Causes and Effects of Smoking
Smoking is considered as one of the most dangerous habits of an individual, especially for women and children eventually leading to several complications and causing grave health problems. There are numerous harmful as well as dangerous effects related with smoking. Carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarette smoking has been related with several adverse impacts on lungs and heart. For example, in pregnant women it can eventually result in grave outcomes including; low birth weight babies, preterm delivery; premature rupture of membranes, placental abnormalities, and increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. It is pertinent to mention that smoking causes vascular diseases that in turns affect flow of blood through the placenta. Smokers, in fact, look older than they actually are because the blood vessels are partially obstructed and calcified. The complications resulting from placental abruption are more common in smokers.
As mentioned above, smoking cigarette includes carbon monoxide. Since carbon monoxide is the replacement for oxygen in the blood during smoking, there are some fetuses that could attempt to compensate for this particular deprivation by creating extra red blood cells for the purpose of carrying extra oxygen. In some extraordinary cases, the blood gets thicker from the proliferation of such cells and ultimately cuts off the supply of blood to critical organs with fatal results.
Smoking causes a person's heart to run in overdrive and ultimately there is a shortage of oxygen in heart. Heart then has to work more for maintaining supply to the entire human body. The blood vessels are narrowed causing high blood pressure. Moreover, smoking impacts the cardiovascular system of human beings which also becomes a cause of high blood pressure or hypertension. The effect of high blood pressure is heart related diseases.
Cigarettes contain tobacco which, in turn, possesses nicotine and different other toxic chemicals. These chemicals cause blood vessel to be narrower than normal. When blood passes through these narrow vessels it creates extra pressure and results in hypertension having some serious effects on human body including heart strokes and paralysis. Cigarettes causes deterioration in quality of blood and increases cholesterol level, at times, also creates clots in the heart. The effect of increased level of cholesterol and creation of clots in blood is also heart attack as well as impacting other parts of body.
The combination of carbon monoxide and nicotine especially in cigarettes causes increase heart rate and strained heart blood vessels. It cuts off supply of oxygen to other parts of human body including hands and feet, and limbs. These causes have grave effects on entire human body and increase chances of death. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people die every year, around the world, due to smoking. Smoking is considered as a slow way of death. For example, it causes emphysema that slowly but continuously effects lungs. The effect of emphysema is repeated attacks of bronchitis, lung-diseases and heart failure.
Nicotine in blood causes shortage of oxygen in the human body which, in turn, exerts pressure on heart. Moreover, it blocks the arteries and causes damage to the blood vessels. The damage effects flow of blood and increase blood pressure. Chemicals present in tobacco causes damage to the lining of blood vessels that effects fats level and increase the risk of atheroma being a major cause of heart diseases.
Smoking during Pregnancy
Smoking limits, unfortunately, restricts the overall nutrition that a newly-born baby is able to receive. This can be specifically detrimental in late pregnancy when the brain of baby is swiftly developing. Furthermore, evidence suggests that nicotine has a direct adverse effect on developing nerve cells. Small doses, in animals, of nicotine injected into the mother in pregnancy normally result in brain malformations, learning problems, and poor functioning.
Studies have revealed the fact that women exposed to nicotine in pregnancy are more likely to show behavioral and learning problems years later. Babies born too small or prematurely for their gestational age may end up confronting learning problems their entire lives. Smokeless tobacco also includes nicotine. The quantity of nicotine absorbed is generally more than the quantity delivered by any cigarette. People, who chew or dip, receive about the similar quantity of nicotine as regular smokers.
The most dangerous substances causing substances in smokeless tobacco are known as 'tobacco-specific nitrosamines' that are found at levels hundred times higher compared with the nitrosamines allowed in beer, bacon, and different other foods. The juice resulted from the smokeless tobacco is, in fact, absorbed through the lining of the mouth. This creates white patches and sores that mostly lead to cancer of the mouth. Users of smokeless tobacco significantly increase their risk of other cancers. Other effects of smokeless tobacco use include stained teeth and filings, chronic bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abrasion tooth loss, and loss of bone in the jaw. They could also have problems with high blood pressure and are exposed to the increased risk for heart disease.
Smokers have comparatively great risk of ectopic pregnancy- a pregnancy just outside the uterus- and also miscarriage. This risk exist more in smokers compared with non-smokers. It is most likely that smokers may develop other complications like more risk of infections. Discontinuing the habit of smoking during pregnancy is beneficial; however, ceasing right from the time it is planned or at the start of the pregnancy is considered wiser. Any pregnant women can be successful in giving up the habit of smoking; however, she may need sympathetic motivation-mental support and health.
Smoking during pregnancy causes certain complications such as detachment of placenta, bleeding, and premature birth. It produces effects not only on mother but also newly-born baby along with increased chances of abortion. Studies have shown that, in case of pregnant women, nicotine has more grave effects compared with heroine or similar drugs. Nicotine in smoking effects newly-born baby because blood is directly sent to the placenta through arteries and spans resulting from it can reduce the amount of oxygen received by the baby. Resultantly, chances of low-birth rate are more. Moreover, premature delivery can eventually lead to disastrous health conditions of both mother and baby, for example, cerebral palsy, metal retardation, and in some cases death.
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p. 1 Scientists and health officials have been arguing the detrimental effects smoking has on our health for many years. Smoking can lead to serious complications including asthma, pancreas, lung and stomach cancer due to the large number of carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals) and other various substances added to it. It is a health hazard for both smokers and non-smokers and it is especially harmful to unborn babies. Although smokers claim that it helps them to relax and release stress, the negative aspects of the habit take over the positive. As it has been stressed by the scientists and experts, there are some very severe reasons of smoking but its crucial consequences should also be taken into consideration. p. 2 There are many causes which make people smoke, however it can be divided into two main causes: physical and psychological.
First cause which is physical concerns the human body's needs. Nicotine contained in cigarette is an addictive substance. It is the chemical which causes addiction. Nicotine reduces tension in the muscles and allows smokers to relax so they feel that they can relieve stress by smoking. Nicotine can also have a calming effect on people who are anxious and worried. This is why it can bring a feeling of tranquility and help smokers to cope with stress.
Thus, people smoke when they are depressed, lonely or bored. Nicotine is absorbed by the smoker's lung and intestines. Very quickly, nicotine can stimulate brain and certain types of nerves so heart rate and blood pressure go up; respiration increases. A little nicotine makes smokers feel more energy and improve concentration. As a consequence, these physical effects created by smoking play an important role in making people feel the need to smoke.
p. 3 Second main cause of smoking is psychological which seems to be a very important factor for people to get the habit. One of the psychological situations which drive people to smoke is low self esteem. Low self esteem is linked not only to smoking but also other behavioral problems such as drinking. It leads to feeling like a dependent individual who can not make decisions for himself or herself and just follow the crowd. So one conclusion to be drawn from this aspect is that people with low self esteem tend to smoke by imitating the people that they see around themselves especially in public places.
p. 4 People often use smoking as means of identity, to try and make up something that they feel they lack. Many people know that smoking is not good for them but they look to identify themselves with something that makes them feel more masculine, feminine or more mature. Another factor is peer pressure which is a powerful influence. Friend are the usual source of the first cigarette and smoking is usually done with friends at parties, or in public places.
Young people think that they look like a wimp if they don't smoke when their peers smoke around them. p. 5 One last severe cause resulting in smoking addiction psychologically is advertisements. Tobacco companies use images for smoking that are very attractive, adventurous and exciting. The reason why companies use such images is that young people can find their heroes' image from smoking advertisements so they want to look as impressive as the heroes.
The fact is that the companies also play the role of sponsorship in the world of sport, fashion, and art. As a consequence, dangerous products such as cigarettes may seem healthy and trendy. p. 6 As it is clearly seen smoking cigarettes have several crucial reasons but it shouldn't be forgotten that smoking has got certain vital results as well. Because tobacco contains many harmful chemicals cigarette smoking causes many dangerous diseases to human beings such as lung cancer, heart disease and teeth decay. Of all the diseases associated with smoking, lung cancer is perhaps the most notorious. Around 90 % of lung cancer is caused by the smoking habit and it is not just men or old people who are affected.
In 1983 around forty thousand people in Britain died from lung cancer and one third of them were aged under 65 at the time of death. The age at which someone starts smoking is very important. The younger a person starts smoking, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer. It is also a fact that the lung will clear itself if the habit is stopped, allowing the ex-smoker to regain normal health and life expectancy. p. 7 Another vital result of cigarette smoking is heart diseases.
It is the combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide found in tobacco smoke that is considered to cause heart disease in smokers. Nicotine is a powerful drug which stimulates the production of adrenaline. It leads to increase in the workload of heart by making it beat faster and thus making the blood pressure rise. Many doctors believe that giving up smoking certainly reduces the danger of having a heart attack, particularly amongst those who have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels or excessive body weight. p. 8 One last very severe effect of smoking is teeth decay. The reason for teeth decay is tobacco products which damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth.
An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas. Additionally, smoking can also contribute to bad breath, stains in the teeth and a build-up of tartar on the teeth. p. 9 Consequently, tobacco which contains many harmful chemicals damages human beings' health day by day. Although people are aware of the bad effects of smoking, they still smoke for one reason or another. When the current situation is considered, it is clear that smoking which has been spreading all over the world is not only the problem of a country or a territory but the problem of mankind because smoking brings many disadvantages for humans like diseases.
I personally believe that it is important to help children remain lifelong non-smokers because they are our hope for a non-smoking future. (1040 words)
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Research essay sample on Causes And Effects Of Smoking