According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about a third of the world population is devoted to smoking, responsible for two million deaths a year, and use of tobacco is the leading cause of death which is easiest to avoid. About half of the people who do not quit smoking will die of smoking-related problems. The life expectancy of a smoker is still 8 years less than that of non-smokers. In Italy, smoking causes about 100,000 deaths each year, i.e. 1/6 of all deaths in our country. There is a strong dose-dependent correlation between exposure to tobacco smoke and the increase in mortality, depending on the age at which they started smoking, inhalation, cigarette consumption, and the number of years of smoking.
Tobacco smoke is composed of more than 4,000 substances, most of which are extremely harmful to the human body. Among these the most harmful are: nicotine, responsible for dependence on cigarette smoking and serious cardiovascular damage; carbon monoxide, responsible for the reduced availability of oxygen to all tissues; tar, which is deposited in the bronchi and lungs and can cause neoplasia (cancer); polonium 210, a radioactive substance, smoking 30 cigarettes a day is equivalent in a year to 300 chest X-rays. Smoking is clearly an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Nicotine has a powerful action on vasoconstriction of vessels that can be decisive in the onset of pectoris angina, arterial hypertension and infarction. Carbon monoxide drastically decrease the amount of oxygen available making the ischemia (i.e., the shortage of oxygen) more severe in patients with coronary disorders, and increasing the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias. Smoking dramatically accelerates atherosclerosis, facilitates thrombosis and increases endothelial damage. Therefore,
The first manifestation of ischemic heart disease in some susceptible individuals can be sudden death, and the probability that this will occur in smokers younger is 2 to 4 times higher than non-smokers. In women who smoke , especially in women over 35 years of age, the ' simultaneous use of oral contraceptives , increases about ten times the risk of heart attack .
In both men and women smoking increases the risk of cerebrovascular events (stroke, transient ischemic attack, subarachnoid haemorrhage, etc.). The cigarette smoke aggravates the charged peripheral ischemia of the lower limbs and can interfere negatively on the success of a peripheral bypass surgery.
Cigarette smoke reduces the mechanical and biological defences of the respiratory tract, thereby exposing smokers to a greater frequency of respiratory infections. It is also able to alter the pulmonary function and structure. The reduction in lung function can, over time, cause a slow destruction of the distal air spaces to the terminal bronchioles respiratory bronchioles (emphysema).
In addition to these dramatic effects on the cardiovascular apparatus, respiratory system and the onset of many forms of cancer, cigarette smoke also dramatically reduces the body's antioxidant capacity and increases the production of oxygen free radicals of all tissues, ultimately causing a faster, premature aging process.
In women, smoking reduces fertility, anticipates menopause and ages skin, favouring the onset of wrinkles.
Fortunately, people who quit smoking can greatly reduce the risk of disease and premature death. Although health benefits are greater for people who stop at an earlier age, cessation is beneficial at any age.
Quitting smoking is associated with the following health benefits:
WITHIN 20 minutes- normalizes blood pressure - it normalizes the heartbeat - the temperature of hands and feet returns to normal;
WITHIN 8 hours- carbon dioxide levels in the blood drops and the level of oxygen normalizes;
WITHIN 24 hours- decreases the attracting risk of heart attack;
WITHIN 48 hours- start to regrow nerve endings – improved sense of smell and taste;
WITHIN 72 hours- relax of bronchial tubes, thereby facilitating breathing – increase of lung capacity
DA 2 WEEKS TO 3 MONTHS- improved circulation - walking becomes less and less tiring - 30% increase of lung function;
FROM 3 TO 9 months- decrease fatigue, shortness of breath, sinusitis and cough – increase in overall energy levels;
WITHIN 1 year - the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, all reduced by half;
WITHIN 5 years - mortality from lung cancer for the average smoker (one pack a day) decreases from 137 to 72 per hundred thousand people; after 10 years it goes down to 12 for a hundred thousand which is the norm;
WITHIN 10 years- precancerous cells are replaced, decreasing the risk of other cancers: the mouth, larynx, oesophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas. - the risk of lung cancer is reduced by half;
WITHIN 15 years- the risk of cardiovascular disease becomes comparable to that of a person who has never smoked.
The Vera Salus Project
The Vera Salus project is a scientific and medical approach to smoking cessation that, instead of anecdotal and empirical ways, uses a targeted therapy, widely supported by major scientific studies, which proved to have a real chance of success in the long-term suspension of habitual smoking.
This new method consists of evaluating, in a specific manner, the reversible damage that smoking may already have had on the organism and observe in what manner and when these damages are actually and progressively cancelled by the lasting and effective suspension of smoking.
The Vera Salus Project, in addition to a complete medical evaluation of the patient's state of health, examines, by means of a simple blood capillary sample through puncture by the finger, the level of oxidative stress on the organism (production of free oxygen radicals) and the status of the antioxidant defences of each smoker. In this manner it is possible to quantize the propensityto aging of the organism, which is accelerated by the chronic consumption of cigarettes.
Following this, a specific therapy is prescribed to facilitate smoking cessation and most importantly, avoid short term recovery, combined with a possible psychological and therapeutic support with antioxidant supplements. The patient is monitored over time by means of a follow-up that aims to reassess the clinical conditions of oxidative stress values and antioxidant defences. In this way, each patient will be able not only to personally evaluate the success of the actual suspension from the smoke, but also the effectiveness of smoking cessation on the status of their body's health.
There will be three controls: the first introduction to smoking cessation, the second at the sixth week, and the third at the twelfth week.