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Cigarette Smoking: Causes And Effects

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Date added: 19-02-05


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If we look at the life cycle of a cigarette we will see that it contains no 'magical' or 'enchanting' elements in it which can make a person addicted for life. For many smokers, quitting to smoke is like an impossible task, and unfortunately, this may be by design. According to FDA’s exploring ""How a Cigarette is Engineered"", researchers highlight some of the reasons why to quit smoking can be difficult. It's not just because cigarettes contain the addictive chemical nicotine, but also because the design and content of cigarettes continue to make them addictive and attractive to consumers. According to the surgeon general’s report on the health consequences of smoking, companies are making cigarettes more addictive engineering the tobacco crops holding the amount of nicotine in two times more, so it is delivered to smokers by 14.5 percent more than it would be naturally made.

Philip Morris Principal Scientist W. L. Dunn says, “No one has ever become a cigarette smoker by smoking cigarettes without nicotine.” Naturally nicotine is addictive, however manufactories make it extra addictive to make it harder for their consumers to quit. One of the examples who struggles from quitting the addictiveness is a former President Barack Obama, who calls himself a “former smoker” at his press conference. In the video “Obama’s Smoking Struggle” the president says, “I’ve said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it” … “Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker. A constant smoker? No.” He also adds, “I would say that I am 95 percent cured, but there are times where … where I mess up” (Obama 0:48-1:00, 1:09-1:17). From this example we can see that quitting to smoke is a very hard task, however if human has great willpower and desire to crib smoking it’s possible and never too late.

Researchers argue that for increased cigarettes selling factories make cigarettes not only extra addictive, but make cigarettes seen more appealing and attractive to people. Economically, cigarettes are highly advertised, extremely affordable and accessible to practically anyone. As for the advertisement aspect in the sale of cigarettes, tobacco companies spend billions of dollars per year to advertise their brands. This money is spent on the actual advertisement, and also on manipulating the subconscious minds of teenagers (Reynolds, 1999). Billboards and magazines lure teenagers to smoke, by using teen idols and appealing photos in their ads. Cigarette advertisements generally contain hidden messages. The goal is to create a misconception of smoking. These advertisements tend to glamorize smoking. At first when people see the ad, they are not aware of these hidden messages, but they have already been influenced by them unconsciously.

The illusions of smoking have been presented to consumers as if they can make peoples' lives easier in every different perspective. During the 1040's and 50's smoking was popular and socially acceptable. Movie stars, sports heroes, and celebrities appeared in cigarette advertisements that promoted and heavily influenced teens. Influence also came from Television and other media sources. Many advertisements contain hidden messages which people cannot be aware of simply by a glance. The hidden messages are very persuasive in terms of the audience they are trying to appeal to. Instead of presenting the audience with false statements about smoking, the ads tend to lead the audience to a different perspective. This is the main goal of advertisement, to persuade people into buying their product without exaggeration or false statements to make more money on increased rating of selling cigarettes.

Despite the strong addiction and attractive advertisements of cigarettes people forget about actual harmfulness and causality of the cigarette smoking. People should know and think about how cigarette smoking is harmful to the health. Smoking is actually one of the major facilitators of health related disorders such as lung cancer, liver related problems among many more. This is because of the direct content of nicotine that is found in smoke thus causing extra pulmonary toxicity (Houtsmuller & Stitzer 150). Equally, it paves way for more infections because the tiny hairs (cilia) in the respiratory track are destroyed by the smoke and chemicals found in tobacco thus the fundamental protective mechanism destroyed. According to National Vital Statistics Reports in the article “Deaths: Leading Causes for 2014” Melonie Heron and Robert N. Anderson argue that the second most leading cause of death in the US is cancer, and about 87 percent of all cancer-related deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes. Deaths and percentage of total deaths for the 10 leading causes of death in United States during 2014.

Moreover, they state that malignant neoplasms or in the other words – cancer, caused 2 591,700 deaths in USA in 2014, or 22.5% of total death. The most significant aging factor especially on the face is smoking. It makes the facial skin to leather with deep wrinkles hence, a pure reflection of heavy and regular smoking habits. Equally, according to the American academy of dermatology it is true that smoking results to biochemical changes, which speeds up the aging process in humanity (Perkins & Carolyn 459). Diseases caused by smoking include, lung cancer, COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (Pokorski, 45). American Lung Association states that more than 1,300 people die because of cigarette smoking, and about 400 kids become daily smokers each day in the United States. About half of all cigarette smokers die of tobacco related diseases and also, all tobacco users lose an average of 14 years of their lifespan. Medical experts state that cigarette smoking by pregnant women causes birth defects such low birth weight, premature birth, fetal abnormalities and other birth conditions that may hinder the development of the child. If look at Wikipedia and other sources there’re a lot of example of people of died from lung cancer.

According to Wikipedia Sean Morton Downey, a program director and announcer at radio station WPOP, and an American television talk show host, was born on December 9, 1932, and on March 12, 2001 dead from lung cancer caused by smoking. “In June 1996, Downey was diagnosed with lung cancer while being treated for pneumonia, and had one of his lungs removed”. When he finds out about his diagnose of being lung cancer, he comments: ""I had spawned a generation of kids to think it was cool to smoke a cigarette. Kids walked up to me until a matter of weeks ago, they'd have a cigarette in their hand and they'd say, 'Hey, Mort,' or, 'Hey, Mouth, autograph my cigarette.' And I'd do it."" (Wikipedia). In addition, British have concluded that smokers feel the taste of food is incomplete. They state that smoking suppresses taste buds and reduces appetite. Since the use of tobacco speeds up metabolism, it can cause weight gain. In general, most people know that smoking cigarette is harmful, and most of all causing lung cancer and death.

Scientists from the British University Queen Mary in London have found that 60-70% from the beginning to smoke become heavy smokers. The findings of the experts were published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Participation in the research which was attended by over 200 thousand people were not all directly related to smoking, some respondents constantly or occasionally smoked. Calculations show that the probability of acquiring a nicotine addiction after the first cigarette is quite high. Analysts compare the results with the use of the most powerful drugs used by people - cocaine and heroin. That is why, scientists believe, health workers of all countries should not be engaged in attracting attention from tobacco but pay attention to preventing primary use of nicotine. The researchers, among other things, found that heavy smokers were more likely to be followers of classic cigarettes than vapors.

According to Hayek’s research, the reason for this is a different composition of tobacco products. Its components, not yet known to scientists, but it’s on the way of development. Some doctors believe that a consensus on the nature of nicotine addiction lies in psychology. Their opponents insist on the physiological roots of the problem. One of the examples that cigarettes contain such a dangerous and harmful to the human body chemicals is in the “experimental” video by Rebecca Rollyson. In her YouTube video which is called “Trying my 1st cigarette!!! Almost passed out… Must watch”, Rollyson tries to smoke the first cigarette. However, it turns the way that at the end of the video she throws cigarettes away, because even after taking the first few inhales, she experiences the bad feelings and side effects on her health. She complains, ""Apparently my lungs didn't like it as well … my chest is on fire … I have heartburn” (8:01-8:04, 13:58-14:01). Afterall, the experimenter encourages her viewers not even try to start smoking, who has not begun yet, because of effects in the human body that chemicals produce after even first few inhales.

Looking at all of the facts that smoking effects smoker’s health there appears a good notion that warning can serve as important devices of communication to persuade and motivate changes in behavior if they are appropriately designed (Andrews, Netemeyer, Kees & Burton, 2014). Health warnings on cigarette packages can affect the health beliefs and behavior of smokers. As such, counter marketing programs aim at understanding the pathways that may drive thoughts on how to quit smoking and design the most effective counter marketing programs to induce smoking cessation. Therefore, it is vital to extend perceptions into how graphic visual warnings affect young smokers. This will facilitate the development of a better understanding of how graphic visual warnings can address smoking today.

Here appears question that if smokers have the significant harassments, what should people do and how should them quit smoking and then avoid health effects or even death? There is no one right way to quit. Successful cessation may include one or a combination of methods including using step-by-step manuals, attending self- help classes or counseling, or using a nicotine replacement. The factors that influence the progression of smoking, particularly among adolescents and young adults should be understood in a comprehensive manner in order to come up with ideal ways to help smokers quit the habit. This can be done through introducing bans on home smoking, appealing to smokers through graphic visual warnings on the negative effects of smoking on health, harnessing the contribution of psychiatrists in the treatment of tobacco addiction, or introducing of using a nicotine replacement during the cessation or quitting, and banning to sell cigarettes in general.

To begin with quitting - bans on smoking at home would greatly influence the progression of smoking among adolescents and young adults. A study conducted on the impact of home smoking bans identified development stages of smoking behavior into emerging adulthood and revealed the effect of home smoking ban on prevalence and transition of smoking among adolescents aged between 16-18 years (Mathur et al., 2014). The study also assessed the effects home bans across smoking status or parents. The outcome suggested that the effectiveness of home smoking bans and youth smoking was related to the smoking status of parents. It was noted that home bans on smoking had protective effects on the introduction ad rise of smoking behavior. A home ban on smoking during late adolescence reduced the proportion of young adults in the user proportion at a time despite the parental smoking status. Therefore, imposition of a home smoking ban reduced the prevalence and transitions of smoking behavior among individuals. This shows the importance of intervening at the environmental level, which can yield positive outcomes (Mathur et al., 2014). Therefore, home smoking bans may be an ideal way to attain lifelong anti-tobacco attitudes and behavior among individuals and the entire generation.

For stronger believe that smoking can be quitted, studies have concluded that home smoking rules reduce smoking at home (Mathur et al., 2014). However, it emerged that it is easier to restrict home smoking in homes with few or less addicted smokers than in households with many or heavily addicted smokers (Joseph et al., 2014). The average values of households with a complete ban on smoking were significantly less than the average values for households without smoking limits on their children. This however, can be affected by the attitude of smokers. People with pleasant and wise attitudes would be easy to comply with a smoking restriction than people with unpleasant and foolish attitudes. Smokers who try to quit should avoid places where people smoke, so it can prevent and even protect them from the desire to return to their habit - “to the old road”.

For the greater fear of starting smoking, manufactures should make large, “true” and “understandable” anti-smoking advertisements. According to news presented in Fox Business Network about 8.3 billion dollars is invested in marketing cigarettes to consumers. Although there has been considerable reduction in consumption of cigarettes and tobacco products in general since the 1980’s due to government’s vivid anti-smoking campaign and other advertisements advocating against smoking of cigarettes, the industry is still enormous in United States and gigantic in third world countries where not much attention is giving to public health. In an article published at “IndiaTimes” newspaper the reporter blames the modernized advertisements which shows smoking to be a “cool” social activity has led youngsters to be more inclined towards smoking. Once again, the blame goes towards the people who are making money out of cigarettes. People are ostracizing the use of cigarettes, the companies are using tactics and cunning manipulations to divert our brains from realizing the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.

Since quitting can be quite difficult for a lot of smokers, doctors designed nicotine replacement therapies that help heavy smokers to reduce amount of smoking cigarettes and then less painful to kick their habit. According to survey, asking about what nicotine replacement stand for, medical experts answer: “Nicotine replacement therapies are medications that provide nicotine without the other harmful components of cigarette smoke.” To be most effective, nicotine replacement therapy should be used with a cessation program that addresses a person's psychological dependence on smoking. By chewing gum containing nicotine or wearing a transdermal patch from which the skin absorbs nicotine, a smoker's withdrawal symptoms are significantly decreased or eliminated.

For decreasing the health problems and death caused by cigarette smoking stores should increase price for cigarettes, banning to sell cigarettes to children and teenagers, and limitation all kinds of cigarettes in stores. Dr. Amy Lukowski, clinical director of Health Initiatives Programs for the National Jewish Health Center in Denver says, “That’s really the ultimate goal – to have the world free from the death and destruction it causes, … How we do that? That’s the million-dollar question.”Cigarettes smoking have variety of implications both to the users and non-users. As noted earlier, cigarette smoking has serious health complications to the individuals inhaling the smoke. Cigarettes are not like alcohol or other drugs that only affect the user, there is no effective method to ensure that the smoke do not diffuse to the atmosphere, contrary, the smoke is freely released to the atmosphere and the people around the smoker inhale it involuntary. In the process, the non-smokers will be like the cigarette smokers because of inhaling the smoke, continuous exposure to such smoke may lead to development of health complications.

It is said that, the smoke released after smoking is more dangerous than the one inhaled by the smoker (Peruga, Armando, et al. 55). This means that, the non-smokers get to inhale the most and more poisonous. Some countries have gone ahead to ban smoking in public places in efforts to control the effects passed to non-smokers but the initiative is not enough to completely eliminate the negative effects caused by cigarette smoking. In some cases, the cigarette smokers may not abide by the regulations to only smoke at the allowed places and hence again endangering the non-smokers by public smoking. One of the anonymous people in the survey about should cigarettes be banned in stores or no, he responded saying, “We have known for a long time now that smoking is severely detrimental to health, it costs the country enormous amounts of money in medical expenses, it harms even those who are not smoking but are around smokers. We should be aiming to stamp smoking out of society altogether now. [Smoking] do nothing positive at all for the body.” Thus, banning sale of cigarettes will go a long way in controlling the number of non-smokers affected by cigarette smoking.

Cigarette smoking is a behavioral practice that is evidently common in most societies. Over the years, there have been various discussions on how best to control the negative impacts caused by cigarettes. At first, to quit smoking isn’t an easy task because companies make cigarettes extra addictive and make them seem more appealing. It’s important to quit smoking, because it causes big health issues and diseases. To kick the habit should be started at home, to prevent children from becoming smokers. Also, quitting should be directed in nicotine replacement therapy. Another equally important aspect for quitting is that made mandatory that all companies producing and selling cigarettes must have a disclaimer in their packaging about the harmful effects of smoking and then reducing the cigarettes at the stores. There is need to implement policies that will be highly effective in controlling the negative effects of cigarette smoking. Banning the sale of cigarettes will emerge as the good method because, the cigarettes will not be readily available as there is in the current world. I believe that smokers should be more considerate towards nonsmokers. They should realize the health hazards they are putting upon them and smoke their cigarette outside where the smoke can dissipate. It is very difficult to quit smoking, so it’s better not to start smoking than to fight this bad habit with all your strength and getting better with your “health effected conditions”.

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