Effects of Smoking
Smoking is a very old human habit; people of different countries and regions of the world practice it. The smoke is breathed in, absorbed into the lungs and bloodstream and, in this way, affects the human body. Different substances can be used for smoking; the most popular of them is tobacco. This kind of smoking is also known as tobacco addiction. Other substances can be opium and cannabis, or more exotic ones. Tobacco has a strong hold on humankind although a lot of information is available on its very bad effects on human health (Is Nicotine Addictive?).
In developing countries, where smoking is more popular, poor people often prefer tobacco to food. Smoking affects so many people in the world that it is called “the tobacco epidemic” (World Health Organization. Fact sheet N°339). Many people do not understand the great risks that tobacco poses to their health. Therefore, anti-smoking campaigns and activities of international agencies, governments and public organizations are needed to fight this serious addiction, with the efforts of young smokers’ parents, school and communities’ supporting them. Smoking ruins human health and causes a lot of serious and fatal diseases and conditions.
The world statistics shows that “tobacco kills up to half of its users”, or “around 6 million people each year” (World Health Organization. Fact sheet N°339). Most of these deaths (5 million) are of people who use tobacco directly. However, more than 600,000 are the deaths of non-smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke (World Health Organization. Fact sheet N°339). This fact shows the danger of smoking not only to people who practice it but also to those who may be against it but have to act as second-hand smokers. The substances in tobacco smoke that causes addiction is nicotine. However, this smoke contains, in addiction to nicotine, about 7,000 other chemicals (Smoking – effects on your body). At least 250 of them are harmful to human health and more than 50 cause cancer (World Health Organization. Fact sheet N°339). Scientists found out that smoking causes more diseases and fatal outcomes than any other drug taken by people. For example, “in Australia, smoking kills around 15,000 people every year” (Smoking – effects on your body).
The components of the tobacco smoke ruining smokers’ health include tar, carbon monoxide, oxidizing chemicals, metals and radioactive ingredients (Smoking – effects on your body). These components target the respiratory, blood circulation, musculoskeletal and immune systems, and sexual function. Tar has carcinogen substances, carbon monoxide takes the place of oxygen in human blood, metals and radioactive ingredients are carcinogenic. Lungs cannot operate well; the airways get narrower and poisonous substances accumulate inside these organs. Smokers often wheeze and cough; lung infections are another risk. Other risks include high blood pressure and increased heart rate and damaged blood vessels, which cause atherosclerosis. Pneumonia is smokers’ typical illness; other illnesses have more severe forms and last longer than with non-smokers. The nervous system is also affected. People addicted to tobacco for decades are …