Marijuana vs. Cigarettes

Cigarettes are a mixture of the most dangerous substances for humans to consume and yet they are legal and mass produced so that everyone can smoke them. Marijuana on the other hand is nowhere nearly as harmful as cigarettes but is illegal and looked at as if it were far worse than cigarettes. It is long overdue that society recognizes the fact that marijuana is better for people than cigarettes by a mile.

Cigarettes are extremely more addictive than marijuana, the usage patterns for marijuana cannot compare to cigarettes, and dozens of lethal chemicals are put into cigarettes whereas marijuana is a natural plant and doesn’t contain nearly as many chemicals. According to the American Lung Association, every year about four hundred and thirty thousand Americans die alone from the effects of smoking cigarettes. Cigarette smoking also causes one in five deaths in the United States each year. Cigarette smoke is the major cause of lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and stroke.

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Not only does cigarette smoke cause several health problems, it also is highly addictive and causes smokers to develop a highly unhealthy addiction to the nicotine in the cigarette. There are no scientific studies that prove that smoking a cigarette is not harmful to one’s health; in fact, there are several case studies proving that smoking cigarettes can be deadly to one’s health. The chemicals in within cigarette smoke themselves alone are enough to put one at risk for cancer development. Aside from nicotine, other carcinogens such as carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, cyanide, and ammonia can be found in cigarette smoke.

These chemicals combined leave someone who smokes at risk to develop lung cancer. In comparison, marijuana has not been linked to any of the above conditions or problems. There have been no direct links between smoking marijuana and any health conditions. Marijuana has been proven to have medicinal value and is currently used to help glaucoma patients as well as cancer patients. Many people believe that smoking marijuana is more harmful to one’s health than smoking cigarettes because it is illegal.

However, my evidence proves that the reasoning behind marijuana being more harmful to one’s health over cigarettes is faulty. Thus I identify the ideal that smoking marijuana is more harmful to one’s health than cigarettes to be false. There are several myths presented to make marijuana seem harmful to one’s health, but many of them have been proven scientifically wrong. Three myths commonly presented and associated with smoking marijuana are: marijuana causes mental permanent mental illness, smoking marijuana is more harmful to the lungs than smoking tobacco, and also marijuana is a gateway drug.

Through my research I have found that the commonly believed myths and misconceptions of marijuana intoxication are only social fears of those whom have not done any research on the effects of the drug. One common myth associated with smoking marijuana is smoking marijuana can cause permanent mental illness. There is no convincing scientific evidence proving that smoking marijuana can cause psychological damage and mental illness in teenagers and young adults. Marijuana does not cause profound changes in people’s behaviors. Some marijuana users may experience psychological distress following marijuana ingestion.

Effects may include feelings of panic, anxiety, and paranoia. This is known as toxic psychosis. Though these experiences are frightening, the effects are only temporary and are attributed to the ingestion of large amounts of marijuana. As such marijuana should not be ingested in any amount. Another common myth is that marijuana smoke is more harmful to your health than cigarette smoke. It is true that marijuana smoke does contain a number of irritants as well as carcinogens, but marijuana smokers tent to smoke less than someone who smokes cigarettes thus over time inhaling less smoke, making the risk of lung damage significantly lower.

There have been no reports of lung cancer solely related to marijuana smoke. A large study presented to the American Thoracic Society in 2006 showed that, even in cases of chronic marijuana smokers, there was no increased risk of lung cancer. Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers do not exhibit obstruction of the lung’s small airway. This indicates that people do not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana. The last common myth associated with smoking marijuana being more harmful or one’s health over smoking tobacco is that marijuana is a gateway drug. The theory that smoking marijuana leads to the use of “harder drugs,” such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD, is one that is not proven, or even been tested[1]. In fact, smoking marijuana does not cause people to use “hard drugs. ” The gateway theory presents as a casual explanation is the statistic association between common and uncommon drugs, an association that changes over time as different drugs increase and decrease in prevalence.

Most marijuana users never use any other illegal drug. Therefore marijuana is a terminus drug rather than a gateway drug and does not cause addiction of any kind. In conclusion, the ideal that smoking marijuana is more harmful to one’s health than cigarettes is false. The studies have proven marijuana smoke is not more harmful to one’s health than the smoke of incense burning. The facts that I have presented have proven the myths of smoking marijuana to be false and therefore only theories.

I have proven that smoking marijuana does not cause any form of mental defect, and it especially cannot be linked to memory loss. I have also proven that marijuana smoke does not present as an imminent health problem to the lungs, and it also has not been linked to any major illnesses or diseases. Most of all I have proven that marijuana is not a gateway drug and that people who do smoke marijuana are not more likely to become addicted to other “hard drugs,” such as heroin, cocaine, and LSD. Therefore, the ideal that smoking marijuana is more harmful to one’s health than smoking cigarettes.

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