LET’S GO A-DRINKING

“Don’t take alcohol, you will get drunk and not be able to control your actions …“Don’t smoke, except you are tired of life and really hate your lungs” and hey, ”it is unchristian to smoke and  get drunk”.

These are what most persons know about the effects of alcohol and smoking, but, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

We  begin by saying that smoking and drinking are two lifestyle habits that get a lot of negative criticism in the health industry and for good reason. They both cause multiple complications in the body, which eventually would range from mild sicknesses to lethal conditions, such as;

EMPHYSEMA

This is simply the abnormal accumulation of air in tissues, especially in lungs. The lungs, originally are pliable organs that need to be elastic and flexible to move properly. Smoking causes the lungs to become damaged and it compromises their elasticity. This in turn leads to a condition called emphysema where breathing becomes labored, even with minimal exertion. Smoking is responsible for 80 to 90 per cent of all cases of emphysema, according to PDR [Physician’s health reference].

LUNG CANCER

Smoking is one of the leading risk factors for this disease. This could emanate from first-hand smoking or second-hand smoking. Second-hand smoking is the smoke you breathe in from other people’s “business”, some call it the TATAFO PUFF. This unhealthy threat can linger on in a room, even hours after a smoker has left.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

AHA!!! THIS ONE WILL GET YOU GUYS ATTENTION, if nothing else will. To achieve an erection, males must get a steady flow of blood going to the penis. If this flow of blood is compromised due to excessive intake of alcohol or incessant smoking, erection dysfunction can occur. MayoClinic.com views both excessive tobacco use and unremitted drinking as risk factors for erectile dysfunction.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

When you drink excessively and smoke, you increase your chances of getting high blood pressure. This is defined as having a reading of 140/90 mmHg or above. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause congestive heart failure, heart attacks, stroke, kidney damage and vision loss, notes the American Heart Association.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL

Cholesterol is produced naturally in the liver and it is used by the body for hormone and cell production. When levels become elevated, plaque can form on the walls of the arteries and obstruct the flow of blood to the heart. Smoking promotes this process by damaging the blood vessel walls. In addition, smoking lowers the levels of “good” cholesterol, thus putting the body at risk to hormonal malfunction, amongst other things.

CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER

The liver is a major organ in the body that produces bile which breaks down fat; the liver also helps purify the blood in addition, the liver performs glucose break down and serves as storage for iron. However, heavy drinking over the course of time can cause liver damage. In the worst of cases, a condition in which the liver slowly deteriorates and malfunctions due to chronic injury.

WRINKLES

ALL MY LADIES!! you really need to read this. The skin, amongst other things is composed of elastin and collagen fibre, however, nicotine and other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes damages this skin components, which in turn leads to premature wrinkling. This could take place anywhere on the body, including the face and arms. HEHE…SO IF YOU DON’T WANNA LOOK LIKE YO GRAND MA, you really need to quit the habit, if you are already engaged passively or actively! pronto!

**Now, it is pertinent to note that the foreigners that we in Africa tend to copy, smoke and drink partly due to their cold weather in other to generate body heat, the weather in Washington DC ranges around 240C /170 C , while that in Nigeria about 860 F /710F. Even to one who really isn’t  good with figures, this difference is alarming. the question is WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO HEAT UP? IS IT OUR ALREADY HOT WEATHER IN NIGERIA OR OUR ALREADY SWEATY BODY?

This article would be a failure without proffering suggestions on how to quit smoking. Thus, here are a few tips;

-Self-help books provide advice and useful techniques.

-You can find free information leaflets at your local health institution or library.

-Your doctors or specialist may be able to refer you to a stop-smoking group.

-Nicotine replacement; chewing gum, sprays and patches can help in the early stages of giving up but is not suitable for people who have already had a stroke.

**Public Health England’s Stop-tober campaign is back for its third year – encouraging the nation the nation’s 8 million smokers to stop smoking for 28 days. If you can stop smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stay quit. You will begin to experience financial, physical and health benefits including a better sense of taste and smell and a reduced risk of stroke, lung, cancer and heart disease, you can join England in this adventure, distance is not a barrier. You can watch the Stop-tober promotional movie on YouTube or search for more information about it via goggle.

-The NHSSmokefree Helpline can also help you discuss the different ways you can give up the addiction, that is, if you are already hooked. Their helpline opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 11am-5pm. Call Smokefree on 0800 022 4 332 or log onto www.cantstopsmoking.com.

-According to one researcher, women should not drink more than two to three units of alcohol a day but if one is pregnant it is advisable not drink at all. This will do no damage to the body as well as ensure the sanity of the person.

-Although doctors support a less than moderate unit of alcohol in a small glass of wine, or a single measure of spirits or half a pint of beer. the writer of this article does not vouch for this though, thus, if you want to be clean, be clean and not have spots because the negative effects of these twin pillars greatly outweigh the positives. OH WELL, EVERYONE IS EENTITLEDTO REVIEW THE OPTIONS.

Conclusively, we are all free to make choices, but, the consequence of our choice is what we are not free from. So make the right choice today, LIVE HEALTHY, DDON’TDIE, ONLY STAY ALIVE!

               By JOE-RAY

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