It may seem that if someone has bad habits, it is one’s own business, because it has damage only for that particular individual’s health. However, the idea is totally wrong, especially when it is about smoking. After years of research, medical scientists have found different interesting facts about the impact of this habit on the health of smokers, as well as on the passive smokers’ health. The active smokers, people who inhale the smoke are the first-hand smokers. The second-hand or passive smokers inhale, while someone else is smoking. Smoking is the smoke inhaling of the smoldering dried tobacco leaves. The major component of tobacco smoke is nicotine. The regular usage of nicotine causes the tobacco addiction. The long and frequent smoking causes huge health damage for the smokers, people around them, non-smokers, and even animals. From smoking-caused diseases die each year 5.4 million people. It means that one in ten deaths worldwide is caused by tobacco use. Smoking is a kind of consumer addiction, the most common form of which is tobacco smoking (Krogh).
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Considering smoking, there is a lot of wrong information in the society. There is also the opinion that smoking has a positive effect on the human body and well-being. British scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College finally discovered that smoking brings not only harm, but a positive effect on the body: it can promote concentration and working memory. This finding may encourage the creation of nicotine tablets, which can cure the Alzheimer’s disease. The stimulatory effect of tobacco on the brain is long known. However, these fatal side effects such as cancer, stroke and heart disease mean that medicine ignored the positive aspects of tobacco. Professor Ian Stoleman says that “the substances that we call drugs have, in the majority of cases, do have a mixture of beneficial and harmful effects and nicotine no exception to this” (Derbyshire). There is also an opinion that smoking is physiologically necessary for the human body process. Nicotine kills thirty six species of microbes, including eight harmful ones. Under the action of nicotine, first die old and weak brain cells. Smoking closes the access of air to the alveoli than forcing the body to enhance blood flow beneficial to them. Without smoking, similar effect can be obtained only by intensive sport or difficult breathing exercises. By itself, the process of inhaling smoke and smoker’s cough is a natural and necessary respiratory exercise. However, all of these are only hypothesis. So, the question still remains about what impact smoking does really have. The real effect of cigarettes, smoke and nicotine is more obvious than it seems.
The first point against smoking is that this habit has a very harmful influence on the health. It regarded as risk factors for various diseases. The active and passive smoking reduces the level of ascorbic acid in blood plasma. Smoking causes vascular sclerosis and is one of the most important factors that increase the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, diseases of the arteries of the heart muscle and brain. There is no surprise that smoking increases incidence of respiratory illness, heart disease and lung cancer (Passive Smoking ‘Kills 600,000’ Worldwide). These diseases annually kill ten of thousand and maimed even more people.
The number of deaths from chronic bronchitis and emphysema among smokers is five times higher than among non-smokers. In addition to that, “tobacco has a large amount of carcinogens” (Eysenk). Since tobacco tar gets into the respiratory tract, of course, that much of smoking can also cause malignant tissue growth. Indeed, as the statistics show, one hundred cigarettes smoked, the equal work with toxic substances that can cause cancer, and within a year the lungs fierce smoker gets about a kilogram of tobacco tar. Most formidable payback for smoking is lung cancer (Eysenk). 90% of all established cases of lung cancer occur in smokers share. However, the danger of smoking is not limited with malignant lesion of breath. The chronic smokers have cancer vulnerable lungs and other organs, such as the oral cavity, throat and larynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, kidney, and stomach. The cardiovascular diseases play a leading role in the mortality, especially in the developed countries. The reasons for their growth are different, but one of the most important factors is smoking, which in this context is a risk factor. This means that the risk of illness and death from heart disease and vascular is much higher if a person smokes. For a person addicted to tobacco smoke, a cigarette is the same as water against thirst.
The chronic nicotine poisoning causes a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, resulting in the disruption of normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. With every cigarette, the possibility of gastritis consequently increases. It also raises the activity of the stomach, inhibited production of gastric juice, resulting in decreases appetite. That is why smokers believe that tobacco reduces hunger. Smoking influences also the generative organs. The awful phenomena can be observed in the long-term smoking men by the experiencing of premature fading of the sexual function. According to the specialists, not less than 10% of cases the cause sexual impotence is smoking. Stopping nicotine intoxication leads to recovery of sexual function. The smoking women usually become old earlier. They reach sexual premature withering.
Tobacco affects the course of pregnancy. Effect of nicotine on the fetus is easy to see by observing the heartbeat of the smoking mother’s child. In the future, child has the pulse precipitation. It is evident that a similar reaction may be because of smoking in the presence of a pregnant woman. Women should also be aware that not only the process of smoking cigarettes, but tobacco smoke and susceptibility during pregnancy cause harm to the irreversible genetic mutations embryo.
Secondly, smoking leaves a mark not only inside a body, but also outside of it. It affects the condition of the skin. The contained in a cigarette smoke substances tend to constrict small blood vessels, resulting in tissue loses blood, and, therefore, lack of the power. The scientists have shown that people who smoke at least five cigarettes per day, most of the time are experiencing a kind of “anoxia”, which adversely affects the metabolism. After some time, these problems are reflected, as they say, on the face. Several years of regular smoking are enough for skin to acquire visible changes. The skin becomes dull and faded, changing its color into yellow and gray and texture as it becomes thinner. The skin loses its flexibility. “Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000 toxins, many of which are absorbed directly into the bloodstream and are taken by the blood into the skin’s structure” (Barnes). After numerous experiments and studies, there was found that tobacco is a specific trigger for the enzyme that breaks down collagen. Skin that lacks the protein begins to fade quickly. Smoking increases the number formed in the corners of the mouth and eye wrinkles. Furthermore, they come with catastrophic speed, and each subsequent year of smoking only accelerates this process.
The continuous inhalation of a cigarette smoke leads to the sharply pronounced dark circles under the eyes. In human skin, that smoking significantly reduced protective properties. The healthy skin can withstand solar radiation for 15-20 minutes before it starts the oxidative processes that lead to the aging. Smoking reduces this time to only 7-10 minutes. In addition to this, the yellowness of nails and fingers and yellow plaque are the other visible effects.
The third reason for stop smoking in the presence of other people and avoid the smokers is that the effect of the second-hand smoking is not less harmful as the first-hand smoking. There are a plenty of researches concerning this question. The “findings are reassuring to the extent that the possible absolute risk carried by passive smoking is probably small” (Miller). Concerning the short-term exposure of tobacco smoke on the body, the nicotine quickly removes from it and neutralizes. However, the prolonged exposure of the second-hand smoke can cause headache, cough, sore throat, eye irritation, weakness and dizziness. The asthma symptoms of the passive smoker patients are even more amplified. The regular inhalation of the second-hand smoke causes the same disease as the active smoking. According to the World Health Organization, passive smoking increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer. In addition to that, in some cases, it increases the risk of cancer of the trachea and mouth (Eysenk). Tobacco smoke of the secondary origin causes constriction of blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. Therefore, the passive smokers often suffer from obstructive bronchitis. They may develop gastritis. The tendency to constipation or diarrhea appears. They are more vulnerable to tuberculosis. Among passive smokers, the huge place is occupied by children. According to studies, four out of ten children are exposed to second-hand smoke at home (Passive Smoking ‘Kills 600,000’ Worldwide). Tobacco smoke causes children mucous irritation of the bronchi and bronchioles and can be a reason of asthma and serious illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia, cough, and a disease of the middle ear. Parents who smoke should know that their child is more than three times likely to start smoking when they become adult, because the regular inhalation of tobacco smoke leads to the direct addiction. Furthermore, it is worthy to remind the impact of the second-hand smoke on the body of pregnant women. By penetrating into the mother’s bloodstream, nicotine can cause low birth weight. In addition to that, it affects the blurred vision and the appearance of asthma. Passive smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of so-called sudden death of newborn. It means that when a child dies before the age of two years for some strange reason.
According to the experts, the harm of second-hand smoke is responsible for harmful effects since smoking of one cigarette every five hours, can cause tearing after 10-15 minutes. 8-hour stay in a closed smoky room equivalent to five cigarettes smoked. Moreover, it is the most obvious fact that passive smoking is an important factor in the development of lung cancer.
Currently, the legislation of many countries is trying to provide the new law banning smoking in public places. This decision of the government has a plenty of disagreements among the population, but if it will work, the amount of the passive smokers will continuously become less and less.
Summarizing all the information about the impact of smoking on the health and appearance of the active and passive smokers as well, it makes sense to claim that smoking is not good at all. However, there is one positive moment; for instance, the tobacco industry worldwide employs millions of people. It does not mean only the physicians, nurses, firefighters, pharmacists, etc., but also the people who are involved in the production of the cigarettes. As a result, it reduces unemployment. Unfortunately, it is the only good side. All the other suggestions are from the “untrustworthy sources, but it’s always worth appraising its untrustworthiness with the best tools available” (Goldacre). The plenty of scientists tried to find any other good side of the smoking addiction by people, but all of these efforts failed. Considering the general health of the population, the facts are speaking for themselves. As a matter of fact, there is nothing good in smoking for anyone on the planet. This is very important to change the consciousness of people and encourage them to live the healthy lifestyle. The problem is that bad habits are easier in their realization, as smoking, for example. It does not need any efforts of the smoker, just inhale. On the other hand, it is very important to know that after the smoking of the last cigarette, in twenty minutes the blood pressure normalizes and the heart function becomes restored. In eight hours, oxygen content in the blood normalizes. In two days after stopping smoking, intensifies the ability to experience the taste and smell. Within a week, the skin color will improve. Moreover, the odor of skin, hair and exhaling will disappear. After a month it will be easier to breathe, the headache will disappear, and the cough will stop pestering. Furthermore, after the six months from the last cigarette the sport and athletic success will improve. Finally, smoking has no benefits. A healthy lifestyle is the guarantee of the long and a happy life.