Its common knowledge that smoking is an addiction but how much do we actually know about it? There are over 4000 known chemicals found in cigarette smoke. one of these such chemicals is known as nicotine. Nicotine is known to be more addictive than many illegal drugs, making it very difficult for the user to stop.
Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the western world. In the USA, an estimated $80 billion is spent on medical costs relating to smoking illnesses.
Second hand Smoke
This is a mixture of smoke from the cigarette and the chemicals from the smokers lungs. many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. It is known to cause lung cancer even in non smokers inhaling second hand smoke. less damaging symptoms of second hand smoking is irritation of the eyes, lungs, nose and throat. When inhaled through the lungs this can cause chest discomfort, difficulty in breathing, excess coughing and phlegm from the chest.
Children are most at danger of second hand smoke because their bodies are not fully developed. Their exposure to the chemicals within second hand smoke can invoke severe respiratory diseases and can hinder their lung development.
Although ventilation systems in the home can reduce the effects a little, it is not sufficient and children are still at the mercy of second hand smoke.
Statistics on the effects of smoking
Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the USA
Each day, over 1100 Americans die from smoking related diseases.
Smokers are twice as likely to die of cancer than non smokers
Over 150,000 Americans contract lung cancer each year. The mortality rate is less than 10%.
170,000 more of the population suffer heart attacks as a direct result of the effects of smoking.
More than 50% of heavy smokers will die prematurely as a result of a smoking related decease.
80% of people with emphysema smoke cigarettes.
More than 2500 infants deaths are direct results of their smoking mothers.
More than 6 million people under the legal age use tobacco.
Children who smoke are 15 times more likely to use drugs.
Cigarettes are the leading cause of fire deaths in the USA
Tobacco is a bigger killer than Aids, drugs or alcohol abuse combined.
The dangers of nicotine
Nicotine is a drug found naturally in tobacco. It is known to be as addictive as heroin. Smokers are known to develop both physical and psychological dependencies to the effects of nicotine.
Nicotine is inhaled deep into the lungs and is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Then it is carried throughout the other body organs. Nicotine traces can be found in breast milk and in the placenta and umbilical chord of newborn babies.
Nicotine produces a happy feeling when doses are increased which induces the smokes to smoke more. After a while the body develops an tolerance to nicotine. Eventually the smoker will be smoking just to cope with the physically withdrawal symptoms of nicotine and to relieve their psychological dependency.
Nicotine is a poison and makes the heart work harder. It can cause circulatory problems within the body, restricting the blood flow which can result in hypertension to the addicted smoker.
The longer someone smokes, the higher their tolerance and the more difficult it is to quit. Attempts to stop are often beaten by the withdrawals symptoms chapping away at their will power.
Luckily smoking is commonly known to be detrimental to health in the long term and their are competent courses out there to help fight this addiction.