Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemical compounds and 400 toxic chemicals that include tar, carbon monoxide, DDT, arsenic and formaldehyde.
The nicotine in cigarettes, in particular, makes them highly addictive.
Dr Stanley Chia, cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospitals, explains the effects of smoking and drinking on our health.
Growing up, many children may view drinking and smoking as privileges of adults and therefore ‘cool’ activities to engage in.
In the long term, heavy alcohol consumption can cause high blood pressure, gastric problems, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, pancreatitis, memory impairment, alcohol dependence and various psychological conditions.
Excessive alcohol drinking can also result in accidental injuries and even death.Alcohol-related violence like fights and batterings, including domestic violence, is also commonplace.Some of the best known consequences of prolonged, excessive consumption of alcohol include hepatic cirrhosis, alcoholism and diseases of the pancreas.Besides being a notorious risk factor for lung cancer, coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke, smoking can damage almost any organ in our body, leading to leukaemia and cancers of the kidney, pancreas, bladder, throat, mouth and uterus.It can damage the airways and air sacs of our lungs to cause chronic bronchitis and breathing difficulties.It can also raise our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce bone density in women and increase the risk of infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome.Most people like to have a drink or two, be it beer, wine or spirits.The hazards caused by heavy long-term drinking are certainly not limited to health problems.Heavy long-term drinking also affects the drinker’s family life and causes problems in interpersonal relationships and at work, as well as financial problems.Alcohol-related problems can be divided into two groups: problems caused by individual occasions of drinking and those due to prolonged consumption.Typical examples of problems caused by occasional and often rather heavy drinking include alcohol poisoning and various accidents linked with intoxication, such as drowning, or injuring oneself by falling.