Cigarette smoking is well known to have diverse health effects on humans. Some of the common illnesses associated with cigarette smoking include those that affect the lungs, liver and heart. The diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, bronchitis and heart attack. This habit has also been associated with cancers such as those of the mouth, lungs and larynx. It has been shown that individuals who start smoking at an early age or those that smoke cigarettes high in tar are more likely to develop such diseases. This paper will look at the negative effects of cigarette smoking among teenagers and adults.
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Negative effects of cigarette smoking
Parker-Pope examined the perception that social smoking could not lead to negative health effects on individuals (2). This particularly study targeted the many millions of smokers in the United States who did not smoke in a daily basis. Some individuals only smoked during the weekends for social reasons in an attempt to avoid the health worries associated with such habits. However, the author argued that research suggested that even occasional cigarette smokers were at a risk of heart disease. Occasional smoking could impair their arterial functions. The study targeted college students and examined the response of their arteries to changes in blood flow.
The results showed that the arteries of those who smoked occasionally responded less effectively. This was particularly when there were changes in blood flow. When the occasional smokers were given two cigarettes to smoke before another test, the results showed that the responsiveness of the arteries dropped even more.
Hilts examined whether nicotine was addictive (2). A good percentage of individuals who abused other drugs argued that the urge to smoke cigarettes was just as strong, if not stronger. For example, 45% of cocaine addicts argued that cigarettes were just as addictive as cocaine or even more addictive. Three percent of heroin addicts also thought that cigarettes were just as addictive. Fifty percent of the alcoholics compared the addictive effect of cigarette to that of alcohol. The element in tobacco that is responsible for addiction is nicotine. It is a highly addictive substance. This means that it causes psychological and physical dependency.
Various experts have differing definitions of the term addiction. However, there are several criteria of addiction. One of them includes the taking of a drug more often than required. One is also said to be addicted if one has persistent desire or craving for the drug or has been unsuccessful while trying to quit. One may also said to be addicted if one is willing to give up some things for the drug. An addict would continue to use the substance despite having the knowledge of its harmful effects. If one experiences withdrawal symptoms for a particular drug, then one is said to be addicted. One may also take a particular drug in order to relieve some of the withdrawal symptoms experienced. Addicts also spend a significant amount of time looking for the drug.
The Editorial Board wrote about electronic smoking among teenagers (A22). There has been a noticeable increase in the use of electronic cigarettes among teenagers. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put in place measures to ensure that they were regulated. Despite the fact that they are safer than the normal cigarettes, they also cause negative effects. Their advantage includes the fact that they do not contain some of the carcinogens and other toxins found in their counterparts. In many cases, they have been used to help adults cut down on cigarette smoking.
However, electronic cigarettes have nicotine and their effects are not affected by the mode of its delivery. Therefore, they have the ability to impair adolescent brain development. It is also just as addictive and may be dangerous if taken in high doses. Electronic cigarettes also cause difficulties when it comes to quality control. Some factories manufacturing these devices may not observe the required levels of nicotine in the cigarettes. Users may also not be certain that the toxic chemicals have been eliminated. Another concern revolving around electronic cigarette smoking is the fact that it may encourage young individuals to smoke them. Consequently, such individuals may switch to the more harmful conventional cigarettes.
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Tavernise also agreed that the use of the electronic cigarettes had increased among the teenagers (A18). Referring to the federal data, she argued that the number of electronic cigarette smokers in 2012 was two times as much as the one in 2011.For this reason, the health experts feared that the device was creating more problems rather than providing solutions. Studies showed the possibility of increase numbers of smokers since individuals who had never thought about smoking might experiment on it. Studies also showed that the brain of a teenager was more susceptible to nicotine. This means that a teenager who begins smoking may move into more harmful drugs. The number of adults who tried using the e-cigarettes also increased by a double figure in 2011.
Proctor wrote about the possibility of smokers inhaling the radioactive polonium in cigarettes (3). Since the 1960s, manufacturers have been aware of the existence of this component in cigarettes. Though not clear, it is argued that this toxic material gets into tobacco as the plant absorbs minerals from the soil. After the plant selectively absorbs uranium and dies, it decays and turns into polonium. It is also argued that farmers who use fertilizers rich in phosphate only worsen the situation. Despite the fact that the level of polonium in cigarettes is small, the effects may be devastating since polonium is highly radioactive. This element is said to be the most dangerous when it comes to lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking has lead to many deaths. World Health Organization argued that by 2020, about ten million individuals would be dying every year from this drug. In 2004, the number of deaths was estimated to be 5.4 million. To make things worse, the smokers are not the only ones who are affected. The individuals who are around the smokers may suffer the same consequences due to secondhand smoke. This happens when an individual inhales smoke exhaled by a smoker. Persons of all ages may be affected by this since it causes adverse health effects.
The smoke is also said to have several chemicals that may bind to the DNA. This causes genetic mutations. Other studies also suggest that it contributes to miscarriages. It may also cause diverse health complications to the unborn child. One of the examples includes having premature births.
Cigarette smoking is harmful to individuals of all ages. One of the negative effects of smoking includes addiction, which is the dependency on a drug. This may affect the individual’s life since one would be under the control of a drug. Health issues include cancers, heart attacks among others. E-cigarettes were introduced to reduce the effects brought about by the smoking of the conventional cigarettes. Despite its benefits, the dangers include the increased use among younger individuals. Regulation of cigarette smoking has been used to reduce the adverse effects of tobacco smoking.
Hilts, Philip. ”Relative addictiveness of drugs. New York Times 1994: 2. Print.
Parker-Pope, Tara. “Social smoking takes a lasting toll.” New York Times, 2008: 5. Print.
Proctor, Robert. “Puffing on Polonium.” New York Times 2006:3. Print.
Tavernise, Sabrina. “Rise is seen in students who use e-cigarettes.” New York Times 2013: 14. Print.
The Editorial Board.“E-Smoking Among Teenagers.” New York Times 2013: A22. Print.