• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Costs of Smoking.

Extracts from this document...


The Costs of Smoking Humans are the only animals to inhale smoke intentionally. Humans have found many ways to inhale smoke, but there are no known benefits. Cigarettes, the most popular method of inhalation, appear deceptively basic, just a paper cylinder containing processed tobacco. In fact, they are highly designed to deliver a steady dose of nicotine, from the three main types of tobacco, virginia, burley and oriental, which each contain varying levels of nicotine. Cigarettes also contain thousands of other chemicals, though these include some which may seem harmless, such as sugar, chocolate and vanilla, which are added to make smoke appear milder and easier to inhale. However, even these harmless substances, may become toxic when combined with other substances. There have been many studies by medical professionals to investigate the effects of the inhalation of smoke, nicotine and the cocktail of chemicals, on our bodies. The physiological cost of smoking is sustained by the highly addictive nature of nicotine, which makes it difficult for the smoker to give up. This will be examined later in the essay along with the reversal of damaging effects if the smoker quits. The many damaging physiological effects on the human body have been proven consistently over the past few decades, including diseases of the circulatory and respiratory systems, various cancers and premature ageing, which will now be discussed. ...read more.


Tobacco smoking is the principal preventable risk factor for bladder cancer, which is estimated to cause up to half the cases in men, and a third in women. Cancer of the pancreas is a rapidly fatal disease with a five-year survival rate of only 4%, and this has also been linked to smoking. It is ironic that young people often start smoking to impress their peers, believing they appear 'cooler', yet the physiological effects of smoking on the individual's appearance causes the opposite effect. The skin can be affected in at least two ways. Firstly, cigarette fumes released into the immediate environment have a drying effect on the skin's outer surface. Secondly, because smoking restricts blood vessels, it minimises the amount of blood flowing to the skin, thus decreasing the amount of oxygen and essential nutrients being delivered to the skin. Research suggests that smoking may reduce the body's store of vitamin A. Also, squinting and puckering when smoking increases wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Smokers in their 40's often have as many facial wrinkles as non-smokers in their 60's. Smoking appears to lower a person's normal weight, and they tend to be thinner than average. The affects of smoking on the endocrine system, (glands which secrete hormones), actually causes smokers to store fat differently. They are more likely to store fat around the waist and upper torso rather than around the hips. ...read more.


After 24 hours, carbon monoxide will no longer be present in the body, and lungs begin to clear of mucus and smoking debris. After 48 hours, there is no nicotine left in the body, and the ability to taste and smell is greatly improved. After 72 hours, breathing becomes easier, bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels start to increase. After 2-12 weeks, circulation improves and 3-9 months later breathing problems improve and lung function is improved by up to 10%. A year after giving up, the risk of heart attacks fall to half that of a smoker. The risk of lung cancer falls to less than half that of a smoker after 10 years, and after 15 years, the risk of a heart attack is back to that of a non-smoker. The costs of smoking are clearly huge and indisputable, though this essay has only dealt with the physiological affects. Smoking is also extremely expensive, not only regarding the cost of the actual cigarettes, but also the extra cost to health services having to treat patients with smoking-related diseases. It has become increasingly less socially acceptable to smoke in public, due to heightened awareness of the affects of passive smoking. Hopefully, the decreasing acceptance of smoking by the public will prevail until smoking is made illegal in public. However the addictive nature of nicotine cannot be under-estimated and even legal steps may have little effect on smokers as they have continued to smoke for decades, knowing the damaging costs. www.ash.org.uk Kent M. (2000) Advanced Biology. Oxford: University Press 1 1 Iain Smith ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Humans as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Humans as Organisms essays

  1. The Biological and Psychological Impact of Smoking Cigarettes

    This means there is less oxygen for important organs such as the brain. Each red blood cell contains a complicated protein called haemoglobin; oxygen molecules are carried around the body by binding onto this protein.

  2. Should people with diabetes 2 receive medical treatment?

    126 or above Diabetes* *Confirmed by repeating the test on a different day. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/diagnosis/ The second test for diabetes is to measure the body's ability to process the excess sugar resulting from drinking a high glucose drink, the GTT test.

  1. In my case study I will explain and supply a lot of information on ...

    A Heart attack! The immediate effecs of what smoking does to your heart- The chemicals in a cigarette make the blood vessels in your heart much smaller, less elastic, and much more likely to block or tear, as a result of this the heart has to beat considerably faster to pump more blood around the body!

  2. Research - should salt be banned from processed foods?

    There is much evidence to support the fact that too much salt is bad for health and that cutting our salt intake by a third could cut strokes by 22% and heart attacks by 16%. Additionally, the dangerous effects of salt on health has been strongly reinforced by some major studies in the last few years****.

  1. Should abortion be illegal?

    Her medical history will be taken and a nurse or doctor will discuss what will happen. This is reliable because you need to now that if you are doing an abortion then you need to go first to the doctor and do an abortion as soon as possible.

  2. Work related report

    A minimum of 5 GCSEs and 2 A levels (including English language or literature and a science subject) if an applicant wishes to enter a degree course. For graduates Any graduates who decide to become a nurse will need to hold a first or second class honours degree in a subject that is relevant to nursing.

  1. Research into smoking essay

    Scientists has medically proven, now recognized and more widely accepted that the reason people continue to smoke, despite the severe health risks smoking require, is because nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Nicotine is an organic compound that comes from the tobacco plant naturally.

  2. Biology smoking coursework. Should smoking be banned in public places?

    Below is a picture of a cigarette and its minerals. Benefits of smoking Smoking tends to have some benefits of its own. . Smoking has been consistently found to be a protective factor on epidemiological studies for Parkinson disease. The basis for such effect is not known but possibilities include an effect of nicotine as a dopamine stimulant.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work