Scientific topics from sermons- Lesson (127): Effects of Smoking on the Heart and Arteries
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

Introduction

 By way of honor and protection, the Almighty Creator has equipped man with a group of apparatuses and systems that help him stand in the face of the great many dangers that may befall him. For example, if someone walking in a forest suddenly sees a snake coming towards him, what happens?

 The image of the snake is imprinted on his retina, which, in turn, transmits the image to the perception center in the brain. The brain soon perceives this visual image and analyzes it according to the former knowledge and experience it has. The person soon realizes that it is a snake, which is something very dangerous on his life. Therefore, king of the nervous system, the brain, immediately gives orders to the suprarenal gland, which, in turn, does the following:

 First, the suprarenal gland gives orders to all of the blood vessels to get constricted in order to provide more blood to the muscles, which have to face such serious and sudden danger. That is why a frightened person becomes pale.

 Second, it sends orders to the heart to increase it beating in order to provide more blood to the muscles, which have to face the sudden danger. That is why the pulse of a frightened person, which is normally 80 beats per minute, increases up even to 180 beats.

 Third, the suprarenal gland sends orders to the lungs to increase breathing. That is why a frightened person pants.

 Fourth, the suprarenal gland gives orders to the liver to send greater amounts of sugar into the blood, which, in turn, carries such sugar along to the muscles that have to face the sudden danger.

 Fifth, it sends orders to the blood platelets, which Allah, Most Gracious, has created in the blood in order to block any opening made in the arteries in case the person is wounded. That is why the number of these platelets in the blood of a frightened person increases.

 This is exactly what normally happens to a frightened person: his pulse quickens and so does his breathing, he looks pale, the amount of sugar in his blood increases, and the number of the platelets in his blood also increases.

Some effects of smoking on the heart and arteries:

  Now, what does smoking do to a smoker?! Tobacco smoke contains a poisonous substance, called nicotine, which increases production of adrenalin in the blood; and adrenalin increases beating of the heart and constricts arteries. That is why smokers always look pale.

 But where is danger? Danger is that continuous constriction of the arteries may cause blockage of the arteries of the heart, which causes angina pectoris, thrombosis, blockage of the arteries of the brain (which causes apoplexy), and blockage of leg arteries (which causes gangrene and consequent amputation of the leg).

 In fact, smoking is very dangerous because it keeps blood vessels always tense and constricted. But what does constriction of arteries and veins do? It increases blood pressure, which is quite risky sometimes.

 The foregoing facts about the serious effects of smoking are authentic and definitive. That is why companies of cigarettes all over the world have to write on each and every packet: “Warning! Smoking causes damage to the heart ad blood vessels.”

 Further, the red corpuscles contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body in order to burn sugar and produce energy. But the hemoglobin existing in the smoker’s blood unites with CO, which exists in tobacco smoke. This prevents the hemoglobin from carrying oxygen to the cells of the body. In fact, 15 – 30% of the hemoglobin in a smoker’s blood becomes unable to carry oxygen to the cells of the body. This is the second serious effect of smoking on the heart and blood vessels.

A noteworthy fact:

  Further, in 1950’s, too few people suffered from diseases of blood vessels before the age of fifty; but nowadays, lots of people suffer from such diseases at the age of forty. Most recent reports on this issue, however, show that, due to smoking, there are lots of cases of cardiac and vascular diseases even at the age of twenty-five. These most recent reports confirm that 80% of those who suffer from heart diseases are smokers.

 In factories of tobacco, where cigarettes are made, tobacco is put inside tight containers, and then, sweet juices, such as grape or apple juice, are poured onto it. After that, special enzymes are added and the containers are kept tightly closed for three years until the tobacco is matured and saturated with wine and alcohol. This means that smokers inhale wine infusion while they are unaware. This is usually expressed by such advertisements as, “Come to good taste!” Someone who has visited tobacco factories in the USA has published this fact.

 Further, in some advertisements, a very good-looking handsome young cowboy is made to encourage people to buy a certain kind of cigarettes. By the way, one of these attractive handsome cowboy smokers used in cigarette advertisements, called Mc Larim, died very young of lung cancer caused by smoking. His very last words were, “Do not believe what I have said about smoking! Smoking is fatal; and I am crystal clear evidence of that! Smoking has killed me! I have been telling you lies!”

Conclusion:

  A true believer is someone who makes proper esteem of himself and of his life. A true believer is someone who knows the real value of good health, which is the way to a better and happier life in this world and the world to come. A true believer is someone who knows how to take care of his health simply because it is his real capital. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “And do not cast your own selves into destruction.” [II; 195]

 In fact, the poisonous gas that tobacco smoke produces, CO, helps cholesterol to precipitate on the internal walls of arteries, veins and other blood vessels; and this makes them more and more constricted and, hence, increases blood pressure in them, which weakens the heart.

 Also, smokers are 15 times more liable to cardiac and vascular diseases than people who do not smoke. In this context, it might be asked: Don’t those who do not smoke suffer from such diseases? The answer is: Yes, they do, but not as much as those who smoke.

 To wrap up, the foregoing facts about the bad detrimental effects of smoking are really meant for admonition and deterrence. Religion is, after all, sincere advice!



Translation  : Khaled Al- Athmeh
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