors who involve in smoking activity and they are commonly called as the active smoker and the passive smoker. The active smoker belongs to those who consume cigar or cigarette either in small portion or in big portion, while the passive smokers are the people who inhale the tobacco smoke. Passive smoker tend to be more easily infected by dangerous disease which is caused by tobacco smoke from cigar or cigarette. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds in which 200 are poisonous and other 43 types are very carcinogen towards our body. The chemical compound which is produced by tobacco smoke consists of 85% component of gas and particles. The components of gas include ammonia, arsenic, benzene, cadmium, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, naphthalene, urethane, and a variety of nitrosamines (potent human carcinogens), while the particles are tar, nicotine, and cresol. Here are brief explanations about how could those poisonous substance affects our body.
- 1. Nicotine. This chemical substance has a potential of rising blood pressure, destructing blood circulation which finally causing heart attack. Nicotine is also categorized as an incentive drug which causes the addiction and dipsomania. The amount of 4-6 mg nicotine inhaled by adult everyday can cause the addiction towards the user.
- 2. Lead (Pb). It can be produced by a piece of cigarette at the rate of 0.5 ug, while the limit number of lead which can be accepted by our body in one day is 20 ug. If a person inhales about 40 cigarettes (2 packages) per one day, they will have more than 20 ug of lead inside their body in which finally can harm their health. Because lead is categorized as one of the dangerous chemical substance towards human’s body.
- 3. Carbon monoxide (CO). The carbon monoxide found in tobacco smoke is the same as in car’s exhaust system. It is colorless and odorless gas which interfere our body’s mechanical system in making use of oxygen that we inhale to fuel our cells. Normally, oxygen binds to our red blood cells by attaching hemoglobin. When we smoke, carbon monoxide attaches to our body, and deactivates these red blood cells from fuelling our body. Basically, the number of carbon monoxide is far less than hemoglobin in our red blood cell. However, if we still keep smoking tobacco product, the great number of hemoglobin will be replaced by carbon monoxide. Up to ten percent of our body’s hemoglobin can be deactivated when we are smoking. This is how smoking can affect our stamina and athletic ability. The increased level of carbon monoxide in our red blood cells means less supply of oxygen in our brain. Fortunately, our body is able to eliminate the carbon monoxide quickly. Therefore, by quitting from smoking in few days, we can have our stamina reformed and become more energetic than before.
- 4. Tar. Tar is the set of thousands chemical substances inside the solid component of tobacco smoke and it is very carcinogen. The characteristic of this chemical substance is dark colored and easily to retain or settle in the large amount in our organ. It delivers nicotine to our lungs. When tobacco smoke is inhaled, most of the tar are retained for a while in the mucous lining of the lungs and then mostly distributed to our body. Tar is also retained in oral cavity in the form of solid steam. After it is being cold, it become solid and it shapes brown sediment on the surface of our teeth, respiratory canal, and lungs. After years of smoking, the sedimentation of tar in our lungs can cause tobacco-related disease. If we consume alcohol and cigarette at the same time, more carcinogens in the tobacco smoke are dissolved into the bloodstream because alcohol is a very effective solvent.
The active smokers also have the tendency of loosing their antibody’s substances. Because, the direct effect of tobacco smoke causes the irritation of gums. When tobacco product, e.g. nicotine enters to our body throughout bloodstream and saliva; the gums, the tooth membrane, the tooth semen, and the bone where the teeth are planted turn out to be destroyed because the nicotine interferes the normal function of antibody’s mechanism towards the infection and stimulates our body to destroy the healthy tissues nearby. Therefore, there is the reduction of antibody’s substance in saliva which is used to neutralize the bacteria inside of oral cavity. The further impact is that, antibody’s cell can not eat the bacteria until it looses its sensibility toward the alteration surrounding and also the infection.
For some recent years, scientists had proven that the chemical substances of tobacco smoke affect the other peoples nearby who aren’t smoking. The passive smokers would rather have risk to be infected by lungs cancer disease and coronary heart attack. Moreover, inhaling tobacco smoke from active smokers will also affect those who suffer asthma, angina (the painful of thorax/chest as the constriction of heart blood vessel), and allergy. The indications of health nuisance which are caused by inhaling tobacco smoke are; eyes irritation, nausea, dizziness, sore throat, cough, and asthma. The pregnant woman, who smokes or becomes the passive smoker, distributes poisonous chemical compounds of tobacco smoke to the fetus throughout blood circulation. Nicotine accelerates the heart beat of the fetus, while carbon monoxide reduces the supply of oxygen for the fetus. Children whose parents are the active smoker would rather have more possibility to suffer sore thorax and the infection of ears, nose, and throat.
The Effect of Smoking towards the Social Condition
Smoking and poverty among poor population are the two major things which have close relationship and influence one another. Someone who smokes like everyday has lost their chance to supply the daily needs for their family. In this case, the active smokers from poor family would rather allocate their money to buy 2 packs of cigarette than buying 1 kg of rice or 500 gr of milk for their children. As a result, their children can not grow well and have poor mentality development which finally makes them loose their capacity to live better in the future. Besides that, there is also a possibility for the father to die earlier because of tobacco-related disease. If we let this condition to occur over and over again in our society, we will have long-term crisis of poverty, social-economy, and morality.
In the last recent decades, the consumption of cigarette in Indonesia increases 44.1 % and the number of smoker is 70% of the total populations, 60% of them are the smoker within low salary (Susenas 1995 and 2001). From those data, it is proved that the consumption of cigarette is frequently done by the poor people who have uncertain jobs with low salary. The impact of consuming cigarette among the poor populations will eventually cause the degradation of moral. It can happen because if the consumer of cigarette can not control their habit of smoking, they will tend to spend all their money, even their treasure just for getting one pack or a piece of cigarette. They will do anything including criminal action just to earn some money to buy cigarette. It’s just the same with the drugs consumer who has been in a terrible addiction of heroin, marijuana or morphine in which in this case, they will tend to do anything to satisfy their needs of those kinds of drugs.
The habitual of smoking will be rarely done among the population of developed country, because mostly people in the developed country are much aware about the negative impact of smoking towards their health and the people’s nearby. The government of developed country has successfully socialized about the negative impact of smoking and how smoking affects health and environment. In the developed country, the presentation of active smoker tends to decrease continuously and now it is only about 30% of age men who have smoking habit. People in developed country like USA, Japan, Germany and UK, also consider cigarette as the main factor which causes death, dangerous disease, and disability. However the greatest account of the active smoker found in developed country are mostly also come from the lower class family.
From WHO’s report entitled “Tobacco and Poverty: A Vicious Cycle”, proved that the most number of smoker came from poor society whose economical and health problems due to smoking addiction. From 1.3 billion of smoker in all over the world, 84% of them come from developing country, such as Indonesia, India, Philippine, Vietnam, and Myanmar. This condition can happen because the lack awareness of the negative impact of smoking among the people in developing country, especially the poor society. Poor people usually lack of knowledge and education because of the restrictiveness of money to pay the school fee either for themselves or their children. Therefore, they only have limited access of information about the danger of smoking. They will be easily targeted by the tobacco company to consume its product regularly without considering the effects towards their health and their family.
In this case, based on the research of UNICEF in Indonesia, the money that is spent by mostly poor family in one month is about Rp 300,000 – Rp 700,000, and 96% of it, is used to buy daily needs including cigarette. While the allocation of their money to buy cigarette is about Rp 225,000, it means that the income of the poor family are mostly spent to buy cigarette. This phenomenon will probably lead the emergence of the worst condition of poverty and the lack of nutrient in the society.
Here are brief explanation about how smoking affects the economy condition and the lack of nutrient among the poor family:
- 1. The addiction of smoking will lead someone to be lack of nutrients in their body. We can imagine if someone who has uncertain jobs and low salary is addicted with cigarette, he will tend to spend mostly his salary just for buying one pack or two packs of cigarette a day. For example, those whose job is a beggar, they will spend Rp 7,500 from their total income Rp 10,000 a day just to get one pack of cigarette. Then, finally they will only have Rp 2,500 to buy some foods or other daily needs. If we think it logically, what will we get from Rp 2,500 except some foods which only satisfy once or maybe two times of eating meals a day? By Rp 2,500 probably we will only get one pack of rice completed with side dish such as tempe or soya bean and a glass of water. Therefore, if this condition is being kept by the beggars, eventually their body will lack of nutrient from food that they usually consume. Because basically our body needs the balance of nutrition and mineral substance to keep our antibody from dangerous disease.
- 2. The addiction of smoking will lead someone to do criminal action. Those whose salaries are low, they have tendency to do anything to gain much more money just to get one pack of cigarette. For example, if someone’s salary is Rp 10,000 a day, while they have to consume two packs of cigarette which costs Rp 15,000, of course they will seek for some money either they have to find some side jobs or they have to steal and rob the bank or other persons’ money. Actually, this kind of phenomenon is frequently happens in the society especially among the poor people.
- 3. The addiction of smoking will lead someone to be poorer than before. We can imagine if someone has enough salary to supply their daily needs while they are addicted of smoking, of course sooner or later they will spend much money to examine their illness because of smoking. Based on the explanation above that by consuming cigarette regularly, our body will be easily infected by the tobacco-related disease such as lungs cancer, coronary heart attack, and many other dangerous diseases caused by tobacco smoke. We all know that the cost of having those kinds of diseases to be cured is very expensive.
The Impact of Smoking toward Human’s Productivity and Behaviors
The smoking habit can be owned by someone because of some factors. Based on the research of UNICEF, someone can have the smoking habit because of:
- 1. Genetic factor. For example: if a father is the active smoker, there will be a possibility for his children to imitate his smoking habit.
- 2. Personality factor. For example: if someone feels depress because of their jobs, they will have possibility to remove their feeling by smoking. This phenomenon is frequently happen among the age man.
- 3. Social factor. Someone can have smoking habit because of the influence from their friends nearby.
- 4. Psychodynamic factor. Those who loose their happiness will also have tendency to do smoking. Because they would rather think that smoking is more fun than watching movie.
- 5. Enjoying the sensation of smoking. Those who smoke mostly feel proud and enjoy of having smoking.
- 6. Pharmacological factor. Nicotine which is produced by tobacco smoke has great potential of stimulating someone to be addicted with cigarette.
What we can analyze from those six factors which make someone to have smoking habit is that mostly of those factors come from other people’s smoking habit. It means that someone who is an active smoker will tend to have the behavior of influencing someone else to follow their habit. The significant influence of smoking towards the productivity of human’s body can be seen from the way the active smoker behaves in the society. Normally, those who have smoking habit, they tend to be weaker and powerless in doing many kind of activities. Some say that they feel difficult to be focused on their work before smoking. It can happens because their smoking habit lead them to inhale carbon dioxide in great number which finally it disturb the operation of oxygen in red blood cell to fuel the whole cells in our body. Imagine if our body is filled with carbon monoxide, we will finally lack the supply of oxygen which is the fuel of our body, because, if we want to do something, what we need is the fuel to produce energy.
Smoking also influences our behavior. Because when someone is addicted with cigarette, they tend to rely on smoking when doing something. Someone who becomes the active smoker would rather have unconditional emotion than those who do not smoke. They will loose their spirit if they do not smoke. Those who are usual with smoking, will be easily suffer stress and depression because the influence of carbon monoxide in their brain. Based on the explanation above, the high level of carbon monoxide in our red blood cell will directly disturb the needs of oxygen in the blood circulation to our brain.
In conclusion, there are so many dangerous impacts which we can get from smoking activity. Besides we will get dangerous tobacco-related disease such as lungs cancer and coronary heart attack, we will also have serious problems in managing our emotional and psychological condition. Furthermore, the large consumption of cigarette will only cause poverty and the lack of nutrient toward the society especially those poor families. Therefore, government should be more aware and care about the danger of smoking. Some ways that can be applied to reduce the number of smoker are by doing campaign of anti smoking and by giving socialization about the danger of smoking activity towards our health and environment. Hopefully our government would ratify the Frame Work Convention on Tobacco Control in order our country Indonesia would be the regional leader in the action of tobacco control.