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The Costs of Smoking.

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Introduction

The Costs of Smoking Smoking has been an issue for many years. Even though children and teenagers are exposed to large amounts of anti-smoking propaganda, many still do smoke, and will continue to smoke for the rest of their lives, struggling to kick the habit. Smoking has more then fifty illnesses and twenty causes of death associated with it. It has been estimated that in England 284 000 patients are admitted to the NHS hospitals each year due to illnesses caused by smoking (Godfrey et al). These NHS beds could serve a more productive purpose. Smokers have an increased risk of many diseases, including gum disease, diabetes (type 2), osteoporosis and tuberculosis (American Council 1997). However these are not the only risks of smoking. Smokers also have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. For example, smoking causes over 80% of all lung cancer deaths (CRC Cancerstats 2001). ...read more.

Middle

This means the heart has to beat harder to pump the same volume of blood and supply the right amount of oxygen around the body. Smoking also causes arterial disease as cigarette smokers have raised levels of fibrinogen and platelets (which are involved in the formation in blood clots), leaving the blood stickier. The carbon monoxide also attaches to haemoglobin more easily then oxygen reducing the amount of oxygen available to body tissues. These factors make smokers more at risk of developing a form of arterial disease. A thrombosis (clot) is more likely to form, which may lead to a fatal heart attack or a stroke. Illness is not the only effect that smoking has on people. It also has a negative effect on social aspects for example it leaves them and their belongings smelling of smoke. It also causes wrinkles to appear faster then if they did not smoke as it dries out the skin. ...read more.

Conclusion

80% of the cost of a packet of cigarettes is tax. According to the government, most of this is spent on the NHS, for example in March 2000 when cigarettes rose in price by 25 pence, an extra �300 million a year was spent on the NHS. However, this raise in tax threatens the jobs of some of the workers in the tobacco industry. Without this contribution other taxes would have to go up to replace this revenue, and the jobs the tobacco industry supplies would no longer exist. However, this doesn't balance all the negatives of smoking. In conclusion, the costs of smoking are very serious. Not only does smoking have serious effects on a person's health; it also costs them a lot of money and can create a negative image of the type of person they are. It seems the main reason people start smoking is some of their influential friends do it and they want to be part of the crowd. The other factors, such as relaxation, seem to be more to do with relieving withdrawal symptoms more then actual relief the cigarette causes. ...read more.

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