Smoking is harmful for health. It not only causes damage to the lungs, which leads to development of COPD (chronic obstructive airway disease), but is also a major risk factor in the development of lung cancer. Additionally, the risk of developing complications from multiple other health related illness including heart problems and risk of developing stroke increase as a result of smoking. Smoking not only affects the smoker but also people around them. Those who suffer from this secondhand smoking or passive smoking have also been found to develop health related issues in long term.


Are other forms of smoking better and safer then smoking cigarette?

Any form of nicotine inhalation; cigar, pipes, e-cigarette or VAPEs are dangerous for health. Different products contain variable quantities of nicotine but eventually the hazardous effect of nicotine develop over time in almost all modalities. There are some other harmful chemicals in these newer products, the far reaching effect and consequence of which on an individual’s health are still under investigation.


If I reduce the number of cigarettes per day, would it prevent me from having any health issues?

Decreasing the number of cigarettes per day does not prevent a person from developing all health-related issues. However, the risk of many different lung, cardiovascular and circulation related problems, as well as the the severity of the complications due to them, can be substantially reduced by not smoking.


If I quit smoking, will the damage that has occurred in my lungs heal completely?

No, once damage to your lungs has taken place, it is largely not reversible. However, it is extremely important to understand that quitting will help in protecting the remaining normal part of the lung from any further damage. Quitting cigarette smoking or nicotine use will reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. If you continue to smoke, you are continuing along a trajectory or path of continued lung injury. This can lead to the inability to breathe comfortably without additional oxygen supplementation.

Is smoking during pregnancy dangerous for the mother or the unborn baby?

Smoking or nicotine use not only affects the health of a mother, but it also affects the safety and well-being of her unborn baby. The health of a developing baby is affected by smoking during pregnancy. Babies born to a smoking mother are also at high risk of developing health related issues after the time of delivery.

I am not smoker but my partner smokes, is my baby still at a risk?

Yes, secondhand smoking can affect the developing baby and increase the risk of development of certain abnormalities and maldevelopment.


Is Smoking E- cigarettes instead of conventional ones safe during pregnancy?

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and nicotine is known to be dangerous for the developing baby, causing serious health issue involving brain, lung and other anomalies or developmental abnormalities.


How to quit smoking?

Achieving a successfully smoke free life, requires strong will power not only to quit but also to overcome the nicotine urge and addiction as well as its withdrawal effect on the body. The decision to quit smoking is made on the part of patient. A good family and friends support along with counsellors can help manage the early withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes if a person is experiencing significant difficulty in managing their symptoms of nicotine withdrawl, medications exist that can be prescribed by a physician or a pulmonologist to help them manage better.

There are certain ways one can substitute the intake of nicotine and these help in the management of nicotine addictions helping overcome the addiction in a manner that allows a patient the minimum amount of discomfort or anxiety. These different routes of administration are called NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) which includes gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers or sprays. Certain prescription pills may be advised to a person trying to overcome nicotine addiction or smoking by their chest specialist or pulmonologist. Your doctor will choose a method that is most suitable for you. Your compliance which is your ability to remain motivated in adhering to the treatment regimen outlined for you will be critical to success. Your chest specialist, his or her team and you are partners in your care and your ability to get you comfortably, to a smoke free and healthier life.


Is vaping a better method to quit smoking?

Vape might not produce tobacco smoke byproducts, but it produces other harmful chemicals. Vaping is not safe and not a suitable method for a person to quit smoking. If you are finding it difficult to quit on your own, the  best way forward is to consult a doctor and get treatment under their supervision.


Are these treatment methods to quit smoking safe for a pregnant female?

Quitting smoking in any stage of pregnancy is beneficial for the mother and the baby. Because medications can have yet unrecognized side effects on unborn babies, the best way for a pregnant mother to quit is to stop without the assistance of other medicines. Support groups, consultation with your pulmonologist and their team will help substantially. NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) can sometimes be used during pregnancy but you must not start any therapy or use of any medication without consultation by a medical expert.


Should you or anyone you know needs to understand the condition of their airways or lungs and how they have been impacted by smoking or what to do next, please contact The Chest Clinic-Dr. Javed Husain & Associates. Dr. Javed Husain is the lead pulmonologist & critical care intensivist at The Chest Clinic in Karachi. Dr. Javed Husain is a US trained and United States Board Certified specialist in Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. He has over 20 years of experience dealing with patients with bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, lung infections, lung cancers and all types of chest and lung diseases. Dr. Javed is licensed to practice as a chest specialist both in the United States as well as in Pakistan.

If you or anyone you know needs help to quit smoking within a safe and skilled environment, please call The Chest Clinic for an appointment to see Dr. Javed Husain. Both in person and online consultations are possible by calling +92301 8479066  or via our website at www.thechestclinic.pk to set up an appointment.

At The Chest Clinic we understand the value of expert, timely, ethical, compassionate care and strive to provide the highest quality care to every patient, every single time.