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The costs of smoking

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Introduction

The costs of smoking! It has now been more than 50 years since Richard Doll and Bradford Hills discovery linking tobacco smoking with lung cancer has been published. Their conclusion that "smoking is a factor " (1), that causes the production of carcinoma of the lung has been confirmed by many further studies done by different scientists throughout the world. These studies have also ascertained connection between smoking and heart dieases, cancer (especially lung cancer), bronchitis, organ failure, indigestion. In my essay I will discuss the costs of smoking in terms of health care associated with tobacco-related illness and the fact that a smoker's quality of life is reduced and life span shortened by smoking. Chemicals found in cigarettes: Analysis proof that cigarettes contain up to 4000 different chemicals, such as tobacco and many other toxic ingredients. Cigarette smoke contains three main ingredients. These are nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide. Each of these has its own effects on the body. 1. Nicotine is addictive: * Nicotine is a stimulant and therefore makes you feel more alert and active. * Nicotine affects the brain. * It is addictive and therefore if your body gets used to it, it is very difficult to do without it and that's why some smokers find it so hard to give up smoking. ...read more.

Middle

But the tar makes them divide and build up into a thicker layer. Some of these cells may go on dividing, developing into cancer. Diseases caused by smoking: * Lung disease: Common cause of illness and death in the UK! * Chronic bronchitis: Tar is an irritant. It makes the linings of the respiratory passages inflamed, causing chronic bronchitis. * Emphysema: Tar is an irritant. It damages the cilia lining these passages, and causes extra mucus to be made by the goblet cells. This mucus then goes down the lungs. Bacteria's in the mucus cause infection. The person coughs, to try to move the mucus upwards. But the constant coughing can damage the alveoli in the lungs. This makes it difficult for the person to get enough oxygen into their blood. This illness is called Emphysema. * Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): COPD is a mixture of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a lung disease in which the lungs are damaged, making it hard to breathe. In COPD, the airways-the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs-are partly obstructed, making it difficult to get air in and out. COPD is not contagious therefore you cannot catch it from someone else. Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Most people with COPD are smokers or former smokers. ...read more.

Conclusion

* British industry loses at least 50 million working days every year from smoking related sick leave. All this money and hard work could be saved if some people would quit smoking!! Debates on smoking: "The widespread availability of this potentially lethal drug has consequently raised difficult questions about the duties of manufacturers and governments to protect consumers from harmful legal products."(8) Ban smoking in public places is a current issue in society and articles are to be read in every newspaper every now and then. There is a high population of people who inhale other people's cigarette smoke against their will. And it is a fact that a smoker's quality of life is reduced and life span shortened by smoking. It also true that life's of many innocent people is harmed through passive smoking. For example, if a baby's parents smoke 20 cigarettes a day, the child will have indirectly smoked 80 cigarettes by the time he is 1 years old. "It is estimated that 146 Australians die each year as a result of passive smoking."(7) Conclusion: Being a non-smoker myself, I personally think that the decision taken by the government, to ban smoking in public is a good idea because after all why should I inhale other peoples smoke and ruin my health. There is nothing more disgusting for me than coming home from a club after an evening out and finding that your clothes smell like an ashtray. ...read more.

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