People smoke mostly in the form of cigarettes. Some people use even cigars, pipes, etc. All these contain dried leaves of the tobacco plant. A cigarette or any such thing is made to inhale smoke. It contains a harmful substance ‘nicotine’. Tobacco is an agricultural product, grown on farms. Farmers get a good income by growing tobacco as an agricultural plant. Tobacco is also used in the preparation of some medicines. But when tobacco is used just for pleasure, is harmful to life.
Smoking causes many harmful diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can lead to birth effects. Some people smoke just for fashion. Generally, a person starts smoking with friends or colleagues just for fun. Slowly they get addicted and later they reach a stage where they can’t resist smoking and become ‘chain smokers’. Chain-smoking means a person continues to smoke almost without break.
If once a person becomes a ‘chain smoker’ then it will be very tough for that person to keep himself away from smoking even for a few hours and this habit leads to death. It is found that most men smoke, but the habit of smoking is also seen in some women and it is a very dangerous habit for women when compared to men. Because researchers have found that smoking leads to more health hazards (risks) in women when compared to men. Smoking habit is found more in young women when compared to old women.
Smoking habit is found in women of backward country areas and also in so-called Hi-Fi society. Smoking is dangerous for pregnant women. Because it will show the effect on the child in the stomach and may lead to birth effects. Smoking affects not only the person who takes it directly but also the people around that person. The people who are around the person who is smoking are forced automatically to perform ‘passive smoking’. This passive smoking is more dangerous when compared to direct smoking. Passive smoking can be found in public places like bus stands (stops) railway stations and any closed room with less ventilation. The government has banned smoking in public places. But it is not being implemented strictly anywhere in the country. Some countries strictly accomplish a ban on public smoking. But in our country still, it has to be performed. Every year many people who are dying due to diseases caused by smoking habit. It includes men and women. Government should implement a strict ban on public smoking and also usage of tobacco in any form. Many companies are producing different products by using tobacco.
People who use tobacco feel that they are enjoying but day by day the habit will lead to many diseases and ultimately to death also. The government is implementing some rules that on every cigarette packet it is printed as STATUTORY WARNING: SMOKING IS INJURIOUS TO HEALTH. But even when the person who takes the cigarette from that pack reads it and continues to take cigarettes. People who are well educated also resort to smoking as it becomes their habit. Some even say that smoking keeps them active and it will help them in getting new ideas and leads to creativity.
But in fact it is not true. Nicotine which is present in tobacco keeps a person active only for some time, but it shows long-term ill effects. Some street children also resort to smoking regularly which is more dangerous than adults. Smoking is a bad habit that causes not only inconvenience to others but is also harmless. Those who are addicted to smoking can quit smoking by undergoing some treatment and also some methods such as deciding strictly not to smoke and if even they smoke, smoking some herbal cigarettes which are not harmful to health. Thus slowly they can quit smoking completely. History Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people in the majority of all human societies. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis and opium. Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available. The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world.
Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals, or to allow shamans and priests to alter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americans, the practice of smoking tobacco quickly spread to the rest of the world. In regions like India and Subsaharan Africa, it merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly cannabis). In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.
Smoking – health risks
You can eat five portions of fruit or veg a day and exercise regularly – but healthy behavior means little if you continue to smoke. The message that ‘smoking is bad for you’ is an old one, so not everyone gives it their full attention. Below we list the health risks of smoking. Why quit smoking? Most people know that smoking can cause lung cancer, but it can also cause many other cancers and illnesses. Smoking directly causes over 100,000 deaths in the UK each year and contributes to many more.
Of these deaths, about 42,800 are from smoking-related cancers, 30,600 from cardiovascular disease, and 29,100 die slowly from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases.
How do cigarettes damage health?
Cigarettes contain more than 4000 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances. When you inhale, the cigarette burns at 700°C at the tip and around 60°C at the core. This heat breaks down the tobacco to produce various toxins. Like a cigarette burn, the residues are concentrated towards the butt. The most damaging products are:
- tar, a carcinogen (substance that causes cancer) nicotine is addictive and increases cholesterol levels in your body
- carbon monoxide reduces oxygen in the body
- components of the gas and particulate phases cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
The damage caused by smoking is influenced by:
- the number of cigarettes smoked
- whether the cigarette has a filter
- how the tobacco has been prepared
Smoking affects how long you live Research has shown that smoking reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years. Of the 300 people who die every day in the UK as a result of smoking, many are comparatively young smokers.
The number of people under the age of 70 who die from smoking-related diseases exceeds the total figure for deaths caused by breast cancer, AIDS, traffic accidents, and drug addiction. Non-smokers and ex-smokers can also look forward to a healthier old age than smokers.
Major diseases caused by smoking
Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death due to smoking. Hardening of the arteries is a process that develops over years, when cholesterol and other fats deposit in the arteries, leaving them narrow, blocked, or rigid. When the arteries narrow (atherosclerosis), blood clots are likely to form.
Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing process in your arteries: it starts earlier and blood clots are two to four times more likely. Cardiovascular disease can take many forms depending on which blood vessels are involved, and all of them are more common in people who smoke.
- Coronary thrombosis: a blood clot in the arteries supplying the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. Around 30 percent are caused by smoking.
- Cerebral thrombosis: the vessels to the brain can become blocked, which can lead to collapse, stroke, and paralysis. Damage to the brain’s blood supply is also an important cause of dementia. If the kidney arteries are affected, then high blood pressure or kidney failure results.
- Blockage to the vascular supply to the legs may lead to gangrene and amputation. Smokers tend to develop coronary thrombosis 10 years earlier than non-smokers and makeup 9 out of 10 heart bypass patients. CANCER Smokers are more likely to get cancer than non-smokers. This is particularly true of lung cancer, throat cancer, and mouth cancer, which hardly ever affect non-smokers.
- Ninety percent of lung cancer cases are due to smoking.
- If no one smoked, lung cancer would be a rare diagnosis – only 0. percent of people who’ve never touched a cigarette develop lung cancer.
- One in ten moderate smokers and almost one in five heavy smokers (more than 15 cigarettes a day) will die of lung cancer. The more cigarettes you smoke in a day, and the longer you’ve smoked, the higher your risk of lung cancer. Similarly, the risk rises the deeper you inhale and the earlier in life you started smoking. For ex-smokers, it takes approximately 15 years before the risk of lung cancer drops to the same as that of a non-smoker. If you smoke, the risk of contracting mouth cancer is four times higher than for a non-smoker.
Cancer can start in many areas of the mouth, with the most common being on or underneath the tongue, or on the lips. Other types of cancer that are more common in smokers are:
- bladder cancer
- cancer of the esophagus
- cancer of the kidneys
- cancer of the pancreas
- cervical cancer COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collective term for a group of conditions that block airflow and make breathing more difficult, such as:
- emphysema – breathlessness caused by damage to the air sacs (alveoli)
- chronic bronchitis – coughing with a lot of mucus that continues for at least three months.
Smoking is the most common cause of COPD and is responsible for 80 percent of cases. It’s estimated that 94 percent of 20-a-day smokers have some emphysema when the lungs are examined after death, while more than 90 percent of non-smokers have little or none. COPD typically starts between the ages of 35 and 45 when lung function starts to decline anyway. In smokers, the rate of decline in lung function can be three times the usual rate. As lung function declines, breathlessness begins. As the condition progresses, severe breathing problems can require hospital care.
The final stage is death from slow and progressive breathlessness. Other risks caused by smoking:
- Smoking raises blood pressure, which can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) – a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
- Couples who smoke are more likely to have fertility problems than couples who are non-smokers.
- Smoking worsens asthma and counteracts asthma medication by worsening the inflammation of the airways that the medicine tries to ease.
- The blood vessels in the eye are sensitive and can be easily damaged by smoke, causing a bloodshot appearance and itchiness. Heavy smokers are twice as likely to get macular degeneration, resulting in the gradual loss of eyesight.
- Smokers run an increased risk of cataracts.
- Smokers take 25 percent more sick days a year than non-smokers.
- Smoking stains your teeth and gums.
- Smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease, which causes swollen gums, bad breath, and teeth to fall out.
- Smoking causes an acid taste in the mouth and contributes to the development of ulcers.
- Smoking also affects your looks: smokers have paler skin and more wrinkles.
This is because smoking reduces the blood supply to the skin and lowers levels of vitamin A. Smoking and impotence For men in their 30s and 40s, smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) by about 50 percent. Erection can’t occur unless blood can flow freely into the penis, so these blood vessels have to be in good condition. Smoking can damage the blood vessels and cause them to degenerate: nicotine narrows the arteries that lead to the penis, reducing blood flow and the pressure of blood in the penis.
This narrowing effect increases over time, so if you haven’t got problems now, things could change later. Erection problems in smokers may be an early warning signal that cigarettes are already damaging other areas of the body – such as the blood vessels that supply the heart. Smoking and others There are many health-related reasons to give up cigarettes – not just for smokers, but to protect those around you. Babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are twice as likely to be born prematurely and with low birth weight. Passive smoking.
The ‘side-stream’ smoke that comes off a cigarette between puffs carries a higher risk than directly inhaled smoke. Children who grow up in a home where one or both of their parents smoke have twice the risk of getting asthma and asthmatic bronchitis. They also have a higher risk of developing allergies. Infants under two years old are more prone to severe respiratory infections and cot death. For adults, passive smoking seems to increase the risk of lung cancer, but the evidence for an increased risk of heart disease is not yet conclusive.
Thinking about quitting? As well as reducing your risk of getting a smoking-related illness, there are other benefits to quitting smoking.
- General health improves – tiredness and headaches can be linked to smoking.
- Your sense of taste and smell improves.
- Your heart will be less strained and work more efficiently.
Stopping smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your health, but it’s a difficult task. Smokers who are trying to kick their habit may be disappointed to find there’s no single quit method that guarantees success.
The weight of evidence suggests that smokers should set a date to stop, and do their best to quit completely from this point. On average it takes four to five attempts to give up, and several things can help willpower.
- Nicotine replacement treatment (NRT) in the form of gum, skin patches, or nasal spray.
- Zyban (bupropion) is a medicine that’s licensed to help smoking cessation.
- Champix (varenicline): a medicine that mimics the effect of nicotine in the body, and so reduces the urge to smoke and also reduces withdrawal symptoms.
Varenicline can double your chance of successfully quitting
- Behavior modification programs.
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hypnosis.
Research shows that people who take part in a full ‘quit smoking’ program, including behavioral therapies and medication, may increase their chance of successfully quitting from about 3 percent on willpower alone to over 30 percent. Prevalence Smoking, primary tobacco, is an activity that is practiced by some 1. 1 billion people, and up to 1/3 of the adult population.
The image of the smoker can vary considerably but is very often associated, especially in fiction, with individuality and aloofness. Even so, smoking both tobacco and cannabis can be a social activity that serves as a reinforcement of social structures and is part of the cultural rituals of many and diverse social and ethnic groups. Many smokers begin smoking in social settings and the offering and sharing of a cigarette is often an important rite of initiation or simply a good excuse to start a conversation with strangers in many settings; in bars, nightclubs, at work, or on the street.
Lighting a cigarette is often seen as an effective way of avoiding the appearance of idleness or mere loitering. It has been shown that even opening a packet of cigarettes, or offering a cigarette to other people, can increase the level of dopamine (the “happy feeling”) in the brain. Other than recreational drug use, it can be used to construct identity and a development of self-image by associating it with personal experiences connected with smoking. The rise of the modern anti-smoking movement in the late 19th century did more than creating awareness of the hazards of smoking.
By the 17th century allowances of tobacco were a standard part of the naval rations of many nations and by World War I cigarette manufacturers and governments collaborated in securing tobacco and cigarette allowances to soldiers in the field. It was asserted that regular use of tobacco while under duress would not only calm the soldiers but allow them to withstand greater hardship. Until the mid-20th century, the majority of the adult population in many Western nations were smokers and the claims of anti-smoking activists were met with much skepticism.
Today the movement has considerably more weight and evidence of its claims, but a considerable proportion of the population remains steadfast smokers. Conclusion Smoking has been accepted into culture, in various art forms, and has developed many distinct, and often conflicting or mutually exclusive, meanings depending on time, place, and the practitioners of smoking. Pipe smoking, until recently one of the most common forms of smoking, is today often associated with solemn contemplation, old age and is often considered quaint and archaic.
Cigarette smoking, which did not begin to become widespread until the late 19th century, has more associations with modernity and the faster pace of the industrialized world. Cigars have been, and still are, associated with masculinity, power and are an iconic image associated with the stereotypical capitalist. Some evidence suggests that men with higher than average testosterone levels are more likely to smoke. Smoking in public has for a long time been something reserved for men and when done by women has been associated with promiscuity.
But in conclusion, we would like to say once again that smoking is deadly harmful to human health, moreover, we are convinced that it is necessary to fight against smoking, to protect people from passive smoking because non-smokers suffer even more than smokers. We have known a lot of useful information and interesting facts. And as no one of us doesn’t smoke we would try to protect people close to us, our relatives from smoking, we would try to encourage them to quit smoking.