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Smoking or Alcohol: Which one is more dangerous?

India TV Lifestyle Desk New Delhi 31 May 2017, 12:46:32 IST
India TV Lifestyle Desk

Mostly people are curious to know which habit is more injurious to health: alcohol addiction or smoke addiction. It is nearly impossible to pick one among cigarettes and alcohol to tell which one is more harmful for your health. The way they are taken inside the body is different, thus their impact is also different. Both are lethal when consumed in uncontrolled manner. Let’s shed light on the negative impacts of each one by one.

We’ll talk about alcohol first. 

Alcohol consumption when in excess can result in many serious health problems. It can lead to development of 60 major types of diseases and it causes approximately 2.5 million deaths every year, even more than HIV or tuberculosis! 

Here are the ailments and risk directly linked to excessive alcohol consumption. 

  • Accidental injuries, due to impairment of psychomotor abilities, like falls, drowning or poisoning. 
  • Suicide and self-harm are some of the intentional injuries that people can cause themselves under intoxication. 
  • It weakens immune system, which increases the risk of virus-borne diseases. 
  • Uncontrolled consumption cause throat, mouth, liver, esophagus, breast and colon cancers. 
  • It also causes neuropsychiatric disorders like epilepsy and withdrawal-induced seizures. 
  • Alcohol is the third-leading cause of disease and disability, after malnutrition and unprotected sex. Under the effect of alcohol, one is more prone to indulge in an unprotected sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies and STD’s including HIV AIDS. 

Now coming to cigarettes. They are highly addictive, plus they contain more than 4,000 chemicals. These chemicals stimulate addiction, which causes people to smoke more frequently. To be medically straight, there is no safe level of cigarette use. Even one cigarette can do much harm to your body, especially your respiratory system. 

The diseases which are caused by smoke inhalation are: 

  • Cardiovascular diseases such as Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Cerebrovascular Disease, and Coronary Heart Disease
  • Reproductive effects, such as reduced female fertility, preterm delivery, low birth weight, and fetal death
  • Cancers of the bladder, cervix, esophagus, kidney, lungs, and mouth
  • Cigarette smoking can also cause coughing, wheezing, lung function decline, and susceptibility to acute respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.

  • Every year, six million people die due to smoke inhalation, which sadly includes the ones who are non-smokers. This makes up to 6-8 % of healthcare costs in the United States. 
  • India is no less. According to World Health Organisation, India is home to world’s 12% smoking population and approximately 900,000 people die every in India due to smoking.