Studies Show Smoking Can Lead to Major Health Risks

Essence Sommers 

Do you smoke cigarettes or know of anyone close to you that does? How about e-cigarettes? There is a lot of harm that can be done while smoking. Smoking causes damage to the body and can damage the quality of internal organs.  Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits that threaten a huge number of lives worldwide. According to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in the United States. Smoking has become a usual thing in society and has been practiced for years. Many should understand that smoking is not good for their wellbeing and should know the impacts that can come with it.

Each year smoking cigarettes causes the most deaths than the following combined: 

  • Illegal drug use
  • Firearm-related incidents 
  • Motor vehicle incidents
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Abuse of alcohol use 

The American Society of Cancer states, ‘Those who smoke usually start in their teenage years.” Some people smoke to show off in front of others while some enjoy doing it. Tobacco use is shown in movies, tv shows, advertisements and across many more media platforms. Tobacco advisements make it look like smoking is captivating. Advertisements for tobacco products on TV and radio were banned in 1971. In 1986 cigarette companies were forced to apply general warnings on all of their tobacco products.  

Most people know that smoking can eventually lead to lung cancer and may cause a shortened lifespan. A study done by the American Lung Association states that smokers die earlier than non-smokers. Unfortunately, many more health risks can occur while smoking cigarettes. According to VeryWellHealth, smoking can also include the following cancers:Smoking_Effects_Pinterest_crop

  • Bladder
  • Larynx
  • Liver
  • Oropharynx (parts of throat, soft palate, tonsils and tongue)
  • Stomach
  • Trachea, bronchus and lung
  • Throat and Mouth
  • Kidneys and ureter
  • Cervix
  • Pancreas
  • Leukemia
  • Colon and rectum
  • Esophagus

In January 1952 two American Society Researchers, E. Cuyler Hammond, and Daniel Horn conducted a cohort work-study. The study included 188,000 American men from the ages of 50 to 69. Each participant was asked about their smoking habits and had follow-ups for 20 months until the researchers concluded their study. As published in the Journal of the American Medical Association article the scientists found, “Men with a history of regular cigarette smoking have a higher death rate than men who have never smoked.” They also noticed that the majority of the deaths were due to cancer or heart diseases. 

Smoking even one cigarette can eventually lead to addiction. Smoking can be a hard habit to break because cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine itself is not the main cause of health issues in the body from smoking, it’s the other chemicals in cigarettes that make smoking so dangerous. Nicotine is a chemical found in tobacco and it causes the release of dopamine in the pleasure and motivation areas of the brain. It reduces tension and is also believed to have a calming effect on people who are stressed and anxious.

For those who are used to smoking tobacco, it allows them to experience a few benefits that may cause the smoker to disregard the negative effects. Medical News Today states, since nicotine makes your heart work faster the smoker’s body can produce glucose. Glucose comes from foods that contain carbohydrates, like fruit, oatmeal, and bread. These allow the body to become more alert and concentrated. According to NCBI, Nicotine also boosts the body’s metabolism. But once their nicotine levels drop it will cause the body to withdraw. There are some pros to smoking but the cons outway the good. 

 Nicotine has been linked to increased blood pressure, heart rate and narrowing of arteries. It also has been known to harden the arterial walls which can lead to a heart attack. Having nicotine in your blood can cause a shortage of oxygen in the body. Since cigarettes contain carbon monoxide, it also blocks the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to cells. Too much carbon monoxide in the blood can cause internal tissue damage and possible death. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide can put a strain on the heart which causes it to work harder. 

There are no safe ways of smoking. Replacing  cigarette with vapes, pipes, or cigars can’t help avoid the major health risks. When the tobacco is inhaled it leaves behind a sticky layer of tar. Tar is the toxic chemical left on one’s lungs when smoking and can damage it over time. According to VeryWellHealth, “Tar can paralyze the cilia in the lungs and contribute to lung diseases.” Tar can also release toxins in your bloodstream moving to other body parts slowly destroying every organ in a smoker’s body. Since smoking is usually done through the mouth tar can contribute to oral cancer or gum disease.

Research states that smoking can end up making bones weak and brittle. When one smokes it can increase the chance of suffering heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke. Smoking can also allow one to age quicker due to the reduced amount of oxygen that gets on the skin. Lung diseases caused by smoking usually takes years to occur, but other lung problems can happen besides lung cancer. Smoking can allow one to have difficulty breathing which can later turn into asthma. One also can develop chronic bronchitis. Not only can smoking cause health issues in the smoker, it can also harm those around it.

This is known as second-hand smoke. According to the America Lung Association, secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma. It has been reported that more than 41,000 deaths occur due to secondhand smoke. Adults and children can receive secondhand smoke if they are in an environment where people smoke. It can only be avoided if  environments are completely smoke-free. Secondhand smoke still contains the same harmful chemicals that the smoker inhales. Infographic4

Cigarettes create around 7,000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association. Some of these chemicals are called carcinogens, which means cancer-causing chemicals. At least 69 of those chemicals can increase one’s risk of getting cancer and many more of those chemicals are toxic. 

Vapes and E-cigarettes have been around for many years. But of course, the way vaping was used in ancient times does not compare to the style of vaping now. Many people believe that e-cigarettes are better than traditional cigarettes, but research shows how harmful e-cigarettes can be. The majority of these products still contain nicotine, which can lead to multiple health issues. 

In 2018, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine released a consensus study that introduces 47 conclusions related to outcomes of e-cigarettes. In this report, it is stated that e-cigarettes contain numerous toxic substances. Accidentally getting the liquid in the eyes or drinking it can lead to vomiting and possibly seizures. E-cigarettes have been found to explode causing burns and other serious injuries. The FDA has not found vaping and e-cigarettes to be effective in helping smokers quit. 

Why do people smoke if there are so many health risks that can occur in their body? There is an ongoing debate on whether smoking should be legal or illegal. The reasons listed above are why people believe smoking tobacco products should be banned. But why do people believe it shouldn’t be banned? Tobacco is taxed by the federal government and has generated more than $12 billion in tax revenue. The government has levied tobacco taxes to generate revenues. Farmers are employed by the tobacco industry and many will lose their jobs. Many also believe that it is a smoker’s choice to smoke and it is unfair to deprive people of their free choice.

People who chose to smoke not only affects themselves, but can affect people around them. If you expose yourself to tobacco daily it can lessen your lifespan, increase your chance of infection and diseases. Smoking can be a very addictive habit that can affect your health in the long run. There may be some positives of smoking but it is vital to research and learn all of the consequences that can come with smoking. Smoking has been stated to be the largest cause of death in the United States and it has caused damage to the environment. Taking care of our insides is important to maintaining good health. 


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