The detrimental health consequences of smoking are widely acknowledged and affect individuals, their families, the environment, and society as a whole. Researchers have firmly established a significant link between smoking and diseases such as lung cancer. Alongside well-documented effects on health and the environment, my investigation sought to examine how smoking impacts families and society. The results unveiled that smoking not only has repercussions for individuals but also for their families and larger communities. Tobacco advertising commenced in 1868 with Bill Durham spearheading extensive campaigns to endorse smoking.
According to Richmond (1994), the negative effects of smoking cigarettes encompass health, family, environment, and society. The stress-relieving properties and calming effect of nicotine are well-known. Moreover, Hollywood and other media productions often depict smoking as a symbol of masculinity and maturity. Regrettably, the impact on health is severe, resulting in numerous deaths annually from tobacco-related illnesses such as lung cancer. It is worth mentioning that exposure to cigarette smoke is inevitable for everyone at some point in their lives, whether it be in restaurants or workplaces. Furthermore, there is a growing number of individuals who develop addiction to smoking, particularly among young people. Unfortunately, young smokers are highly vulnerable to heart diseases (Stopper et al., Lung Cancer).
According to the American Thoracic Society, nicotine is the main addictive component in all tobacco products. Martin and Terry add that cigarettes contain not only nicotine but also harmful chemicals that can be toxic to the body. Nicotine is consumed through smoking or chewing tobacco. From my point of view, it is crucial for tobacco companies to take responsibility for every death caused by tobacco each year.
According to the data, tobacco or tobacco-related illnesses have resulted in a significantly high fatality rate in the United States. Smoking alone causes more than 400,000 deaths every year (American Thoracic Society 19). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that second-hand smoke leads to over 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually. Additionally, living with smokers contributes to about 46,000 non-smoker fatalities from heart disease each year in the United States.
In 1986, the surgeon demonstrated that being near a smoker exposes individuals to small amounts of cigarette smoke that can lead to cancer in non-smoking adults (Garrison 45). It is essential for smokers to quit for the well-being of their children as smoking has detrimental effects on families. Secondhand smoke not only harms children physically but also makes them more prone to different illnesses. Moreover, children with smoking parents are more likely to start smoking themselves and parental smoking greatly impacts their views on smoking at a surprisingly young age.
The use of cigarettes and the act of smoking can result in nicotine addiction among children. The inhalation of smoke can lead to asthma or respiratory complications in young children (America Thoracic Society 23). If a pregnant woman smokes or is exposed to secondhand smoke, it can have negative effects on the intelligence and behavior of the child (America Thoracic Society 22). There is also a possibility of fetal injury, premature birth, and low birth weight if a mother smokes or is exposed to secondhand smoke.
Research conducted in 2003, titled “Smoking during pregnancy,” discovered that smoking while pregnant leads to decreased brain size in infants and potential cognitive impairments. Furthermore, a separate study conducted in 1996 by Drews, Murphy, Yeargin, Allsopp, and Decoufle concluded that smoking during pregnancy raises the likelihood of mental retardation in children by 50 percent. Moreover, maternal smoking during pregnancy is recognized as a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Teenagers, particularly high school students, have engaged in cigarette smoking for many years. The presence of nicotine addiction in cigarettes poses challenges when attempting to quit. Consequently, it is crucial that adults reduce their own smoking behaviors when around teenagers who possess curiosity and a propensity to experiment with smoking, as this can lead to enduring consequences.
It is undeniable that smoking has negative impacts on the environment and society. Extensive scientific studies confirm its detrimental effects on human health. Consequently, various countries, including the United States, have enacted laws requiring warning labels on all tobacco advertisements. Despite progress in tobacco control measures, a considerable portion of the American population, encompassing both children and adults, still faces exposure to secondhand smoke within their homes and workplaces.
Cigarette smoking causes significant issues due to the presence of Carbon Monoxide, which can harm natural resources, animals, and contribute to pollution. The impact on air and ground pollution is evident as it also affects land and water. However, the exact extent and methods of smoking-related pollution are not always clear. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals that are exhaled and released into the atmosphere. In North America, about 30% of the population smokes, a percentage that is even higher in developing nations. Consequently, a considerable amount of pollution is released into the air daily. Trees function similarly to our lungs on a global scale; therefore introducing more unnecessary pollutants into the air seems irrational considering how trees filter out pollutants. Breathing is vital for us while smoking is not.
The tobacco industry is reluctant to adopt advanced technology that could lessen their environmental footprint as it would significantly impact their considerable annual profits. While they claim to endorse reforestation efforts, this is likely motivated by a desire to safeguard their wood resources utilized for the drying, rolling, and packaging of tobacco rather than genuine environmental concern. Given their disregard for polluting our bodies, it appears improbable that they would hesitate to pollute our environment as well.
One effective method of protecting the environment is to avoid buying products that harm it. Although quitting smoking can be difficult, it is possible to achieve. Furthermore, smoking has negative consequences not only for individuals but also for the planet and loved ones. Secondhand smoke affects people in public places like restaurants, malls, public transport, schools, and daycares. Although some businesses may be reluctant to enforce smoking bans, there is no evidence suggesting that implementing such policies negatively affects their success.
Smoking presents three primary risks. Firstly, it has adverse effects on the smoker’s heart and lungs, leading to ailments such as lung cancer, asthma, and heart disease. Secondly, even non-smokers can suffer from secondhand smoke exposure. Lastly, smoking contributes to environmental pollution, which in turn causes global warming and a deterioration in Earth’s quality of life. Hence, smoking not only endangers personal health but also jeopardizes our collective existence. It is crucial that we refrain from smoking to protect and improve our lives.