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The Biological and Psychological Impact of Smoking Cigarettes

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Biological and Psychological Impact of Smoking Cigarettes I have been set the assignment to construct a detailed and comprehensive scientific essay. The essay must be related to an area of the AS course(AQA). I have decided to do my essay on the "biological and psychological impacts of smoking cigarettes". I will provide a brief section on the history of smoking and cigarettes. I will then discuss the composition and contents of cigarettes and the biological and psychological effects of smoking. I will make sure I cover each area in great detail, paying particular attention to the effects it has on the cardiovascular and respiratory system. I will also try to use a variety of sources in helping me to complete my essay(internet, books, and science magazines). The history of tobacco and smoking goes back along way to the early 16th century when tobacco was first discovered by the Spanish explorer's in America. It was then brought back form America to Europe when it then spread. At this point the Spanish were oblivious to the addictive and dangerous nature of tobacco. Since then people have had many uses for tobacco, they have sniffed, chewed and smoked it. Originally the tobacco was smoked in pipes and it was not in till the mid-19th century, when cigarettes were invented as a convenient way of smoking tobacco, that the habit really increased in popularity and spread almost like an infection across Europe(7). Now in recent years the rate of people smoking and the production of cigarettes have exponentially exploded. Hundreds of manufactures have released cigarette brands onto the market and millions of people across the globe smoke cigarettes. This epidemic as I perceive to call it is a consequence of low prices, the so called image and persona that comes with cigarettes and finally the addictiveness of cigarettes which hooks people so they cannot give up. ...read more.

Middle

Brain cells(neurons) die when they no longer receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood or when they are damaged by sudden bleeding. Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. Some of the disabilities that can result from stroke include paralysis, cognitive deficits, speech problems, emotional difficulties, daily living problems, and pain. Stroke is caused by many factors like high blood cholesterol, low levels of physical activity, obesity, diabetes and tobacco smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of stroke (5). The chemicals contained in tobacco have a number of effects on the body which contribute to causing stroke. Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood this means less oxygen can be transported to the organs. It raises blood pressure, and damages the lining of the arteries. Smoking also increases the chance of developing atherosclerosis which is the main factor causing stroke. Atherosclerosis also known as 'hardening of the arteries'. It is a disease in which the arteries are narrowed and hardened as a result of plaque build up. The toxic chemicals, tar and carbon monoxide cause air inflammation and bronchoconstriction which causes the restriction of oxygen rich blood to the brain and causes stroke (9). The combination of factors caused by smoking: high blood pressure, cholesterol build up, the arteries constricting and atherosclerosis are the main influences in causing stroke and so explains why smoking causes stoke Peripheral vascular disease is another form of a cardiovascular disease. PVD can occur in the arteries of the hands, legs and feet and usually affects older people. PVD is a slow developing. It is a common circulation problem in which arteries that carry blood to the legs and arms become narrowed and blocked this interferes with the normal flow of blood, atherosclerosis is the most common cause of PVD it is the gradual process in which cholesterol and scar tissue build up, forming a substance called "plaque" that clogs the blood vessels (4&8). ...read more.

Conclusion

From my essay I have discovered many alarming and disturbing facts about the effects of tobacco smoke. I have learnt about the irreversible nature of smoking and how second hand environmental smoke causes many of the disease that you get directly from smoking a cigarette. I also learnt about the dreadful biological effects that smoking causes and the devastating impact it has killing hundreds of thousands of people a year through smoking related diseases like lung cancer, coronary heart disease and respiratory diseases are just a few examples. I surprisingly discovered the disturbing contents of the cigarette, how it contains 40 known carcogens and many other poisonous chemicals. From my essay I now have a better insight into way people continue to smoke even though they know the deadly consequences of smoking. I have learnt how smoking makes people become addictive and hooked to the substance nicotine inside the tobacco. I have also learnt that smoking has implications on the mental state and emotions of a person, causing them to feel relieved and happy for a short period before a huge downswing of depression sets in and they are left craving for their next cigarette. Overall I can conclude that I have learnt a vast amount about the biological and psychological effects of smoking. I can safely say that smoking is more than a bad habit it is a devastating and life threatening addiction. Smoking has many negative effects on the body and mind but also is a negative externality and has a harmful effect on the third party through second hand environmental tobacco smoke. Considering the biological effects of smoking and how it ruins peoples life's I believe that the production of cigarettes and all products containing tobacco should be banned. As we are aware taxation on these products was ineffective and a waste of the governments resources and time. I believe the governments should stop using cigarettes(tobacco tax) as a political tool for raising revenue and gaining popularity and place an ban on the production and consumption of cigarettes. This action will lead to an overall increase in human welfare. ...read more.

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