The Effects of Smoking on Non-Smokers Essay

This essay has a total of 2918 words and 11 pages.

The Effects of Smoking on Non-Smokers

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.(Schoebel 287) 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 would only come with some amount of discomfort.
Is there anyone who does not know someone who smoke's? Everyone has a family member, friend, or
coworker 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.(Schwebel 125)
The hazardous of smoking lead to many fatal diseases and should persuade 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 daily due to lung
cancer.(Weitzman 214) 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. (Dhillion 198)
Unborn babies who have mother who smokes 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 healthy. 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 cannot only hurt the mother
but really hurt the baby as well. (Fred and Oxom 117)
Because of smoking, smokers provide high risks in addictions, disease or risks in pregnancies. Smokers
prefer their habit, rather than caring about this terrible addiction. 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 a 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.(Dhillion 24) 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.(Dhillion 39) 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.(Dhillion 212) 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 nonsmokers- a result of the contraction of the capillaries on the
skins surface, which prevents absorption of tissue building nutrients.(Dhillion 112) Furthermore, smokers
afflicted with arterial hardening and cholesterol deposits suffer a significantly higher number of heart
attacks than nonsmokers. 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, prostrate 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 smokes a Class A carcinogen.(Weitzman
376) 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 smoke could be deadly for nonsmokers. In addition to causing respiratory problems, ETS is
responsible for 3,000 to 5,000 lung cancer deaths a year in nonsmokers, 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.
Many researches and scientists including the Surgeon General feel nicotine, 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.(Weitzman 328) 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; thus 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.(Weitzman 129) Among the physical symptoms of
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