“The end doesn’t justify the mean, or so they say, but when the cause is distorted by smoking, its effects are never justifiable.” (Princess) Someone dies of tobacco, somewhere in the world every ten seconds. Why do many of us, one in every three persons, worldwide-smoke? and why should it be prohibited? Cigarette smoking can be hazardous to ones’ health due to addictions, frivolous spending, second hand smoking and various health problems.
Most Americans start smoking when they are 13-14 years old, and are smoking regularly by 17 or 18. The most commonly cited reason why children start smoking is pee pressure- wanting to be accepted by a certain group who see smoking acceptable. Another reason could be the influence from parents or older siblings.
Once a person starts smoking regularly, the addictive process slowly creates a pattern of having to smoke to feel good. That is when a smoker feels he or she is trapped. At first, a smoker thinks that they can quit anytime but most smokers find it very hard to stop. There are three aspects of smoking whish makes it difficult to quit:
· The familiar routine or habit
· The mental attitude that one needs to cope with their problems or with stress.
· The chemical reactions in a smokers’ brain that creates’ nicotine’s pleasurable and satisfying effects, and leads to an addictive need for more nicotine.
Why is smoking recognized as the most addictive behavior? Most persons state that tobacco is more addicting than heroin, cocaine and alcohol. Part of the answer is the pleasurable chemical changes in the brain. When a smoker tries to stop using nicotine, the brain goes through a readjustment that is very uncomfortable.
“Most smokers in America who were smoking before they reached puberty have never learned how to deal with adult emotions such as frustrations, irritability, boredom, depression and pleasure without nicotine floating around their brains. When the smoker misses that cigarette that “artificially” helped calm him down by sending nicotine to the brain for 20 or 40 years, the brain screams out for more of the “good” nicotine feeling. Addiction to nicotine is caused by the brain wanting to “feel good” all the time.
“Smoking is one of the human races’ more curious and inconsistent habits.” (Schmitz 19) The character of addiction is that each substance is likely to be because of abuse. Each substance needs separate, specific examinations. ” Why should the effects on inhaling nicotine have to be virtually identical to the effects of injecting heroin for the similarities to be worth nothing?” (Schmitz 20) Both substances can be harmfully used but the difference merely illuminates the complex nature of human addiction.
Lots of other things can make us feel the pleasurable chemical changes that we interpret as “good feelings” such as laughter, exercise, sexual activity and eating. All of these will stimulate the chemical dopamine, which creates the pleasurable feelings like “miniature chemical fireworks.” “Nicotine is a very potent stimulant for dopamine when it is smoked and inhaled into the lungs.” (Michael 43)
Research has now proven that depression is closely linked to smoking. It is also observed that in up to one third of smokers, nicotine actually can work to counteract depressive moods. But when these smokers try to quit, they may experience a real depressive event within the first several weeks. Besides helping to calm the emotional ups and downs, nicotine also affects the brain, This is the area that creates the sensation of pleasure and remembers it.
There are many reasons to quit smoking. The financial cost is just one. Each pack of cigarettes cost Americans more than $3.90 in smoking related expenses. The total cost of caring for people with health problems caused by cigarette smoking – counting all sources of medical payments is about 72.7 billion per year, according to health economists at the University of California. ‘The tobacco industry has caused immeasurable harm to the public health. These figures strengthen the idea that economic sanctions are appropriate and justified.” (Gold, 17)
Among the states with the lowest expenses were North Dakota with $19 million in smoking health effects. The lowest percentage was in Washington D.C. where 8.5% of the Medicaid budget in 1993 was attributed to smoking. The highest percentage was in Nevada with 19.2%. ” The analysis took particular care to isolate direct smoking health effects from other confounding factors such as poverty, marital status, race, ethnicity, and health insurance coverage, all of which independently affect health and the tendency to smoke.” (Gold 24)
Another reason why smoking should be prohibited is the exposure of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke ranks third as a major preventable cause of death behind only active smoking and alcohol. Second hand smoke is the smoke that people breathe when they are located in the same air space as smokers. “It is a complex mix of over 4, 000 substances, of which more than 42 individuals mainstream components are known to cause cancer.” (Napier 20) However, second hand smoke is one of the biggest environmental health risks that society faces today.
The effects are mainly important when one takes into account the fact that second hand smoke usually targets non- smokers unwillingly. A scientific agreement has emerged during the past ten years that second hand is a major cause of lung cancer and respiratory disease in young people. Recently, evidence has gathered up a causal link to heart disease. And since 1980, second hand smoke has been identified as a leading occupational health hazard. Second hand smoke should be restricted out of both workplaces and enclosed public places in order to protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure.
Almost everyone knows that smoking is hazardous to ones’ health and can cause cancer in smokers. But most people have very little idea of exactly how dangerous smoking can be, how many different types it can cause or complicate, or how much smoking increases the risk of contracting various deadly diseases.
Smoking cigarettes literally destroys your lungs and affects your respiratory system. This destruction is caused by conditions such as a smoker’s cough, Emphysema and Lung Cancer . A smokers’ cough is a condition where the ammonia in cigarettes paralyze the cilia in the trachea, causing tar, phlegm etc. to slide to the bottom of the lungs. This creates a dry, hacking cough.
Emphysema is a condition where the tar in cigarettes coats the lungs’ alveoli turning them black. Lung cancer is a cancer caused by the carcinogens in tar, this condition may deadly. This is known to be the number one cancer killer in the United States.
Smoking Cigarettes also effects the circulatory system. The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the heart and constricts the body’s blood vessels. This results in high blood pressure and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, blood clots and fatty deposits. Smoking is another major cause of cancer of the lungs, lips tongue, salivary glands, mouth, larynx and esophagus.
The development is stomach cancer and bladder cancer can be directly associated with smoking. These are just some of the various health problems smoking can cause and this mean that approximately one third of the population of our country is at high risk for these terrible diseases and various health problems.
Smoking is a matter of choice the first time, but once a smoker starts, he or she soon becomes deprived of the choice to stop. More than 15 million who try to stop smoking every years find that they are unable to quit. And ends up loosing there life. “The addictive nature of nicotine further challenges our capacity to deal with this major public health hazard .
The more the public understands about tobacco and all of its ramifications, the more likely that creative strategies will emerge to limit the tragedy it produces. Dying to Quit contributes significantly to that understanding.” (Kenneth I. Shine)