Cigarette smoking has many horrifying effects to human beings. Smoking cigarette is dangerous not just to those who smoke, but to nonsmokers and even to the unborn children. When you look on the physical and social side of it, cigarette is again very much harming. Cigarette smoke usually has large particles called tar that usually collect in the branching points of the smoker’s lungs. These particles contain carcinogenic compounds which are responsible for increasing the risk of lung cancer. There are small particles in the cigarette smoke that also include carcinogens, corrosive chemicals, irritants that collect in the small air sacs of the lungs called cilia damaging them in the process. It is in these air sacs that blood absorbs oxygen from the air that one breathes. When one smokes, the small particles in the smoke are absorbed into the blood stream and taken to other parts of the body, carrying with them various diseases (Davis, 2007).
Smoking cigarette is said to be one of the world’s major killers. The major side effect that is brought about by smoking is cancer, which is simply a group of many related diseases. Cancer usually involves the out of control growth and spread of abnormal cells. Estimates from the American Cancer Society show that cigarettes claim about 419,000 deaths every year in America alone. Research has shown that male smokers have a 22 times higher risk of dying from lung cancer whereas the females have a risk of 12 times higher when compared to the nonsmokers. Smokers also have an added risk of having cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, bladder, esophagus, pancreas, and the kidney. Studies also show that there is a five time increase in the risk of one dying from emphysema and chronic bronchitis if he or she is a smoker including a two times increase in deaths resulting from heart and coronary artery diseases. It is also on record that smoking also increases risks of stroke by a 60% risk in women. Research in this area has also proven that women who smoke while pregnant or before getting pregnant have a tendency of giving birth to babies having birth defects, premature or underweight. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the chances of sudden infant death syndrome. The teeth of the unborn are also affected by cigarette smoking. Regular exposure of children to second hand smoke increases their chances of developing cavities. Cigarette smoking has adverse effects on women. Facts show that cigarette smoking affects the ability of women to make new bone. This places them at high risks of bone loss and osteoporosis. Women in the menopause stages and are smokers have greater risk of suffering hip fractures, something that is magnified with age (Davis, 2007).
On the other hand men who smoke 18 or more cigarettes in a day for two years experience decreased ability to father children. In effect, cigarette smoking lowers sex drive in men making them desire sex less frequently. Those men who smoke have a 40-50% risk of stroke. On top of all these, studies have go on to show that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of one getting leukemia just as it increases the risk of other diseases. This is estimated at 30% in active smokers causing up to 3,600 leukemia cases in adults every year (American Lung Association, 2010).
Then there is the issue of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), which is simply the amount of tobacco smoke in the atmosphere. Research shows that ETS contains the same number of toxic chemicals as the smoke inhaled by a smoker. Exposure to this smoke therefore puts nonsmokers at risk. The Environmental Protection Agency in the US estimates that ETS exposure causes 3000 deaths from cancer every year in nonsmokers. It also triggers disease such as asthma, bronchitis, impaired circulation of blood, and pneumonia (American Lung Association, 2010).
Studies on the use of tobacco by children show that in the US, more than 3000 adolescents starting smoking everyday. One third of this number will die eventually of diseases related to cigarette smoking. What is shocking is that forty percent of all teens who try quitting smoking have all failed. The reason why this happens is that smoking is among the addictions people get before reaching adulthood. It is shown that 89% of those who ever smoked, started it before becoming adults, it is therefore rare to find anyone who started smoking past the age of 18. A whopping 70% of adolescents smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day have reported that they totally need or depend on cigarettes (American Lung Association, 2010).
Smoking is a problem to the whole world; estimates indicate that over 1.2 billion people worldwide smoke. More than 105 billion cigarettes are sold weekly, which makes it approximately ten million cigarettes per minute. Cigarette smoke contains more than 400 different chemical compounds that affect the health of people. The facts speak for themselves, many studies have been done about these facts, but still no major medical or health agency has come forward to question them. Cigarette smoking is the main source of preventable morbidity and mortalities that are premature not just in the US but in the whole world. Smoking claims more deaths than any other cause. It costs the governments millions of dollars every year in health care costs. People who smoke including teenagers become addicted, less productive and eventually die. Environmental Tobacco Smoke also affects nonsmokers who will be passively smoking. This puts them at same risk of cigarette effects with the smokers.