In Italy, according to a recent report by the World Health Organization, there are about 11.6 million smokers, 7.1 million are men and 4.5 million are women more than half of young smokers between the ages of 15 and 24 already smokes more than 10 cigarettes a day.

Smokers and not increasingly often seek answers in the mare magnum of the web, but often the answers are incorrect or incomplete, so the head of the Anti-smoking Center of Humanitas, Dr. Licia Siracusano, answered some of the most ‘click’ questions on the web.

What substances are in the cigarettes?

Cigarettes contain three elements: nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, which develops with combustion (i.e. while smoking).

Does combustion or nicotine hurt our bodies more?

Both are absolutely harmful and act in different ways: nicotine is a psychotropic substance that creates addiction and is able to cause alterations in blood vessels such as to promote the development of atherosclerotic plaques. This is the first mechanism that induces the onset of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

During combustion, on the other hand, the carbon monoxide develops, which has a capacity 20 times greater than oxygen to bind to red blood cells, so it removes oxygen from the blood and induces the formation of carboxy-hemoglobin. A percentage of smokers’ blood is therefore not oxygenated.

The number of cigarettes I can smoke in order to avoid any risk?

Each cigarette contains at least 4000 thousand harmful substances of which at least 200 are even carcinogenic, i.e. substances that can induce alterations in the DNA such that over time they can increase the risk of cancer. Therefore it is not advisable to smoke even one cigarette a day.

Would quitting smoking fatten me up?

If you stop smoking in about a month, you will be completely reset. The metabolism, which was affected by nicotine, also begins to work spontaneously. To avoid getting fat when you stop, do not change your eating habits, drink water and exercise.

What are the effects of passive smoking?

Passive smoking is as harmful as active smoking: passive smokers assimilate the same substances as those who smoke directly. Particularly in the presence of children you should not smoke even in outdoor contexts that seem to us that the smoke is dispersed.

What is third-hand smoke?

Third hand smoke is that which is deposited in closed places and on fabrics: clothes, curtains, carpets, sofas, walls. All harmful and carcinogenic substances are deposited on the surfaces.

Why is it so difficult to stop smoking?

Do not be afraid to stop smoking: it is true that it is difficult but it is not impossible. It is important to be far-sighted, anti-smoking centers exist and help people to feel better.

We need to accept the idea that smoking is an addiction and addictions are diseases. With the help of pharmacological support and counseling you help a person to get out of the smoking tunnel.