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Cause and Effect Essay on Smoking
Smoking is considered a lifestyle behavior. Many people engage in the practice without the awareness of the health risks it is associated with. Smoking is one of the most addictive lifestyle behaviors and has life-changing implications. It has been termed as one of the most significant health challenges that health organizations are facing today (Onor et al., 2017). According to reports by World Health Organization, there were more than 1 billion smokers all over the world in 2014. To understand the social and health implications of smoking, it is essential to look into some of its causes and effects.
Peer pressure is the most prevalent cause of smoking. According to research, most smokers start the smoking habit at a tender age. During adolescence and in the early twenties, most people are infatuated with friendships (Ukwayi, Eja & Unwanede, 2012). At this stage in life, friends hold great value and meaning in individuals. It is at this age that most people are either in their final years in high school or just starting off in college. Most young people particularly those at the college and high school levels engage in various dangerous and life-harming activities, one of which is smoking (Ukwayi, Eja & Unwanede, 2012). Often, their intent is not to become smokers but to enjoy the experience of being young and feel a celebrated status over their peers. If one belongs to a group whose members are smokers, then they too will likely start smoking (Ukwayi, Eja & Unwanede, 2012). Later in life, such people try to drop the smoking behavior, but it becomes challenging due to withdrawal effects.
Parenting style is another factor that may determine whether or not one will become a smoker. The manner in which a child is raised contributes significantly to their behavior as adults (Gilman et al., 2009). Most children look up to their parents and will adopt most of the lifestyle behaviors portrayed by the parents (Gilman et al., 2009). There are parents who have the habit of smoking in the presence of their children, a behavior which is utterly irresponsible (Gilman et al., 2009). Children get the idea that smoking is not unhealthy if their parents do it in their presence (Gilman et al., 2009). Once such children grow up, they develop a liking for tobacco smoking without knowing that it is an unhealthy lifestyle behavior.
There is also a misconception that smoking acts as strain reliever. This delusion blinds most people that smoking helps one relieve stress. Many people therefore find themselves engaging in the habit as a stress management strategy (Choi, Ota & Watanuki, 2015). Noteworthy, continued smoking leads to addiction, thereby making it very difficult for one to do away with the habit once they start it. Research has shown that smoking does not relieve stress, instead it increases it (Choi, Ota & Watanuki, 2015). The level of stress in smokers is twice as high as that in non-smokers.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the world, according to research. The practice is likely to cause lung cancer both in active and passive smokers. Passive smokers are people who do not smoke but are exposed to cigarette smoke (Onor et al., 2017). According to medics, smoking damages the lining of one’s lungs thus causing lung cancer. When one inhales cigarette smoke, which consists of cancer-causing carcinogens, lung tissues start changing immediately (Onor et al., 2017). If one smokes for a small period then quits, the lung tissues will repair themselves thus reducing the chances of contracting lung cancer (Onor et al., 2017). However, continued smoking leads to permanent damage of the lung tissues to the extent that they become irreparable. These damages accelerate the development of lung cancer.
Smoking also causes loss of sight. According to medical research, cataracts are the number one cause of blindness in the world. Cataract is the blurring of the eyes standard lens. Studies reveal that smokers are twice at the risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers (Kennedy et al., 2017). Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) has an impact on the retina, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for the sharp vision that people use while driving and reading. AMD has been termed as the leading cause of permanent blindness in people aged 65years and above (Kennedy et al., 2017). Research shows that smokers are three times likely to develop AMD than non-smokers (Kennedy et al., 2017). However, if one quits smoking at an early stage, the damage caused to the eyes is repairable, but prolonged smoking leads to increased destruction of the eyes that in turn translates to permanent blindness.
Further, smoking is one of the major causes of type-2 diabetes. Research shows that 40% of smokers are likely to develop type-2 diabetes (Onor et al., 2017). Diabetic people who smoke are likely to experience difficulties in managing insulin levels in their bodies even with prescribed medications. Since increased smoking leads to increased chances of developing type-2 diabetes, diabetic smokers make it hard to control the disease’s progress and insulin levels thus increasing their chances of dying from it (Onor et al., 2017). Diabetic smokers are also likely to suffer from other health complications linked to diabetes such as heart failure, kidney problems, high blood pressure, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy (Onor et al., 2017). For a diabetic person, quitting smoking can help control insulin levels in the body.
Even more disheartening is the fact that even though preventable, cigarette smoking is the number one cause of death in the US among all the causes of deaths that are preventable. The same applies to the United Kingdom. In the US alone, 480,000 deaths are caused by cigarette smoking each year, translating to 20% of the total yearly deaths (Marshall, 2016). The total deaths resulting from a combination of the following causes every year is less than the number of deaths caused by cigarette smoking: firearm-related accidents, motor vehicle injuries, alcohol use, illegal drug use, and HIV. This further shows the seriousness of the effects of smoking on human health.
Smoking is a general lifestyle behavior among young and older people alike. People engage in the practice as a way of having fun. Peer pressure is one of the leading factors that drive people to smoke. Parenting style also contributes to the chances of one becoming a smoker. Many people underestimate the health risks associated with smoking. Lung cancer, blindness, and type-2 diabetes are some of the health effects associated with this habit.
Choi, D., Ota, S., & Watanuki, S. (2015). Does cigarette smoking relieve stress? Evidence from the event-related potential (ERP). International Journal of Psychophysiology, 98(3), 470-476.
Gilman, S. E., Rende, R., Boergers, J., Abrams, D. B., Buka, S. L., Clark, M. A., … & Lloyd-Richardson, E. E. (2009). Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: an intergenerational perspective on tobacco control. Pediatrics, 123(2), e274-e281.
Kennedy, R. D., Hammond, D., Spafford, M. M., Douglas, O., Brûlé, J., Fong, G. T., & Schultz, A. S. (2016). Educating smokers about the risk of blindness–insights to improve tobacco product health warning labels. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 14(1), 30.
Marshall, T. (2016). Public opinion, public policy, and smoking: the transformation of American attitudes and cigarette use, 1890–2016 (1st ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Onor, I. O., Stirling, D. L., Williams, S. R., Bediako, D., Borghol, A., Harris, M. B., … & Sarpong, D. F. (2017). Clinical effects of cigarette smoking: epidemiologic impact and review of pharmacotherapy options. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(10), 1147.
Ukwayi, J. K., Eja, O. F., & Unwanede, C. C. (2012). Peer pressure and tobacco smoking among undergraduate students of the University of Calabar, Cross River State. Higher Education Studies, 2(3), 92.
Smoking Cause and Effect Essay Outline
Thesis: To understand the social and health implications of smoking it is essential to look into some of its causes and effects.
Peer pressure is the most prevalent cause of smoking.
- Most people start smoking through the influence of their friends,
- Smoking begins when most people are young; that is during adolescence and in their early twenties.
- Quitting smoking due to addiction is difficult.
Parenting style determines whether or not one will be a smoker.
- A child whose parents were smokers is highly likely to become a smoker.
- Children take after their parents’ behaviors.
People are duped into believing that smoking relieves stress.
- People engage in smoking as a way of managing stress.
- Smoking does not relieve stress; instead, it increases it.
- The level of stress in smokers is higher compared to non-smokers.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the world.
- Smoking causes cancer both in active and passive smokers.
- Smoking damages the lining of one’s lungs thus causing lung cancer.
- Continued smoking leads to permanent damage to lung tissues.
Smoking causes loss of sight.
- Cataracts are the number one cause of blindness in the world.
- Smokers are twice at the risk of developing cataracts than non-smokers.
- AMD is the leading cause of permanent blindness in people aged 65years and above.
- Smokers are three times likely to develop AMD than non-smokers.
Smoking is one of the major causes of type-2 diabetes.
- 40% of smokers are likely to develop type-2 diabetes.
- Diabetic smokers make it hard to control the disease progress and insulin levels thus increasing their chances of dying from the disease.
- Diabetic smokers are also likely to suffer from other health complications linked to diabetes such as heart failure, kidney problems, high blood pressure, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy.
Smoking is the number one cause of death in the US among all the causes of preventable deaths.
- 480,000 deaths in the country are caused by cigarette smoking each year.
- This translates to 20% of the total yearly deaths.
Smoking is a general lifestyle behavior among young people. People engage in the practice as a way of having fun. Peer pressure is one of the leading factors that drive people to smoke. Parenting style also contributes to the chances of one becoming a smoker. Most people underestimate the health risks associated with smoking. Lung cancer, blindness, and type-2 diabetes are some of the few health effects attributed to smoking.