Every year, 350,000 Americans die prematurely from diseases caused by cigarette smoking. Through this paper I hoped to learn why people would do something such as this when it kills 350,000 people a year. I hope to learn what the big deal with smoking is for people. And I would also like to find out the health effects of cigarette smoking. This topic is an issue that I have dealt with before and I wanted to learn more about it. My whole family smokes including my younger sister. My grandmother has the worst case of asthma and she is constantly using inhalers yet she still smokes.
I try to tell her to at least try to cut down, but she still does it. Many of my friends also smoke and think that they can quit at any time. In my paper I will show why this is not true. I plan to talk about the health effects of smoking. The issue of smoking is an important topic in the United States. It affects many of our laws, our children, and our health. An estimated $50 billion each year in health costs. This cost does not include the cost of burn care related to smoking, prenatal care for low birth weight infants of mothers who smoke, and medical care associated with the disease.
All together it is estimated that the cost of direct and indirect smoking are at least $100 billion per year (Leshner 3). This issue effects all people, regardless of skin color, age, and gender. In 1998 at least 24 percent of the population over the age of 18 smoked (national health interview survey). That isn’t even counting the percent of children under the age of 18 that aren’t even supposed to buy cigarettes that smoke. 33. 4 percent of ninth graders smoked cigarettes, 35. 3 percent of sophomores smoked cigarettes, 36. 6 percent of juniors smoked cigarettes, and 39.
6 percent of seniors smoked cigarettes (Leshner 3). Ci! garettes are readily available to young kids. 76 percent of eight graders and 90 percent of tenth graders report that they have easy access to cigarettes (nicotine use 1). That is the percent of people that were not counted in the other survey. That is a lot of people that smoke. Cigarette smoking is considered a drug because of the nicotine that is in the cigarettes. Nicotine is recognizes as the most frequently used addictive drugs. Once nicotine is inhaled it takes 10 seconds of inhalation for it to reach the brain.
That is the biggest reason that nicotine is so addictive is because it is fast acting, and the main reason smokers use tobacco. Nicotine can also have a toxic effect the higher doses you consume. This toxic effect causes vomiting, tremors, convulsions, and death. Nicotine is so addictive that 35 million people make a serious attempt to quit smoking each year and only 7 percent of them quit for only a year and the others fail after a few days. Tobacco kills more than 430,000 US citizens each year. That is more people than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire, and AIDS combined.
Tobacco use is the cause of death that is most preventable. (Leshner 1-3). The withdrawal symptoms for the nicotine in cigarettes are incredible, they include; irritability, craving, cognitive and attention deficits sleep disturbances, and increased appetite and may begin within a few hours of the last cigarette. The medical affects cause by the nicotine in cigarettes are cancer, lung disease, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, aneurysms, and has been found to worsen asthma. Smoking accounts for one-third of all cancers, and has been linked to about 90 percent of all lung cancers.
It also associated with cancer to the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, ureter, and bladder (Leshner 4-5). Among the direct effects that nicotine has on people it also has direct effects on the child or pregnant mothers. NIDA studies have found a relationship between prenatal exposure to nicotine and adolescents use of tobacco. It was found that daughters of women who smoke while they were pregnant are four times more likely to begin smoking and continue smoking that the daughters of mothers who did not smoke.
The studies also show that a mother’s cigarette smoking had a greater effect on a child than that of a father smoking. Parental exposure to smoking had also been linked to impairments in the memory, learning, cognition, and perception in the growing child (Mathias 1-3). Mothers who smoke more frequently give birth to premature or underweight babies because of the decrease in blood flow to the placenta (health effects of smoking 1). Also children of women who smoked during pregnancy are not only more likely to smoke but they are more likely to take drugs (Mathias 1-3).
Studies also show that a person who smokes is more likely to drop out of school or not have as high of an education as people who do not smoke. The percentage of high school dropouts age 25 and over who smoke was 34% in high school. The percentage of people with 16 or more years of education who smoke is 10. 9% (National center 1). This shows that people that have completed all their high school education and college, or most of their college education are 3 times less likely to smoke than those with little education.
There is also proof that the more education you get the less you smoke; 34. 4% of people with no high school diploma of GED smoke, 28. 9 % of people with a high school diploma or a GED smoke, 23. 5 % of people with some college and no bachelor’s degree smoked, and 10. 9 % of people with a bachelors degree or higher smoke (national health interview survey 1). The majority of the populations that is educated do not smoke. Medical studies show that death is twice as high among middle-aged men who smoke than those who do not.
The death rate for this is higher in people who smoke for longer than normal people (health effects of smoking 1). Also among adults males are more likely to have used nicotine or to have smoked than females. This fact is also true of adolescents (nicotine use 1). The American cancer society estimated that cigarettes are responsible for thirty percent of all U. S. cancer deaths or 148,000 deaths. Smoking also increases the risk of having a stroke by 50 percent. That is 40 percent among men and 60 percent among women (health effects of smoking 2). There are many reasons that people do decide to smoke.
The biggest factor would be that once they start the addiction to nicotine but there are also other reasons; some say it’s a way to relax, peer pressure, pure desire or just wanted to, to be social, or just for lack of nothing better to do (health effects of smoking 1). Whatever the reason maybe to smoke it is still awful regardless of how good the reason is. There are a few laws that are being passed to try to clamp down on cigarette smoking in public places. In New York the city council speaker Peter F. Valone has proposed a new smoking restriction in restaurants.
This provoked controversy with the mayor saying that it would take away peoples personal decisions. Mr. Valone wants to make smoking designated to an enclosed room separate from all other rooms where smoking would be allowed. The ironic part of this whole new proposal is that Mr. Valone is a smoker himself (Lueck 1). Mr. Valones reaction to this is in another article is “My concern here is basically for children and the health effects of smoking. ” (Tierney 1). This is just one of the new proposals that are in affect to help suppress the effects of smoking.
There is also a new settlement agreement in the state of Massachusetts that all tobacco billboards must be taken down, and states are free to place anti-tobacco advertisements at no cost, for the duration of eac! h tobacco billboard contract. This means that in the state there are about 200 billboards that have to be flipped to anti-smoking messages (Laplante 1). Smoking is not permitted in any restaurant that seats more than 75 people, except in a specifically designated smoking area. The non-smoking area must be no less than 200 sq. ft. of floor space.
Smoking is also prohibited in public elevators; supermarket or retail food outlets; in or upon any public mass transit conveyances, indoor platform or enclosed outdoor platform; at any open meeting of a governmental body; and in any courtroom (http://www. state. ma. us/dph/mtcp/lawsum. htm). There are also many community resources in the Boston area that deal with the smoking issues. There is one program called Nicotine anonymous that is a twelve-step program that helps men and women live nicotine free. The primary purpose of Nicotine anonymous is to offer support to those who are trying to gain freedom from nicotine (http://www.
nicotine-anonymous. org/). There is also a Massachusetts tobacco control program. MTCP uses surveys to monitor adult smoking rates and identify smoking trends in Massachusetts (http://www. state. ma. us/dph/mtcp/adult. htm). There are also rules in public schools saying that smoking is prohibited helping the community. Students are prohibited from using tobacco products within public school buildings, in public school facilities, on public school grounds, or on public school buses. Schools must establish policies that prohibit tobacco use by all individuals in these areas.
Public colleges and universities must provide non-smoking dormitories.! Each public institution must allow an individual to state their preference on the college application (http://www. state. ma. us/dph/mtcp/lawsum. htm). Writing about this paper I have learned increased information about the health effect of smoking. I have also found out about the effects of smoking and pregnancy, what age group smokes the most, the reason that smoking is so addictive, and some ways to help people that do smoke. It has also given me a better understanding as to why people do smoke, not that it makes it ok.
I have also found out that most places are smoke free, more places than I ever thought. People aren’t allowed to smoke in public facilities at all. I would like people to see that smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body and one of the most treatable forms of death. I believe that I have met the goals of my paper and have presented many of the health effects of smoking. ———————————————————————— **Bibliography** Works Cited Laplante, Marc. “Tobacco Free Billboards. ” http://www. state. ma. us/dhp/network/tfb.
htm Tierney, John. “The Big City; Legislating a childhood without risk. ” The New York Times 26 January. 2001, Friday Late edition. Lueck, Thomas. “Vallone’s Stricter smoking curbs attacked. ” The New York Times 25 January. 2001, Thursday late edition. Nicotine Use. NIDA-The Sixth Tiemnnial Report to Congress. http://www. drugabuse. gov/strc/forms. html Health effects of smoking. http://www. bssc. edu. au/learning_areas/projects/blast/smoking/index. htm Nation Health Interview Survey. Apendix I National Center for Health Statistics. NCHS-FASTATS-smoking.
http://www. edu. gov/nchs/fastats/smoking. htm Leshner, Alan. “Nicotine Addiction. ” U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Mathias, Robert. “Daughters of Mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to smoke study says. ” NIDA Notes http://ww. nida. nih. gov:80/NIDA_Notes/NNVol10N5/momsmoke. html National Health Interview Survey. Appendix II “Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program. ” http://www. state. ma. us/dph/mtcp/adult. htm “Nicotine anonymous. ” http://www. nicotine-anonymous. org/ “?? ” http://www. state. ma. us/dph/mtcp/lawsum. html