The Effects of Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes has been one of the most popular addictions in the world that continues to get worse every day. Cigarettes contain thousands of toxins like tar and formaldehyde, but people still choose to smoke them and give their money to companies that benefit off their ill health. The addiction to the nicotine in cigarettes has such a hold on some people that they choose to ignore the harm they are doing to their bodies. Research continues to be done about what cigarette smoke does to the human body and all of them show negative effects. Smoking cigarettes most commonly has major effects on the human heart, lungs, and reproductive organs.
It does not matter how many cigarettes an individual smokes a day because each time the smoke is inhaled they are damaging major organs in their body, like the heart. Smoking cigarettes increases a person’s chance of getting many diseases and cardiovascular disease is one of them. West and Shiffman (2007) explained in their book, “This probably reflects the acute increase in risk of myocardial infarction on inhalation of smoke particles, independent of the length of the smoking history; the remainder of the excess risk arises from long-term damage to the vascular system” (Fast Fact: Smoking Cessation, p. 31). All these factors play into the risk of heart problems in a smoker’s future, but they are ignored when the addiction starts to play in. Each time a smoker inhales the toxic chemicals that make up a cigarette, they are damaging the inner lining of their heart and this increases the risk of them having a heart attack. Cigarettes cause the heart to race and the long-term affect of this can lead to strokes due to blood clots.
The lungs are also severely damaged when cigarette smoke is inhaled. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a result of smoking cigarettes and prolonged use leads to even worse symptoms. The two forms of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, both make it very hard to breathe and lead to death if the smoker is not serious about quitting the habit of smoking. West and Shiffman (2007) also explained, “In both cases, the smoker finds that he or she becomes breathless with the slightest exertion, and, as the disease progresses, the smoker experiences ‘exacerbations’ – bouts of serious respiratory distress in which breathing becomes extremely difficult” (Fast Fact: Smoking Cessation, p. 33). Quitting is the only option when a smoker has COPD and doctor visits of routine tests to make sure lung function increases.
Lastly, smoking cigarettes can cause damage to both a man and woman’s reproductive organs. When a man smokes, his sperm count decreases. When a woman who smokes before or during pregnancy, it makes it harder for her reproductive organs to work right. This may lead to a miscarriage or a successful pregnancy with health problems for the infant later in life. The authors of a different book about smoking cigarettes state, “Exposure to tobacco smoke both before and after birth has been irrefutably shown to cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in children of smokers” (The Price of Smoking (2004), p. 227). Other difficulties with smoking and reproduction include hormone instability and further difficulties with fertility even after quitting.
The price that is paid to smoke cigarettes is not worth the health of the heart, lungs, and reproductive organs. Limiting the exposure to second hand smoke and cigarettes in general helps an individual’s health so much, but that is always easier for someone who does not smoke to say. When it comes to quitting this terrible habit of smoking cigarettes, one must believe that the outcome of a healthy life is worth the short time of annoyance. Quitting the habit will make for a happier self and healthier body inside and out.?
Sloan, F. A., Conover, C., Ostermann, J., & Taylor, D. H. J. (2004). The price of smoking. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
West, R., & Shiffman, S. (2007). Fast Facts: Smoking Cessation. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.c