Smoking is dangerous for health. In the other hand, we can say that smoking is not for good health. It is a major factor for weak bones and the deterioration can start as soon as the teen years, say orthopaedic physicians on World No Tobacco Day.
There’s yet another reason to educate children along with minor age about the risk of smoking.
According to expert, mostly, smoking effects on bone formation in young people or teenage. If they begin smoking in school and college, it can hamper bone deposition, hence stunt bone growth. Plus, it can set them up for bone degeneration much earlier in life than non-smokers.
According to the World Health Organisation figures, Around 82,000 to 99,000 young people start smoking every day over all the world. The world Youth Tobacco Survey, of which India is a part, is a school-based survey conducted in 137 countries, indicates that 46.8% of children who did not smoke themselves were exposed to cigarette smoke within the home and 47.8% were exposed outside the home. In India, the survey produced representational calculation that implied 4.4% of children in India between age of13 and 15 years smoked cigarettes.
Dr Maninder Singh, an orthopaedic surgeon explained, “Peak bone formation, which is the maximum buildup of bone in the skeletal mass, happens between 20 and 25. This is the point at which the bones are at their highest strength and density. Look at growing bones in children and young adults as a bone bank. You are adding to the bank with various factors, like diet,
Smoking reduces calcium absorption and reduces levels of vitamin D in the blood stream. Besides, the constriction of blood vessels that takes place in smokers, decreases blood supply, hence nutrition to the bone is compromised, hampering skeletal health. Cigarette smoke causes the circulation of free radicals in the body, killing bone-building cells.
Dr. Samir Parikh, Director mental health and behavioral science has explained , “Adolescent substance use has become one of the major areas of concern in India, with an estimate of 50% boys having tried at least one substance by the ninth grade (1991). Moreover, according to a recent study in India, easy availability and relief from tension were the most frequent reasons reported for the continuation of substance use, with media being stated as the most frequent source of information’’.
If a parent does find out that their child has begun smoking, then counselling is the way forward, not just for the child, but for the parents too. However, in addition, it is a good idea to take your child to an orthopaedics specialist to understand if any supplements are needed, to reverse the damage done.