If you are a teen and smoked just one cigarette at the age of 11 you may take up smoking within the next few years again, says a study. The compulsion to smoke after having tried just one cigarette can lie dormant for more than three years, indicating a “sleeper effect”, says the study that looked into teenage smoking habits, according to Newswise wire.
The researchers studied almost 6,000 11 to 16-year-olds attending 36 representative schools across south London and measured their salivary cotinine, a biochemical indicator of nicotine intake. By the age of 14, pupils who had given smoking a go just once at the age of 11 were twice as likely to have become regular smokers as their peers who had not tried out smoking. This was the case even after a gap of three years or more, the researchers found.
I vaguely remember reading in a mag, in 1988 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that getting hooked on Cigarettes, it seems, is quite easy; and the reasons are no longer mysterious. Once a person starts smoking, he continues and the brain begins to release chemicals called beta endorphins. Their effect is to calm and relax. Thus smoking has the diabolical ability to give pleasure by both stimulating and calming the nervous system. Smokers have hard time quitting, even when they are well aware of the links with lung cancer and other serious medical problems. The bright side is that the health benefits of quitting are enormous but to give up, means coping with both physical and mental withdrawal, because smokers are truly addictive. Chewing gum containing nicotine was introduced a few years ago, hailed by some doctors as a good way to treat heavy smokers.
A research study by Drs. Judy Makin, Peter A. Fried, Department of Psychology,
Children of nonsmoking mothers generally were found to perform better than the two smoking groups (active and passive) on tests of math ability, speech and language skills, intelligence, visual/spatial abilities and on the mother’s rating of behavior. The performance of children of passive smokers was found, in most areas, to be between that of the active smoking and nonsmoking groups. Some of the tests given included the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R), the Wide Range Achievement Test -Revised (WRAT-R) for measuring general reading, spelling and math ability and the Test of Language Development-Primary (TOLD), which measures grammatical understanding, the ability to imitate sentences and correctly produce speech sounds. The behavioral assessment was done by the Conners Parent Questionnaire, a behavioral symptom checklist, completed by the child’s mother. On the academic achievement tests, the mathematics score was the most lowered by active and passive cigarette smoking. The three main areas appearing more often in the Connors behavior rating scale were Hyperactivity, Conduct Problems and Impulsivity. Of significant interest, twice as many children in the active smoking group compared to the nonsmoking group were perceived by the mother as having problems in school. This is in agreement with five other studies showing children of active smokers have a higher incidence of misbehavior, poorer adjustment at school and increased activity levels. The nonsmoking group was rated as showing the best attention and cooperation.
Well, benefits are more to quit smoking ! The immediate health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial and they are:
*Heart rate and blood pressure, which are abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal.
*Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline. (Carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.)
*Within a few weeks, people who quit smoking have improved circulation, produce less phlegm, and don’t cough or wheeze as often.
*Within several months of quitting, people can expect substantial improvements in lung function
* In addition, people who quit smoking will have an improved sense of smell, and food will taste better.
Think about Quitting to Smoke? It’s a wise idea. You can quite smoking now if you are into a habit. If addicted, Step in to smokefree. It’s your life, anyways. Smoking is indeed, a serious health hazard. After all, the smoke in cigarettes does much of the damage, and eliminating it seems to represent a net healthy gain.
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(All Posts by ilaxi patel: This Health & Fitness Blog is based on personal thoughts and research work. Readers may please Consult your Doctor for your Health Problems)