Tobacco smoking and homoeopathy

Dr Soumiya M 

Tobacco smoking which is a temporary craving ,causes permanent damage to health and life. Nicotine , an alkaloid of tobacco is toxic and a dangerous stimulant ,which causes damage to all the system of the body . All forms of tobacco are harmful and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco .Homoeopathic medicine of plant kingdom are more potent in therapy of tobacco smoking. They act on the person as a whole and shows beneficial effect in treating the effects of tobacco smoking.

KEY WORDS: Tobacco smoking , nicotine ,health hazards of tobacco.

Tobacco smoking is the practice of burning tobacco ,and inhaling its vapor .The practice began as early as 5000 – 3000 BC in Meso America and South America .(1) India is the second largest consumer of tobacco products worldwide with more than 267 million users that is 28.6% of Indian adult population .(2) Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plant “ NICOTIANA TABACUM.’’(1) Nicotine is the primary alkaloid found in tobacco leaf accounting for 96 – 98 % of total alkaloid content , with the remaining portion composed of nor nicotine , anabasine ,anatabine , cotinine and myosmine .(3)

Statistical analysis :

  • Tobacco kills half of its users .The death rate varies from 7 – 8.5 million per year . Among this 7 million deaths are the result of direct tobacco use and around 1.2 million are the result of non smokers being exposed to second hand smokes .
  • Over 80% of the world tobacco users live in low and middle income countries .
  • According to sex men are more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women which contributes to 15.3%male and 12.7% female .
  • Current cigarette smoking was highest among people aged 22 – 64 years .(4)
  • Children under the age of 18 years try their first cigarette and become new , regular daily smokers ,and eventually will die prematurely from smoking related diseases .(5)

Tobacco belongs to the herbs of genus NICOTIANA ,the genus contains many species of which nicotiana tabacum is commonly used .It belongs to Solanaceae family .It is indigenous to north and south America , Australia , southwest Africa and south Pacific . The plant is grown in soil , after the plant reaches about 20cm tall ,immature and decayed leaves and flowers are topped or removed from the plant . Harvested leaves are then processed for slow oxidation and degradation . This process gives smoothness of smokes. During this process “Advanced Glycated End products ,” AGE’s are produced ,which on inhalation causes atherosclerosis and cancer .(1)

Tobacco contain an important alkaloid called nicotine .Absorption of nicotine across the

biological membranes depends on Ph .(6)

Nicotine is a week base with a p a of 8.0 .In its ionized state , such as in acidic environments , nicotine does not cross the membranes .The pH of smoke from cured tobacco is acidic with pH 5.5 – 6.0 . At this stage it is readily absorbed through mucus membranes .(1)

When tobacco smoke reaches the alveoli of lungs the primary alkaloid NICOTINE is converted into a chemical called “AMINO KETONE”. Concentration of nicotine in blood rises quickly during a smoke and peak at the completion of smoking .After a puff , high levels of nicotine reach the brain . Dose of nicotine level in brain will increase on puff – by – puff basis .This stimulates adrenal glands and the hormone epinephrine is released . Epinephrine stimulates central nervous system and increases the blood pressure ,respiratory rate and heart rate . On stimulating the central nervous system dopamine is increased and reinforces the rewarding behaviour .(6)

After smoking its effect are less than 10 seconds and lasts only a few minutes(7)

Tobacco is available in various forms like smoking , chewing and sniffing tobacco . Smoked tobacco products include : cigarette , cigars , bidis , kreteks ,water pipe ,cigariolls ,roll your own tobacco ,pipe tobacco , e – cigarettes and HTPs .(8)

It is a narrow cylinder containing burnable material (tobacco) that is rolled into thin paper for smoking . They are also called cigs , ciggies , stogs ,boges ,and tabs .(9)


It contains chemicals including carcinogens ,this causes cancer of lungs , heart and other health problems . (9)

It is a smoking device which employ indirect heat source to slowly burn tobacco leaves , while users draw smoke down through a water chamber into their mouth through hoses. The water cooling effect may increase harm by enabling smokers to inhale smoke deeper into their lungs . A single puff from water tobacco smoking (450ml) is equal to volume of smoke inhaled from an entire cigarette .(10)

It increases the level of carbon monoxide (CO) to eight (8) times than the normal level .It delivers 1.7 times nicotine dose of one cigarette and the rate of absorption is equal to 10 cigarettes per day .Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning includes headache , nausea , lethargy ,fainting etc., called “HOOKAH SICKNESS”. It damages heart ,increases blood pressure and also impairs baroreceptor reflux control .(10)

CIGAR : A cigar is a rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves made to be smoked .It contains three main components : a filler ,a binder leaf and a wrapper .

Filler – Bunch of tobacco leaf folded by hand to allow air passage .
Binder – small bunch of tobacco leaf is bound together inside a leaf .
Wrapper – made from fermented tobacco leaf which determines the character and flavor to Cigar. For every gram of tobacco smoked a cigar emits 120 – 140 mg of carbon dioxide , 40 -60 ng of carbon monoxide ,3 – 4 mg isoprene and other volatile components .(11)

HEALTH EFFECTS : It causes cancer of lungs ,oral mucosa ,esophagus ,pancreas ,larynx and heart diseases .(11)

CIGARILLOS : A cigarillo is a short and narrow cigar . They are made without filters and contains 3gm of tobacco .(11)

ROLL YOUR OWN TOBACCO (RYO) : These are hand rolled cigarettes and made with loose tobacco . It contains additives and dangerous chemicals like carbon monoxide ,nicotine ,tar and nitrosamines .(12)

PIPE TOBACCO : Oldest traditional form of tobacco smoking .It produces a safe ,manipulable volume in which incompletely combustible smoke is produced . (13)

BIDIS : They look different than regular cigarettes , but they still pack plenty of nicotine ,theses are alternative cigarettes made in India . According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 12.9% of high school students and 4.4 % of middle school are reported that they has smoked bidi . It contains 21.2mg nicotine .These are thin and filled with tobcco flake and wrapped in tender leaf .(14)

KRETEKS : These are called clove cigarettes ,produced in Indonesia , contains 60 – 80 % tobacco and 20 – 40% ground clove buds and clove oil. It also contains more nicotine ,carbon monoxide and tar . Addition to that it contains “ Eugenol ” ,a mild anesthetic ,which has a numbing effect .(15)

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES (or ) E – CIGARETTES :It is an electronic device that stimulates tobacco smoking . It consists of an atomizer ,battery and a tank . User inhales vapor instead of smoke and hence called “ vaping”. The atomizer uses a liquid solution called e -liquid .vapor contains propylene glycol, glycerin , nicotine , nitrosamines , toxicants and carcinogens .(16)

Effect of smoking depend upon the frequency of smoking ,duration and also on the concentration of tar content and also on the concentration of tar content in cigarettes and bidis.(17)

Immediate effects :
Fresh smokers get the feeling of relaxation ,sharpness ,calmness and alertness. Unpleasant sensation like nausea ,cough ,dizziness and rapid heart beat occurs .(17)

Delayed effects :
Smoking affects every organ in general and respiratory and cardiovascular systems in particular .(17)

CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM – hardening of blood vessels ,increase blood viscosity ,arteriosclerosis , increased blood pressure , aneurysm, stroke and paralysis .

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM – carbon monoxide ,cyanide ,poly aromatic hydrocarbons damages the alveoli leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchogenic carcinoma .

REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM – In male it reduces blood supply to penis leading to erectile dysfunction and impotency . In females it causes preterm delivery , still birth ,low birth weight , sudden infant death syndrome and infertility .

OPTHALMIC SYSTEM – cause macular degeneration leading to blindness ,and early cataract . ORAL CAVITY – Stains teeth and gums ,halitosis and teeth falls out . Aphthous ulcer and leukoplakia

GASTRO INTESTINAL SYSTEM – Ulcerative colitis ,peptic ulcers , inflammatory bowel disease.

BONES – Men who smoke may have more severe knee arthritis and degenerative disorders of spine

URINARY SYSTEM – cancer of kidney and bladder .

CANCER – It causes cancer of lungs ,oral cavity ,hypo pharynx ,nasal cavity , paranasal sinuses , pancreas ,liver , kidney ,ureter , uterine cervix , colorectal and pre menopausal breast cancer .(18)

HYPERKERATOSIS – Leukoplakia has a strong association with tobacco smoking particularly ,pipe smoking .(19) In common all smokers have impaired immune system ,a small increase in hematocrit , white blood cell count and platelet count . There is a small decrease in leucocytes ,vitamin c ,serum uric acid and albumin .(20)


Avena sativa : Commonly named as Oats ,belongs to “poaceae” family. Effective inquitting tobacco smoke and it removes the weakness and restore vitality when trying to quit smoking .(22)

Bryonia alba: Commonly named as White bryony or wild hop ,belongs to “Cucurbitaceae”family. Cough is dry, hard and very painful at night. Must sit up. Stitches in cardiac region, pulse and quick, harsh. Dry spasmodic, gagging and vomiting.(21)

Caladium seguinum: Commonly named as American arum ,belongs to “Araceae family. Modifies craving for tobacco. Tobacco heart, asthma mucus not readily raised.(21) Breathing impeded, larynx seems constricted.(23)

Camphora : Commonly named as Camphor tree ,belong to “lauraceae” family . Icy coldness of whole body. Suffocative dyspnoea , asthma ,violent cough ,palpitations, respiration. Arresting of breath.(24)

Chamomilla: Commonly named as chamomile ,belong to “Asteraceae” family. Dry hacking cough. Tickling in pit of throat, causes scraping, dry cough. Worse at night. Small lump of mucus fly from mouth when coughing.(25)

Daphne indica: Commonly named as spurge laurel ,belong to “Thymelaeaceae” family. Craving for tobacco. Burning in stomach. Fetid breath. Severe headache occurs as if head were separated from the body .The patient also experiences sleeplessness and profuse sweat .(22)

Eugenia jambos : Commonly named as rose apple belongs to family “Myrtaceae” Effective in quitting smoking where nausea is predominant symptom which is better by smoking .(22)

Gelsemium sempervirens: Commonly named as false jasmine (or) yellow jasmine ,belons to “Loganaceae”. Nervous weakness of cigar makers. Dry cough with sore chest and frequent coryza. Sudden forcible expiration.(21)

Ignatia amara : Commonly named as saint Ignatius bean ,belons to “Loganaceae “family. Takes deep breath , dry hawking cough, spasmodic cough , sleepy after cough.(21) Cannot bear tobacco, smoking, or being in tobacco smoke, produces or aggravate head ache(30).

Ipecaceanha: Commonly named as ipecac ,belongs to “Rubiaceae” family . Loose rattling cough, suffocating cough, haemoptysis with rattling cough. Constriction in chest .(25) Nausea with profuse saliva . vomiting of white glary mucus in large quantities without relief. For the primary effects of tobacco.(23)

Lobelia inflata : Commonly named as Indian tobacco ,belongs to “Lobeliaceae” family . Used by individuals to quit smoking and also in treatment of asthma, bronchitis cough ,depression , pneumonia and smoking addiction .Cough and shortness of breath .Senile emphysema .Persons cannot bear smell and taste of tobacco .(22)

Lycopus virginicus : Commonly named as bugle weed ,belong to “Lamiaceae “ family . Removes palpitation and rapid action of heart seen in smokers .It reduces heart rate and lowers blood pressure .(22)

Nicotinum: Alkaloid extracted from tobacco. Pale face , loss of appetite .great aversion to tobacco and tobacco smoking .Difficult breathing and impeded .Dryness and scraping in throat. Pulse and respiration very irregular ,sometimes rapid and sometimes sinking, constant sinking of pulse .(22)

Nux vomica : Commonly named as poison nut , belongs to “Loganaceae” family . Helps in detoxification of toxic material absorbed from tobacco smoking . Headache ,vertigo, insomnia are common complaints (22)Great depression ,irritation ,stress and anxiety when trying to quit smoking .the symptoms are worse in morning .(23)

Plantago : Commonly named as Ribwort, belongs to family “Plantaginaceae”. Produces aversion to tobacco . Removes the depression , sleeplessness ,constipation or diarrhea and nocturnal enuresis seen in chronic tobacco smokers .(22)

Pulsatilla: Commonly named as Wind flower, belongs to family “ Ranunculaceae”. Effective in dry cough ,mostly in evening and night .They must sit up to get relief .Shortness of breath with anxiety and palpitation .Expectoration is bland ,tough ,bitter and greenish.{23}

Sangunaria: Commonly named as bloodroot, belongs to family “Papaveraceae”. Cough with burning pain in chest.Sputum is tough ,rust coloured ,offensive and Impossible to raise . Severe dyspnoea and constriction of chest . Offensive breath.(23)

Spigellia: Commonly named as West Indian pinkroot, belongs to family “Loganiaceae”. Foul odour from the mouth. Violent palpitation and pre cardial pain. Pulse is weak and irregular. Pericarditis and dyspnoea, they must lie down on right side with head raised .(23)

Staphysagria : Commonly named as louse seeds, belongs to family “Ranunculaceae”. Effective for stopping craving of tobacco . Controls the madness and lessens the emotions mostly people facing the quitting period .Prescribed when irritability ,hypersensitivity , insomnia ,stupefying headaches , a desire for stimulants and itchy skin are seen in tobacco smokers .(22)

Tabaccum : Commonly named as tobacco, belongs to “Solanaceae”. It is prescribed when there is nausea ,death like pallor ,vomiting ,icy coldness and sweat with intermittent pulse .Also given for incessant nausea from smell of tobacco.(23)

“An atmosphere contaminated with tobacco smoke can contribute to the discomfort of many individuals .” Quitting smoking is beneficial for the health and wealth of themselves and also for the members of their family. Hence lead a healthy life by quitting smoking .


  1. Retrieved from http:// smoking assessed on 22 .9 .2021
  2. Retrieved from http:tobacco assessed on 22 .9 .2021
  3. Retrieved from http://academic assessed on 23.9.2021
  4. Retrieved from room /detail tobacco assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  5. Retrieved from www.lung -org/quit smoking/smoking fact/tobacco use among children assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  6. Retrieved from , assessed on 23 .9 .2021 7
  7. Retrieved from http://www.camb.cadyk-tobacco ,assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  8. Retrieved from facts/cigarettes-other tobacco-products ,assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  9. Retrieved from http://en .m , assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  10. Retrieved from http://tobaccoatla/org/waterpipe ,assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  11. Retrieved from www.verywell health hazards of cigarettes , assessed on 23 .9 .2021
  12. Retrieved from health hazards of roll your own cigarette assessed on 23 .9 . 2021
  13. Retrieved from, assessed on 24 .9 .2021
  14. Retrieved from https://faculty ., assessed on 24 .9 .2021
  15. Retrieved from cigarettes ,assessed on 25 .9 .2021
  16. Retrieved from,assessed on 25 .9 .2021
  17. Suryakantha .A .H, “Community medicine with recent advances”,5th edition , Jaypee Brothers medical publishers Pvt Ltd .page no:1008
  18. Harrison’s , “Principles of internal medicine , 18th edition , volume 2 , Mc Grau-Hill profession publishers , Pvt Ltd ,page no:2736.
  19. Harrison’s , “Principles of internal medicine ,16th edition , volume 2 , Mc Grau-Hill profession publishers , Pvt Ltd ,page no:2516.
  20. Robin’s “Basic pathology” 10th edition , Elsevier India Publishers Pvt Ltd ,page no:546
  21. Phatak .S.R, “Materia medica of homoeopathic medicines”,2nd edition B Jain Publishers, Pvt Ltd ,New Delhi , page no:58,77,86,139,149,155,326,363,449
  22. Retrieved from,assessed on 28.9.2021
  23. .Boerick William, “pocket manual of homoeopathic materia medica&repertory”,9th edition , BJain Publishers Pvt Ltd ,New Delhi, page no:142, 629,353.
  24. Patil .J.D, “Text book of applied materia medica”,5th edition ,B Jain publishers Pvt Ltd New Delhi , Page no:414,417,419,476,492
  25. Burt . H .William , “Physiological materia medica” 3rd edition,B Jain Publishers Pvt Ltd New Delhi ,Page no:261,499.
  26. Allen Henry .C , “keynotes rearranged and classified with leading remedies of the materia medica and bowel nosodes”10th edition B Jain Publishers ,New Delhi, Page no:67,92,94,154,158.

Dr Soumiya M

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.