Good Bad Ugly

Arjun Singh Rathore
Shokiyon main ghola jaye phoolaon ka shabaab, Usmein phir milaali jaaye thodi sii sharaab, Hogaa yuu nashaa jo taiyyaar, who pyaar hai
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya, Har fikr ko dhue main adatya chala gaya
Bollywood is always fascinated with on screen chemistry of both smoking cigarette and drinking alcohol, but fact of the matter is If you do either to excess, you’ll die broke and If you do both to excess, you’ll die broke sooner.
Smoking and drinking are two habits which are considered to be a part of high-risk lifestyle factors. Both are glamorised as a sense of machismo among the men but ultimately they fall prey to it and women are also no exception to it. The two are extremely harmful to health. You name a disease and alcohol and smoking will be the causative factors of that disease. The two habits have got a lot of negative criticism from the health industry and that is only for the well-being of people. When done regularly, they can cause serious complications in the body. It is thus important to be aware of these health hazards caused by smoking and drinking as they will help you motivate to quit.
Smoking causes cancer and Drinking causes cirrhosis. The disclaimer is written in all cigarette boxes& the bottles of whisky and also displayed in numerous public spaces to make people more aware of the health hazards of smoking and drinking. One of the leading risk factors of lung cancer is smoking and passive smoking. Passive smoking is done when you breathe smoke from other people. Liver is one of the major organs in the body, which is responsible for production of bile. Bile helps in breakdown of fat in the body. Liver also helps in blood purification. If continued for too long, heavy drinking can cause massive damage to liver. It can even lead to liver cirrhosis, which is a condition which slowly deteriorates liver quality and causes it’s malfunctioning because of chronic injury.
Regular smokers are prone to risks of cancers of mouth, larynx, oesophagus, throat and pancreatic cancer. People who smoke and don’t inhale are at risks of mouth cancer. Smoking can increase insulin resistance, which makes you more prone to type 2 diabetes.
Excessive drinking and smoking can make you more prone to risks of high blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase risk of heart disease. According to American Heart Association, if high blood pressure is left untreated, it can lead to cognitive heart failure, kidney damage, heart attack, stroke and loss of vision.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and regular smoking can lead to erectile dysfunction. For getting erection, males need a steady flow of blood flowing through the penis. An interruption in the blood flow leads to erectile dysfunction.
Nicotine in cigarettes reaches your brain and makes you feel more energised initially and then makes you feel tired and crave for more. Nicotine is the major reason why people experience difficulty in quitting smoking. Withdrawal symptoms of smoking involve impaired cognitive function, anxiety, irritation and depression.
Both alcohol and smoking can kill you. The difference is that moderate drinking does not cause serious health problems whereas cigarette smoking does. Moderate drinking, a beer now and then or a whisky, isn’t going to do much harm. Regularly drinking yourself insensible is a coin toss, which goes first, your brain or your liver? I like whisky, and have some most days, but never (any more) to the point where I can’t stand up.Heavy drinking can ruin your family life and can ruin your health so I am not giving it a free pass.
But there is a lot of evidence that moderate drinking (i.e., never getting so plastered you can’t remember what happened) can be beneficial to overall health. I don’t think there is anything to say that smoking can benefit health, although some of the claims made against it nowadays are frankly ludicrous.So if you want to choose one or the other, choose alcohol, but not too much of it!
Then next question is, how much is too much? If you wake up with a head full of sand and a mouth that feels like someone dried it over a stove, that was way too much. If you wake up feeling fine, you’re doing it right.
Cigarette smoking is one thing that is very hard to do in moderation and thus should be avoided. Well, people smoke because they like it. It has an enjoyment aspect but there’s nothing to suggest any kind of medical benefits. You enjoy something that has risks, you accept the risks or you don’t do it.
There can be a responsible drinking, and most people who drink can do so and remain healthy. But nobody who smokes can be considered healthy, in my opinion, and no amount of smoking is safe. Plus, the fact that you can smoke for decades of your life and be unaware of the damage it is causing makes it seem more insidious. At least while drinking, you feel different, and you become aware of its immediate effects. It is easier to understand a drinking problem than a smoking problem because of its effects on life, and it’s therefore easier to seek help. Smoking is incredibly difficult to quit; it is worse than drinking in most cases.
If you look at the numbers, smoking kills many more people. Individuals and societies as a whole, are aware that smoking is harmful yet continue to smoke because of the individual and communal pleasures it brings. Smoking might represent folly and foolhardiness, but its intangible qualities still encourage millions to smoke. However, nicotine is not an intoxicant while alcohol is. Alcohol impairs your judgment, motor function, and can kill you by overdose. It also damages every system of your body and over use can lead to chronic illness and cancer.
This review article focuses on the burden of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in context with its various harmful effects on the mind and body with a note on the sale on counter policies in the country. When both are so dangerously harmful then why these two products in any shape, hard or moderate like pan, gutka, chewing tobacco, beer, wine and RTD beverages are easily available on counter not only in India but worldwide. No doubt the sale of both are a major source of revenue for the states and the respective governments can’t loose on that income, yet the stringent alcohol and tobacco sale policies are needed across the country to reduce their consumption, and both the consumers have to be educated about the various harmful effects of smoking and alcohol consumption and the effects it can have on their mind, body and soul.
*Note: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.

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Op-Ed