PrologueI took a jogging class this semester at De Anza College, to kick start my healthy living schedule. The assignment paper was to write something health related, something we like and are passionate about. And here it goes:
Tobacco smoking is the act of burning the dried or cured leaves of the tobacco plant and inhaling the smoke for ritualistic purposes, or more commonly out of habit and to satisfy addiction. This addictive quality of cigarettes is because of the presence of a stimulant known as nicotine, which is an alkoloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) in it. Smoking, because of its addictive nature, has resulted in many a health problems. Medical research has shown over the years that smoking has resulted in major health hazards in a wide cross section of the society. In this report, a few of the major hazards of smoking are being discussed.
I lost my grandmother to tobacco, she suffered from cancer towards the end of her life, and had a painful end. She chewed tobacco all her life, 'cancer' is one of the ill effects of tobacco.
Tobacco is linked to atleast 10 types of cancers and accounts to for 30% of all the cancer related deaths, but yet, one fourth of American lights up tobacco. It is a major cause of cancers of the lung, larynx (voice box), oral cavity, pharynx (throat), esophagus, and bladder, and is a contributing cause in the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix, kidney, stomach, and also some leukemias. Though lung cancer is a preventable disease, 87% of all the lung cancer deaths is because of tobacco.
Though cancer is one of the major causes of deaths, Tobacco, is the major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke, and it contributes to the severity of pneumonia and asthma.
Tobacco is also linked to gum diseases, cataract, bone thinning, hip fractures and peptic ulcers. It is also
been proven that it cases fertility related issues such as miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death and more.
Not to mention the quality of life lost, smokers tend to loose friends. Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the CDC estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.
Smoking and Depression
Data from multiple studies suggest that depression plays a role in cigarette smoking. A history of regular smoking was observed more frequently among individuals who had experienced a major depressive disorder at some time in their lives than among individuals who had never experienced major depression or among individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis.
This is one of the major problems I personally have faced, as a kid, I disliked the smell of the smoke, as an adult, I had to tolerate it around me. Friends, boss, colleague, everyone smokes! It is very difficult to confront them while tolerating the second hand smoke, which is causing the same ill effects as described above, may be more, while choosing not to smoke. Among other scary facts, secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.
To conclude, smoking is a nasty habit. All I can say to a smoker is to 'please quit', and spare me the trouble of secondhand smoke. “I did not pay for the cigarette. I don't want the smoke for free”.