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Causes and Effects of Smoking

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July 6, 2009

Eng 112

Causes and Effects of Smoking

Scientists and health officials have been arguing the detrimental effects smoking has on our health for many years. Americans pay nearly $100 billion in added health care cost due to smoking. Each day about a thousand young people become regular smokers (President Barack Obama). Smoking can lead to serious complications including asthma, pancreas, lung and stomach cancer due to the large number of carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals) and other various substances added to it. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and premature death globally (Fecko). It is a health hazard for both smokers and non-smokers and it is especially harmful to unborn babies. Although smokers claim that it helps them to relax and release stress, the negative aspects of the habit take over the positive. Cigarette smoking among adults has remained at about 20.8 percent since 2004 (Fecko). As it has been stressed by the scientists and experts, there are some very severe reasons of smoking but its crucial consequences should also be taken into consideration. There are many causes which make people smoke, however it can be divided into two main causes: physical and psychological.

First cause which is physical concerns the human body 's needs. Nicotine contained in cigarette is an addictive substance. It is the chemical which causes addiction. Nicotine reduces tension in the muscles and allows smokers to relax so they feel that they can relieve stress by smoking. Nicotine can also have a calming effect on people who are anxious and worried. This is why it can bring a feeling of tranquility and help smokers to cope with stress. Thus, people smoke when they are depressed, lonely or bored. Reports show nicotine dependence severity has increased 12 percent, while the proportion of people classified as highly nicotine dependent has jumped 32 percent (Nicotine…). Nicotine is absorbed by the smoker 's lung and intestines. Very quickly, nicotine can stimulate brain and certain types of nerves so heart rate and blood pressure go up; respiration increases. Chantix helps keep nicotine from reaching key receptors in the brain. It is designed to give smokers another option in their struggle to quit (Nicotine…). A little nicotine makes smokers feel more energy and improve concentration. Nicotine in its various delivery forms of cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco is one of the most heavily used addictive drug in the United States (Nicotine…). As a consequence, these physical effects created by smoking play an important role in making people feel the need to smoke.

Second main cause of smoking is psychological which seems to be a very important factor for people to get the habit. One of the psychological situations which drive people to smoke is low self esteem. Low self esteem is linked not only to smoking but also other behavioral problems such as drinking. It leads to feeling like a dependent individual who can not make decisions for himself or herself and just follow the crowd. So one conclusion to be drawn from this aspect is that people with low self esteem tend to smoke by imitating the people that they see around themselves especially in public places. People often use smoking as means of identity, to try and make up something that they feel they lack. Many people know that smoking is not good for them but they look to identify themselves with something that makes them feel more masculine, feminine or more mature. Another factor is peer pressure which is a powerful influence. Friend are the usual source of the first cigarette and smoking is usually done with friends at parties, or in public places. Young people think that they look like a wimp if they don 't smoke when their peers smoke around them.

One last severe cause resulting in smoking addiction psychologically is advertisements. Tobacco companies use images for smoking that are very attractive, adventurous and exciting. The reason why companies use such images is that young people can find their heroes ' image from smoking advertisements so they want to look as impressive as the heroes. The fact is that the companies also play the role of sponsorship in the world of sport, fashion, and art. As a consequence, dangerous products such as cigarettes may seem healthy and trendy.

As it is clearly seen smoking cigarettes have several crucial reasons but it shouldn 't be forgotten that smoking has got certain vital results as well. Because tobacco contains many harmful chemicals cigarette smoking causes many dangerous diseases to human beings such as lung cancer, heart disease and teeth decay. Of all the diseases associated with smoking, lung cancer is perhaps the most notorious.. The age at which someone starts smoking is very important. Smoking on average reduces an adults life expectancy by 14 yrs. Tobacco use does not lead quickly to death (Fecko). The younger a person starts smoking, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer. It is also a fact that the lung will clear itself if the habit is stopped, allowing the ex-smoker to regain normal health and life expectancy.

Another vital result of cigarette smoking is heart diseases. It is the combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide found in tobacco smoke that is considered to cause heart disease in smokers. Nicotine is a powerful drug which stimulates the production of adrenaline. It leads to increase in the workload of heart by making it beat faster and thus making the blood pressure rise. Many doctors believe that giving up smoking certainly reduces the danger of having a heart attack, particularly amongst those who have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels or excessive body weight.

One last very severe effect of smoking is teeth decay. The reason for teeth decay is tobacco products which damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas. Additionally, smoking can also contribute to bad breath, stains in the teeth and a build-up of tartar on the teeth.

Consequently, tobacco which contains many harmful chemicals damages human beings ' health day by day. Although people are aware of the bad effects of smoking, they still smoke for one reason or another. Tobacco use is particularly difficult to address because the addiction provided by nicotine is very strong; the craving and withdrawal symptoms have been compared to those of cocaine (Lewis).When the current situation is considered, it is clear that smoking which has been spreading all over the world is not only the problem of a country or a territory but the problem of mankind because smoking brings many disadvantages for humans like diseases. I personally believe that it is important to help children remain lifelong non-smokers because they are our hope for a non-smoking future.

Works Cited

Joseph M. Fecko. “Smoking Has Side Effects Too.” Wall Street Journal [New York, N.Y.] 11 June 2008, Eastern Edition: A. 21. Wall Street Journal. Pro Quest RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009. http://www.proquest.com

Lewis, Paul C. “Tobacco: What It Is and Why Do People Continue to Use It?” Dermatology Nursing 21.2 (Mar. 2009): 88-97. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009.

“Nicotine Addiction Reaches 15-yr High.” USA Today Magazine. 137.2765 (Feb 2009) 3-4. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009.

President Barack Obama. “President Barack Obama Delivers Remarks on Tobacco Legislation.” FDCH Poltical Transcripts. (n.d.) MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009.

Cited: Joseph M. Fecko. “Smoking Has Side Effects Too.” Wall Street Journal [New York, N.Y.] 11 June 2008, Eastern Edition: A. 21. Wall Street Journal. Pro Quest RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009. http://www.proquest.com Lewis, Paul C. “Tobacco: What It Is and Why Do People Continue to Use It?” Dermatology Nursing 21.2 (Mar. 2009): 88-97. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009. “Nicotine Addiction Reaches 15-yr High.” USA Today Magazine. 137.2765 (Feb 2009) 3-4. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009. President Barack Obama. “President Barack Obama Delivers Remarks on Tobacco Legislation.” FDCH Poltical Transcripts. (n.d.) MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. RCC Library, Hamlet, NC. 23 June 2009.

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