In the current essay I would like to consider smoking cigarettes issue, in particular how it affects the body long term and short term, second hand smoke and to provide important facts about smoking. To begin with, it should be noted that smoking – is inhaling the smoke of smoldering dried or processed tobacco leaves, most often in the form of smoking cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos or pipes. Moreover, cigarette smoking involves inhaling smoke lungs, whereas smoking pipes or cigars smoke entering the lungs is not allowed – only smoke filled mouth.
Often people smoke because of addiction formed (so-called “bad habit”), or for social reasons (for communication, for a “company”, etc.). In some societies, tobacco smoking is a ritual. It should be noted that according to the WHO (World Health Organization) – about one-third of the adult male population of the world smoke tobacco. Tobacco smoking was brought to Spain by Columbus after the discovery of America and then spread to Europe and to the rest of the world through trade. Tobacco smoke contains the psychoactive substance – alkaloids, nicotine and harmine, which in combination are addictive stimulant of the central nervous system and causes poor euphoria. Effects of nicotine withdrawal include temporary feelings of anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, which arise in the refusal to use even for a short period of time after a period of systematic and regular use. In this case, nicotine does not relieve feelings of anxiety, irritability, people have not used it before, that is, non-smokers, as stated in Health Problems Caused by Smoking.
Medical studies have shown a clear link of smoking to diseases such as cancer and emphysema, diseases of the heart, as well as other health problems. According to WHO, in XX century tobacco caused the death of 100 million people around the world and in the XXI century this figure will grow to a billion. Nicotine is a cholinomimetic agent, meaning it increases the activity of acetylcholine in the CNS. Recent studies have shown that nicotine also increases dopamine levels in the brain, which may be a factor in the pleasure of smoking.
Nicotine is one of the substances with strong addictive potential. Many studies showed that nicotine causes a greater degree of physical addiction than caffeine and marijuana, but less than alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Moreover, studies by Canadian professor Joseph Di Frantsa showed that dependence develops incredibly quickly: one of those people who have symptoms of addiction, 10% of them appeared within two days after the first cigarette, and at 25-35% – within a month, as described in Smoking Will Kill 1 Billion People.
Essential is to note that tobacco is the second leading cause of mortality structure in the world. Among preventable causes of death, tobacco smoking is the first in the world, but from 3.5 to 5.4 million people die annually as a result of health problems caused by smoking. In the United States life expectancy of smokers by an average of 13 years less than non-smokers. If current smoking patterns continue, by 2020 tobacco will lead to an annual 10 million deaths. Half of the people that smoke today (about 650 million people) will be eventually killed by tobacco. Tobacco smoke damages the respiratory epithelium, causing a morning smoker’s cough, bronchitis and COPD, emphysema and lung cancer. Moreover, the risk of developing bronchitis and emphysema in smokers increased by 10 times. It should be noted that 90% of deaths from lung cancer among men and 80% among women are caused by smoking. Tobacco not only inhibits tumor immunity, but also contains substances that can directly damage the DNA cells, which leads to their malignancy. The main etiological factors for lung cancer in smokers are radon, polonium and nitrosamines contained in tobacco tar. Lung cancer develops in 17.2% of male smokers and 11.6% of female smokers. Among non-smokers, these figures look as 1.3% and 1.4% respectively, as stated in The Effects of Smoking on Human Health.
Further I would like to provide positive changes in smoking cessation. After 2 hours nicotine begins to be removed from the body and in that moment there are felt the first symptoms of withdrawal. After 12 hours carbon monoxide from smoking goes out of the body completely, and the lungs begin to function better. After 2 days taste sensitivity and sense of smell becomes more acute. After 7 – 9 weeks subtle olfactory channels are completely cleansed of tar and soot, and the severity of odors will become suddenly bright. After 12 weeks the operation of the circulatory system improves, which makes it easier to walk and run. After 3-9 months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems are much less pronounced, lung function increases by 10%. After 5 years the risk of myocardial infarction would be 2 times smaller in comparison with smokers. In addition, smoking may be a peculiar way of nonverbal communication. According to many psychologists, it is the reason why a person starts smoking. Modern research of a group of American scientists has shown that smoking is a socially-contagious phenomenon. As a result, this study found that smokers are more easily able to quit smoking if one of his closest friends or relatives have already quit. The most profound effect on smoking cessation is provided by people, who have an impact on each other: the idea of quitting in the positive example is transmitted even through friends and relatives, as described in Cigarette Smoking.
Passive smoking is inhaling the ambient air that contains products of tobacco smoking by other people. Scientific studies show that passive smoking increases the risk of disease, disability and death. Harm of second hand smoke is a key reason the introduction of policies to limit smoking and tobacco products. Since the early 1970-ies tobacco industry was concerned the debate about the dangers of passive smoking, seeing it as a serious threat to its commercial interests, as harm “innocent smokers necessarily” constitute grounds for the introduction of more stringent restrictions of tobacco. Despite the fact that information about the dangers of passive smoking has appeared quite early, the tobacco industry consistently tried to sow doubt in order to prevent the restriction of their products. Currently, there is an agreement in the scientific community about harm of passive smoking and its harm is a key reason for prohibiting smoking in workplaces, in enclosed spaces, including restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is striking also that the majority of funding for studies related to the study of harm of smoking, were conducted by the tobacco companies. They invest not less money in such research than in advertising, but the results obtained in the course of studying the effect of smoking on the human body, for the most part concealed, as stated in Passive Smoking – Harmful Effects of Second Hand Smoke.
Tobacco smoke contains nitrogen, hydrogen, argon, methane and hydrogen cyanide. Many do not realize the harmful effects of carbon monoxide. Some manufacturers include in their products following extremely dangerous compounds: acetaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethylamine, formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide, hydroquinone, methyl alcohol, methylamine, nickel compounds and pyridine. Nicotine is highly addictive and is a narcotic drug, easily accessible and freely distributed almost all over the world. One well-known tobacco company over 20 years was hiding information about the actual effects of smoking. It turns out that the so-called passive smoking is not less harmful to certain organs and systems, than actively. Moreover, smoking causes diseases such as cancer of the bladder, esophagus, mouth, throat, cardiovascular disease, impairment of reproductive ability as well as cataracts, pneumonia, acute myeloid leukemia, abdominal aortic aneurysm, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, kidney cancer, cancer of the lips, and the list goes on, as described in Cigarette Smoking.
To sum it up, I would like to say that smoking cigarettes is one of the most serious problems to all mankind nowadays. Without any doubts smoking cigarettes cause many deceases like cancer, heart problems and so on. How can we fight smoking? In my opinion, our government should abandon smoking and equate it to the drugs, one of which it is. Moreover, information about the dangers of smoking should be distributed more effectively, particularly among young people. I presume that youth should understand that there are no safe cigarettes. Moreover, there are many techniques aimed at getting rid of nicotine addiction, but without the willpower and the desire to once and for all get rid of this disease it will not work. Enjoy life, to breathe freely and easily, or wither on the destruction of the body, voluntarily becoming a shadow of yourself – it is own choice for everybody.
American Cancer Society. 2011. Cigarette Smoking. 5 May 2011. <http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/CigaretteSmoking/cigarette-smoking-who-and-how-affects-health>
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla. 2010. Health Problems Caused by Smoking. 5 May 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-problems-caused-by-smoking.html>
Kevin Mathias. 2009. Passive Smoking – Harmful Effects of Second Hand Smoke. 5 May 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/passive-smoking-harmful-effects-second-hand-smoke.html>
Terry Martin. 2008. The Effects of Smoking on Human Health. 5 May 2011. <http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/tobaccostatistics/a/CigaretteSmoke.htm>
Tiffany Sharples. 2008. Smoking Will Kill 1 Billion People. 5 May 2011. <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1711154,00.html>