Smoking

Is there anyone who does not know someone who smokes? Everyone has a family member, friend, or co-worker who smokes. They have chosen to smoke, but by just being around them you are also smoking, only you have not made that choice. Before you choose to take this risk you should think about what may happen to your body. There are many factors that you should take very seriously; smoking is a hazardous habit because it leads to addiction, disease, and high-risk pregnancy. As advertisements have shown on commercial on television that smoking is a way to relax and to be cool by smoking cigarettes, they never show you the negative side of it. For example, addiction is one of the bad side effects and it is caused by nicotine. Once you inhale the cigarette you will then feel or want the need for another one, and you may have different personalities and change because of the addiction. You may get more grouchy and violent behavior and need a cigarette to relax, but instead it is doing more damage. Researchers have found ways to control addictions and some have succeeded while many have failed.

People at a younger age start to get addicted by the nicotine in the cigarette and this is where the problem starts. The hazardous of smoking lead to many fatal diseases and should convince people to quit their habit. First, a major reason why people should quit smoking is that many people are dying of cancer. For instance, the statistics say that in the United States six out of ten people are dying everyday due to lung cancer. This disease is killing people if it is not detected promptly. Another reason for quitting smoking is heart disease and its consequences. For example, many people suffer from heart failure, but even though they know about smoking and its dangers, they do not stop their habit until they become ill. Unfortunately, in many cases, people are at risk to live with heart complications for the rest of their lives. Lastly, another important reason for people to stop smoking is the risk of getting emphysema.

This is also a deadly disease that affects their lungs and their whole respiratory system. These several reasons should prove to the smokers that this habit puts their health in danger, and causes many diseases that lead to death. Unborn babies who have mothers who smoke are more likely to die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The placenta joins the mother and the baby, which is where the baby gets food and oxygen. When a mother smokes the placenta does not work as well as it should. The babies are also more likely to be born early. Every time a woman smokes she is giving her child less food and oxygen, therefore, the baby can and maybe will not be wealthy. It is very easy for a pregnant woman to stop smoking when the people around her do not smoke. When a baby is born to a mother who smokes the baby will not grow well as it should. Studies show that smoking is an unhealthy habit and can not only hurt the mother but really hurt the baby as well. Because of smoking, smokers provide high risks in addictions, disease or risks in pregnancies.

Smokers prefer their habit, rather than caring about this terrible problem. They avoid the consequences of smoking. As is often the case, smoking increases the hazardous of health and problems with themselves too. Nicotine has both stimulant and depressant effects upon the body. Bowel tone and activity increases along with saliva and bronchial secretions. Stimulation is followed with a phase that depresses the respiratory muscles. As an euphoric agent, nicotine causes arousal as well as relaxation from stressful situations. On the average, tobacco use increases the heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute and it increases the blood pressure reading by 5 to 10 millimeters of mercury (because it constricts the blood vessels). Nicotine may also increase sweating, nausea and diarrhea because of its effects on the central nervous system.

Nicotine’s effect upon hormonal activities is also present. It elevates the blood level of glucose and increases insulin production. Nicotine also tends to enhance platelet aggregation, which may lead to blood clotting. The positive effects of nicotine upon the body should also be noted. It stimulates memory and alertness, enhancing cognitive skills that requires speed, reaction time and work performance. As a mood-altering agent, it tends to alleviate boredom, reduces stress, and reduces aggressive responses to stressful events. It also tends to be an appetite suppressant specifically decreasing the appetite for simple carbohydrates and disturbs the efficiency with which food is metabolized. People who use tobacco products frequently depend upon it to provide these side effects to help them accomplish certain tasks at specific levels. With all the information that is out today why do people continue to smoke?

Since 1964, the Surgeon General has warned that smoking is a health hazard this announcement promoted the U.S. Public Health Service and The American Cancer Society to publicize the dangers of tobacco smoking, and offer suggestions to those trying to quit. Cigarette packages were required to carry the warning ” may be hazardous to health.” Later the wording was strengthened to read ” Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health.” The reason cigarette smokers do not give up this harmful habit easily is simple; Nicotine is a highly addictive substance like many other drugs. Smokers are hooked as surely as is any heroin or cocaine addict; giving up cigarettes creates painful withdrawal symptoms and a craving that many people cannot overcome.

The Public Health Service has declared cigarettes and tobacco to be our most common form of drug dependency. Researchers discovered that nicotine is carried to the brain via the bloodstream within a minute or two of smoking; it’s then eliminated about a half-hour later, and then the craving returns. Scientists and farmers have long known that nicotine is a deadly poison. They use a concentrated spray of the chemical, extracted from tobacco leaves as a potent insecticide. In humans, nicotine constricts the blood vessels, decreasing blood circulation to the skin and vital organs. Long term smokers tend to look much older than non-smokers- a result of the contraction of the capillaries on the skins surface, which prevents absorption of tissue building nutrients. Furthermore, smokers afflicted with arterial hardening and cholesterol deposits suffer a significantly higher number of heart attacks than non-smokers.

The damaged blood vessels give way sooner, when shriveled by nicotine. Until the early 1900’s tobacco was usually chewed, inhaled as snuff, or smoked in cigars and pipes without being inhaled. In other words, nicotine was being absorbed into the bloodstream through the membranes of the mouth, nose, and bronchial passages, not through the lungs. The invention of cigarette paper and automatic rolling machinery changed all that, and soon tobacco users were puffing away on white wrapped sticks of tobacco. This introduced new toxins deep into the body, known collectively as “tar”. These toxins are byproducts of the combustion of paper, tobacco, and chemicals in tobacco processing. The most lethal byproduct inhaled from burning tobacco is benzopyrene; a carcinogenic chemical also emitted by automobile exhaust pipes and factory smokestacks. In numerous tests, benzopyrene has been applied to the respiratory tracts of laboratory animals, and has usually resulted in malignant tumors. The leading killer among all forms of cancers, lung cancer currently claims about 140,000 victims annually.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 87% of lung cancer deaths could be avoided if only people would stop smoking. Lung cancer isn’t the only concern. The chemical irritants absorbed into the blood are excreted almost unchanged in the urine, and they can lead to the development of cancer of the kidneys, prostate glands, and bladder. The last 10 years have seen a shift inner awareness of the dangers of smoking. While we have known for three decades that smoking is a leading cause of cancer death, we have finally acknowledged that second hand smoke can cause the same problems as firsthand smoke. In early 1993, in fact, the EPA classified second hand smoke a Class A carcinogen. That label means Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is every bit as potent as arsenic, asbestos, and radon in its ability to cause cancer. In 1988, following years of study, the Surgeon General stated that sidetream smoke could be deadly for non-smokers. In addition to causing respiratory problems, ETS is responsible for 3,000 to 5,000 lung cancer deaths a year in non-smokers, as well as 35,000 to 40,000 deaths from heart disease.

It is easy to see why tobacco smoke is so deadly. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals and at least 45 of its ingredients are known or suspected to be cancer causing. But what is truly alarming is that secondhand smoke contains greater concentrations of certain carcinogens than primary smoke. It also contains greater amounts of nicotine and tar, both strong and addictive toxins ) Nicotine is felt, by many researches and scientists including the surgeon general, to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Nicotine, in fact, affects the same areas of the brain as these drugs and has similar effects. Nicotine is also similar to these drugs in that the body eventually develops a tolerance to them and requires more amounts of the substance to maintain the effects. Nicotine, however, has a much higher resistance level, thusly requiring even newly started smokers to accelerate their use to dangerously addictive levels.

This tolerance and inherent addiction is what makes stopping smoking so difficult. When Nicotine is absent in the user, the individual experiences withdrawal symptoms. The pull of this addiction is so strong that, “Even after years of nonsmoking, about 20% of ex-smokers still have occasional cravings for cigarettes.”(1) According to the Web MD website, a site supported by 3 of the leading medical universities in the US and the FDA, offers the following description and recommendation for those handling withdrawal. Among the physical symptoms of withdrawal are tingling in the hands and feet, sweating, intestinal disorders, and headache. People often experience sore throats, coughing, and other signs of colds and respiratory problems as the lungs begin to clear. While people are enduring these symptoms they should treat themselves as if they were recuperating from a disease — which they are.

But the withdrawal symptoms also affect the mental and emotional states of those that are struggling to quit. Wild mood swings and feelings of irritability and unrest, as though they can’t quite get comfortable, are very common and should be expected. “As foolish as it sounds, a smoker should plan on a period of actual mourning in order to get through the early withdrawal stages” (1) With such strong forces working against the efforts to stop smoking, the question truly is what do we do to quit? There are charlatans and tonic vendors who have toted several methods throughout history that have come up as the “sure cure” while others approved with the stamp of science. Which ones work? Why and how do they work? Nicotine Gum and Patches are the latest and greatest solution science has had to offer to the smoking community in hopes of making the success rate inch its way upward. The ideas behind these methods or “replacement therapies” were to break the habit of smoking before you deal with the full brunt of the withdrawal from the drug itself.

These products are now sold over the counter to anyone 18 years or older and come with instructions, calendar markers, support cassette tapes, and a positive planner for a smoke free life. Unfortunately, they range from $30 to $80 per week and are not supported by HMO’s. They also bring further complications in that prolonged use causes such side effects as increased risk of heart attack to insulin rejection. Despite the presence of nicotine, smokers still experience withdrawal symptoms and are still 45% more likely to cheat in the first week and 85% more likely to cheat by the second week, making the success rate only %10 to stop smoking for more than a single month. Another method of stopping is acupuncture, a Chinese holistic approach of using metal staples in and around the ear that actuate charkas that ease the withdrawal symptoms.

There is no scientific evidence that has decided decisively how effective this method is. Hypnosis, or the sub-conscious suggestion of an outside party that uses a dream-like trance to convince his patients to stop, also has very little support or research in the scientific community. It is obvious this method has worked for many people, but is very expensive and cannot be quantified easily by researchers. There is another solution, not widely publicized, in testing right now. A company called Celanese has created a chemical that, when injected in the human body, intercepts nicotine before it gets to the brain. This drug, in effect, would force smokers to go through the withdrawal process once and then never again experience the effects of smoking, thusly eliminating the need for it. I could find no substantial information about the drug or when it would be available, but most reports indicate that it will probably not be much more effective than the methods available now.

In conclusion, smoking is an extremely addictive habit that usually forms in the early teen years. We should be targeting our children from the time they enter elementary school to prepare them for this temptation and encourage them to steer clear of this problem. There is no sure cure for smoking, and every method requires willingness, dedication, and will power. Smokers should recognize the serious health risks they are facing every time they light a cigarette and accept that quitting such an addictive habit will only come with some amount of discomfort. Never the less, smokers should attempt to quit! “It is so difficult to quit that smokers should never feel inadequate if they fail.” (1) Every step in the right direction, even if you fall, will only make you stronger and bring you one step closer to your goal and to better health Tobacco is very addicting. The nicotine in the tobacco is what causes the addiction.

There are many illness that one can acquire from using tobacco. Some of them are lung, breast, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, and heart cancer. Smoking can also cause strokes, severe respiratory problems that include; pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, emphusema, and more. Tobacco causes birth defects, reproductive disorders, stained teeth and fingernails, wrinkled skin, and bad breath. Cigarettes are a factor in many automobile accidents. Children who smoke are much more likely to become herion, cocaine, and crack addicts. Tobacco can even cause death! It kills more than eight thousand people per week, which is more than 400,000 per year. Second hand smoke causes non-smokers to have some problems as well. The use of tobacco kills more Americans per year than alcohol, herion, crack, automobile, plane, and train accidents, homicides, suicides, and AIDS combined! Each year almost 100,000 Americans die from lung cancer alone.

Experts have estimated that about twenty-four million men, about twenty-two million women, and about three million teen-agers smoke. Close to 3,000 teen-agers start smoking every day. In 1994 Americans smoked about 485 billion cirgaretts. Teen-agers smoke about one billion packs of cigaretts every year. Americans spend twenty billion dollars each year to light over 600 billion cigaretts. There are places for smokers to turn to if they want to stop smoking. Here are a few of the agencies; American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Smoke Enders. People can turn to hypnosis, filter packs, perscription drugs, acypuncture, and a few other techniques to stop smoking