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Smoking Essay Sample

The Harmful Effects of Smoking on Health and Social Care Essay

Introduction

There are many chemicals contained in tobacco smoke that pose health risks both to smokers and nonsmokers. It can be harmful to even breathe a little tobacco smoke. “Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful, including hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia” (National Cancer Institute, 2017). At least 69 of these 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke cause cancer. This explains why cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable premature deaths in the United States. Overall, smoking is harmful to nearly all body organs and thus quitting has health benefits.

Smoking damages the human heart and interferes with normal blood circulation. This increases the risks of such conditions as cerebrovascular disease (damage to arteries supplying blood to the brain), peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels), stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart disease. The heart is made to work faster by nicotine and carbon monoxide from the smoke thereby straining it. The cigarette contents also increase the risks of one experiencing blood clots in their circulation system. In addition, smoking leads to furring of the coronary arteries as the lining of the arteries are damaged by other chemicals in the cigarette smoke. As a matter of fact, one faces a double risk of having a heart attack by smoking. Their risk of dying from coronary heart disease is also twice that of nonsmokers (NHS, 2018).

According to CDC (2018), “Smoking can cause lung disease by damaging your airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in your lungs.” Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the lung diseases caused by smoking and it includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is also noteworthy that most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking. An attack can be triggered or made worse by tobacco smoke in people who have asthma. Compared to nonsmokers, the chances of smokers dying from COPD are 12 to 13 times higher. Additionally, smoking causes a cancer that forms in the intestines (rectum or colon) known as colorectal cancer and is the second leading contributor to cancer deaths in the U.S. (American Lung Association, 2018). A smoker has higher risks of developing this type of cancer.

Smoking can also cause serious damages to the mouth and throat. It can cause such unattractive problems as strained teeth, bad breath and gum disease as well as damage one’s sense of taste. The most serious damage caused by smoking in the throat and mouth is an increased cancer risk in the gullet (esophagus), voice box, throat, tongue, and lips. This risk increases with an increase in the intake of tobacco contents. “More than 93% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancer in part of the throat) are caused by smoking” (NHS, 2018). This implies that nonsmokers have a greatly reduced risk of developing mouth and throat cancers.

Further, smoking can make a woman to experience difficulties in becoming pregnant. Even if they succeed at conceiving, there are higher risks for a pregnant smoker to miscarry. In addition, they may have their baby born with a cleft palate and/or cleft lip, they may give birth before time to a baby with an abnormally low birth weight, and they may also have an ectopic pregnancy. Moreover, if a woman smokes during or after pregnancy, her infant would have higher risks of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (National Cancer Institute, 2017). This implies that even after birth, a mother’s consumption of tobacco contents is harmful to the baby because the baby feeds from her breasts. Furthermore, according to CDC (2018), a pregnant smoker may likely experience stillbirth whereby her baby may die before birth.

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of many diseases caused by the habit, including COPD, heart disease and cancer. Data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey indicate that if one quits smoking, they have reduced chances of dying from illnesses that are smoking-related as compared to one who continues to smoke. “Smokers who quit before age 40 reduce their chance of dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases by about 90%, and those who quit by age 45-54 reduce their chance of dying prematurely by about two-thirds” (National Cancer Institute, 2017). Generally, quitters have substantial life expectancy gains in comparison to those who continue to smoke. According to the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, quitters aged between 25 and 34 live longer for about ten years, 35 and 44 for about nine years, 45 and 54 for about six years, and 55 and 64 for about four years.

Conclusion

Smoking affects almost every organ of the human body and is thus detrimental to health. It causes fatal diseases such as cancer, heart disease, COPD, and can also damage the mouth and throat. It results into premature deaths that could otherwise be prevented. It also affects pregnant women who may experience increased risks of orofacial clefts in infants, ectopic pregnancy, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, stillbirth, and preterm delivery. As such, quitting smoking has several health benefits and generally increases one’s life expectancy. This is so irrespective of the age at which one quits the habit.

References

American Lung Association. (2018). 10 Health Effects Caused by Smoking You Didn’t Know About. American Lung Association. Retrieved May 28, 2018 from http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/tobacco/reports-resources/sotc/by-the-numbers/10-health-effects-caused-by-smoking.html

CDC. (2018). Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved May 28, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

National Cancer Institute. (2017). Harms of Cigarette Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved May 28, 2018 from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet#q8

NHS. (2018). How Smoking Affects Your Body. NHS. Retrieved May 28, 2018 from https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems

 

A Sample Smoking Essay Outline

Introduction

Thesis:

Smoking is harmful to nearly all body organs and thus quitting has health benefits.

Body

Paragraph 1:

Smoking damages the human heart and interferes with normal blood circulation.

  • This increases the risks of such conditions as cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, heart attack, and coronary heart disease.
  • The heart is made to work faster and thereby strained.
  • The cigarette contents increase the risks of blood clots.
  • Smoking leads to furring of the coronary arteries.

Paragraph 2: 

Smoking can cause lung disease.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the lung diseases.
  • Most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking.
  • An attack can be triggered or made worse by tobacco smoke in asthmatic people.

Paragraph 3:

Smoking can cause serious damages to the mouth and throat.

  • It can cause strained teeth, bad breath and gum disease.
  • It causes an increased cancer risk in the gullet, voice box, throat, tongue, and lips.

Paragraph 4:

Smoking can make a woman to experience difficulties in becoming pregnant.

  • There are higher risks for a pregnant smoker to miscarry.
  • They may have their baby born with a cleft palate and/or cleft lip,
  • They may give birth before time to a baby with an abnormally low birth weight,
  • They may have an ectopic pregnancy.

Paragraph 5:

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of many diseases caused by the habit.

  • Reduced chances of dying from illnesses that are smoking-related
  • Quitters have substantial life expectancy gains in comparison to those who continue to smoke.

Conclusion

Smoking affects almost every organ of the human body and is thus detrimental to health. It causes fatal diseases such as cancer, heart disease, COPD, and can also damage the mouth and throat. Quitting is highly recommendable.

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