Risks of Smoking
The consumption of tobacco products constitutes a grave problem for the population worldwide. Unsurprisingly, the world community struggles to raise the awareness of the aggravating results of nicotine consumption despite the common stereotypes about the safety and benefits of smoking. Although people tend to disregard the warnings, the general population should apply greater efforts for preventing the popularization of smoking since this adverse habit leads to the tremendous health, social and environmental costs.
Smoking produces numerous adverse impacts on health since it gravelly effects the respiratory, cardiovascular and reproductive systems. Although the marketing campaigns argue that the filtered, low-tar or light cigarettes are less dangerous, the empirical researches prove the claim to be a false assertion. The catchy labels are used to obscure the gravity of potential danger. Namely, smoking is responsible for about 110, 000 deaths the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease including emphysema and chronic bronchitis annually (“Health Harm from Smoking and Other Tobacco Use,” n. d.). The smoking-attributable deaths constitute approximately 80 percent of all deaths from the respiratory diseases (“Health Harm from Smoking and Other Tobacco Use,” n. d.). The statistics indicate that male and female consumers of nicotine are 10 times more susceptible to emphysema and bronchitis (“Health Harm from Smoking and Other Tobacco Use,” n. d.). Evidently, smoking poses a serious threat to the population due to the gravity of its consequences and high mortality rate.
One may also notice the immediate outcomes of tobacco usage. The growing bulk of studies suggests that the adverse habit results in the cardiovascular diseases. The negative effects of tobacco are manifested in the occurring changes in the blood chemistry. According to the prominent experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these changes trigger the immediate increase of blood pressure and heart rate. The chemical alterations lead to the formation of clots inside the body that are capable of blocking the blood flow to the vitally important organs including heart, brain and limbs. Moreover, the process may be accompanied by the plaque buildup, followed by “chest pain, weakness, heart attack, or stroke”. At the same time, the oxygen starvation in limbs caused by blockages results in the slow death of tissue and possible amputation of the damaged toes, feet, or legs. The provided examples strongly indicate the immediate danger caused by smoking due to its poisonous impact on multiple organ systems.
Furthermore, the nicotine consumption is associated with the dysfunction of a woman’s reproductive system. Females may expect to have health problems before and during pregnancy due to the adverse effects of smoking. According to American Cancer Society, the female smokers are more likely to experience trouble with conception. Later on, smoking threatens the life of the unborn baby since it causes early membrane ruptures and placenta separation. The smokers are more likely to endure troublesome labor. The medical problems mentioned above can increase the danger of the bleeding, premature delivery and unplanned Caesarean section. Meanwhile, smoking during pregnancy is equally dangerous for mother’s life. The female nicotine consumers risk having an ectopic pregnancy that may lead to the lethal outcome. They also are likely to experience the early start of menopause, often with the unpleasant symptoms. The evidence suggests that smoking poses a huge threat to the female population and the future generation.
Meanwhile, the chemical compounds of tobacco sufficiently increase the risk of developing cancer. According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, this commodity contains more about 70 chemicals that cause cancer (“Tobacco: Advice for Smokers on Health Effects,” n. d.). The impacts of tobacco smoke are unpredictable in a sense that its hazardous components may gravely affect a wide set of organs. The potential targets include lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, etc (“Tobacco: Advice for Smokers on Health Effects,” n. d.). Evidently, there are no doubts about the dangers of smoking. The statistic and research data highlight the connection between nicotine consumption and the most common smoke-attributable health problems.
Apart from generating the medical issues, smoking became the pressing social issue. While smoking is considered an effective relaxant, the regular input of nicotine and secondhand smoking are extremely dangerous. It is highly important to shift the focus of the selfish desire for comfort to the far-reaching outcomes of smoking. Firstly, it takes only 10 seconds for the dangerous chemical to reach the brain while stimulating the adrenaline release and creating the pleasant sense of euphoria (“Nicotine Addiction and Your Health,” n. d.). However, the episodes of chemically induced lightness eventually turn into the fleeting moments. As nicotine quickly leaves the human body, the craving to repeat the experience and escape the withdrawal effects become the primary reasons for adherence to this adverse habit (“Nicotine Addiction and Your Health,” n. d.). Importantly, ending the cycle appears more complicated. The researches reveal that quitting smoking requires several attempts at breaking the chemical dependence besides exhibiting the strong commitment (“Nicotine Addiction and Your Health,” n. d.). Therefore, the addictive properties make an individual dependent on the systematic input of nicotine in order to experience a few pleasant minutes.
Secondly, the consumers of tobacco products tend to expose the surrounding people to the adverse impacts of the harmful chemicals. According to BBC’s report, the general population strongly believes that smoking helps to stay slim. However, exposure to the secondhand smoking leads to weight gain. The recent laboratory experiment shows that mice experienced the growth of body mass after exposure to secondhand smoking. It became possible due to disrupting the work of the normal cells and decreasing their susceptibility to insulin. Mice became highly dependent on the increasing doses of medicine in order to prevent the production of fat in their bodies. The provided example suggests that one should avoid exposure to the secondhand smoking.
Alongside the health and social impacts of smoking, there are numerous environmental issues, attributable to tobacco consumption. Although a single cigarette butt, dropped on the street, may look innocent, it is worth considering the worldwide picture. Since 6,3 trillion cigarettes are produced annually, one may predict the magnitude of the mentioned issue. Notably, the small and marine animals are particularly endangered by the unthoughtful littering of the cigarette remains. The statistics suggest that the household pets and other small animals frequently digest the tobacco products and, consequently, “suffer tremors, vomiting, respiratory failure and even death” (“Greener Planet: A World Without Cigarettes,” n. d.). Meanwhile, the smokers are rarely concerned with saving the water bodies from littering. Upon reaching the destination, the discarded cigarette butts are likely to be consumed by the representatives of the marine wildlife (“Greener Planet: A World Without Cigarettes,” n. d.). As for flora, the huge forest territories have been destroyed in order to clear the space for growing and curing tobacco. The size of the deforested area reached the staggering mark of 50,000 hectares of the annually cut trees. The statistical data reveals that 5.3 million hectares of arable land in 100 countries are recklessly exploited for the cultivation of this commodity. Importantly, the ongoing process of cutting trees threatens to change the climate in a highly dramatic way. The disruption of the entire ecosystems may cause “inhibiting water recycling, triggering severe flooding, aquifer depletion, soil degradation and the extinction of plant and animal species. Apparently, the world community tends to disregard the necessity of forest preservation.
Furthermore, the cigarette littering and soil depletion gravely disrupt the ecological balance of the planet. The stockpiles of the discarded cigarette butts are found in the environmental and public areas, and carried by streams of water into the rivers, oceans and coastal areas (“The Impact of Tobacco on the Environment,” n. d.). According to the reports about the Keep America Beautiful Campaign, from 25 to 50% of all litter items gathered from roadways and street are the cigarette remnants (“The Impact of Tobacco on the Environment,” n. d.). The Ocean Conservancy, in its turn, reports about three million of litter items collected from beaches and inland waterways in 2009 (“The Impact of Tobacco on the Environment,” n. d.). Meanwhile, the tobacco cultivation poses a significant threat to agriculture. Since this plant requires more nutrients that any other crop, it exponentially depletes the soil. The adverse process of monoculture growing is likely to prevent the use of the land for farming in the future. The provided evidence clearly illustrates the necessity of reducing the environmental damage from smoking as the tobacco cultivation and consumption may cause a tremendous influence on the life standards.
In conclusion, nothing can diminish the gravity of the smoke-related issues. The tobacco products cause numerous immediate and long-term medical problems, addiction and the weight gain. At the same time, the environmental costs of the tobacco usage include littering, deforestation, soil depletion and the accidental consumption of cigarettes by animals. The evidence strongly points out the necessity to pay more attention to the problem of smoking due to the magnitude of the potential damage.