The harmful effects of smoking
cigarettes are not a Joke!
Dr. Umm-e-Saarib Attariyyah (Neuro Specialist, Karachi)
One of the most widely sold items in the world is the cigarette. The number of smokers can be estimated by looking at the frequent buying and selling of cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes sometimes leads to taking other drugs such as marijuana, heroin, crystal meth etc. The first step to more harmful drugs is smoking, however, now we see that very young children have become addicted to cigarettes. The path to other drugs can be barred if smoking is prevented, because the smoker may later become addicted to other drugs. At the same time, there are physical and financial losses to the smoker too. Let’s look at some of the disadvantages and harms of smoking:
According to research, smokers make up more than 33% of the world's population. Smoking not only causes various diseases but also kills millions of people every year. Some of these victims are those who do not smoke themselves but sit next to the smokers and live in their environment, so they are also affected by the smoke.
Why does one get into the habit of smoking?
According to a study, cigarette smoke contains a component that destroys the enzyme ‘Monoamine Oxidase B’ produced in the brain. This enzyme works to counteract the effects of a chemical called dopamine, while dopamine is a pleasure enhancing substance. It is as if ‘Monoamine Oxidase B’ acts as a watchman at the door of desires. In smokers, the amount of this chemical is much lower than the amount of dopamine, so increased dopamine repeatedly prompts them to smoke more in the pursuit of pleasure.
Some of the disadvantages of smoking
It may have some benefits in the eyes of smokers, but mostly it causes only harms, such as:
1. It may cause sleep deprivation
2. In diabetic patients, smoking increases the risk of heart attack.
3. Smoking addicts usually give up fasting because they cannot remain patient.
4. Smokers have to use more medicines because medicines do not have the same affect on them.
Smoking and diseases
Smoking can cause these diseases:
1. Lungs infections
2. Respiratory diseases
3. Psychiatric disorders
5. Risk of rupturing blood vessels in the brain
Smoking and women
These harmful effects of smoking can also be found in women, but there are a few other harmful effects that are specific to women. For example:
1. Decreased birth rate
2. Difficulties during pregnancy
3. Birth of sick or weak children
Smoking and cancer
According to a study, tobacco contains more than 50 chemicals that can cause cancer. Smoking can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, kidneys and liver, while women can also get breast cancer.
It is very difficult to stop smoking cigarettes or any other addiction if it becomes part of one's habit, but if one is patient, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه, one will get rid of this bad habit.
1. The most important thing in this regard is that you make a strong self-determination to quit smoking.
2. Tell your friends, family and office or wherever you work that you have quit smoking. Their encouragement will be very useful.
3. Use more water which will release nicotine from the body.
4. Take a cup of mint tea instead of cigarettes after a meal.
5. Get up early in the morning. Make it a habit to take deep breaths in fresh air and do light exercise.
6. In case of any problem, a psychologist can also be contacted.
If, after quitting smoking, you still feel the need for it from time to time, then do the following, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه, your heart will also be relieved:
1. Start thinking about something else. (May the beautiful image of Makkah and Madinah come to mind)
2. Start doing something. It is better to recite the Qur`an or engage in any other form of zikr.
3. Take a glass of water or juice etc. and drink it slowly. Keep each sip in your mouth for a while.
4. Whenever you feel tempted, take long deep breaths in clean and fresh air. Do this process three to four times a day, it will make you feel calm and you will gradually see positive results.
Five significant benefits of quitting smoking
There are many benefits of quitting smoking, rather, it would not be wrong to say that quitting it only has benefits, and no harms:
1. It improves your health
2. You stay away from a lot of diseases
3. Blood pressure is normalised
4. The chances of heart attack are reduced by 50%
5. It saves you money.
The advice of Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat to the smokers
Shaykh-e-Tareeqat, Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ says: ‘Out of compassion for the Ummah, I tell you that by smoking, you not only harm yourself, but if you smoke cigarettes at home, its smoke can make your children and family members sick too, so have mercy on yourself and your family and quit smoking.’ (Bacho ki zid khatm kernay ka Wazifah, p. 31 summarised)
3 important rulings regarding cigarettes
1. Smoking will break your fast. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 986 selected);
2. It is Makruh (disliked) to recite Bismillah before smoking. (Masjidayn Khushbudar Rakhiye, p. 8, summarised)
3. Smokers should rinse their mouth and use Miswak to clean their mouth completely so that there is no trace of smell (Fatawa Razawiyyah, vol. 1, p. 838 summarised), because in such a situation one cannot go to the Masjid. As mentioned in Bahar-e-Shari’at, it is Haraam to go to the Masjid with a stench. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, p. 428)