Effects of Smoking
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Passive smoking occurs when a person who is not smoking breathes in the smoke from people who are smoking. Passive smoking can irritate the eyes and nose and cause a number of health problems such as heart disease and lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is especially harmful to babies and young children.
Using tobacco with other drugs
Nicotine can affect the way the body processes many different drugs. This can affect how these drugs work. For example, nicotine can decrease the effectiveness of benzodiazepines. Smoking, while taking the contraceptive pill increases the risk of blood clots formation. Check with your doctor or other health professional whether nicotine might affect any medications you are taking.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Many drugs can cross the placenta and affect an unborn child. In general, using drugs when pregnant can increase the chances of going into labour early. This can mean that babies are born below the normal birth weight. If a mother uses drugs while breastfeeding, they may be present in her milk, and could affect the baby. Check with your health professional if you are taking or planning to take any drugs during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.
Tolerance and dependence
People who use tobacco regularly tend to develop a tolerance to the effects of nicotine. This means they need to smoke more tobacco to get the same effect. They may become dependent on nicotine. Dependence can be psychological, physical, or both. People who are dependent on nicotine find that using the drug becomes far more important than other activities in their life. They crave the drug and will find it very difficult to stop using it. People who are psychologically dependent on nicotine may find they feel an urge to smoke when they are in specific surroundings or socializing with friends.
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