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Cigarette Smoking - Health Effects of Smoking

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Cigarette smoking is one of the major killers in the world. The biggest side affect from smoking is Cancer. Cancer is a group of many related diseases. All forms of Cancer involve out-of-control growth and spread of abnormal cells. The American Cancer Society estimates that cigarettes are responsible for about 419,000 deaths in the United States each year. The largest killing cancer is Lung Cancer, which accounts for 30% of all U.S cancer deaths. The risk of dying from lung cancer is 22 times higher for males, and 12 times higher for female smokers as oppose to nonsmokers. Additionally, smokers are at an increased risk for cancer of the larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas.

Health effects of smoking

Smoking causes a five time increase in the risk of dying from chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and a two time increase in deaths from diseases of the heart and coronary arteries. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke by 40-50% in men and 60% in women. Researchers have also proven that mothers who smoke while pregnant or before they got pregnant usually give birth to babies with birth defects, who are premature or are underweight. This is probably because of a decrease in blood flow to the placenta.

Tobacco Smoke

The ways in which tobacco smoke affects the human body have been under extensive research and study for many years. Recent findings may explain why cigarettes are so addicting. An unknown component or part of tobacco smoke appears to destroy an important enzyme in the brain called monoamine oxidizes B (MOA B). The enzyme is essential in breaking down excess amounts of the chemical dopamine, a nerve cell messenger chemical and one that is involved in pleasure-seeking behavior. Apparently smokers have low levels of MOA B and have exceptionally abnormal levels of dopamine, which most likely encourage the smoker to go for the more pleasure seeking things such as smoking, and sometimes experimenting with more mind-altering drugs.

Recent research has focused on the effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). This is the effect of smoke in the atmosphere and the environment and how it affects the non-smokers. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that exposure to ETS, which contains all of the same toxic chemicals that the smoker inhales, causes 3000 cancer deaths a year in non-smokers. It can also provoke less serious diseases such as asthma, impaired blood circulation, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

5 Facts About Children And Tobacco Use

1) Everyday more than 3000 adolescents (in the United States) smoke their first cigarette, taking the first big step to becoming regular smokers. One-third of these "new" smokers will eventually die of a tobacco related disease. 2) Forty percent of all teenagers who have tried to quit smoking have failed. 3) Smoking is one of those addictions that you get before you reach adulthood (18 years). 89% of all people who have ever smoke started doing it before they reached the age of 18. Barely anyone starts to smoke after that age (adulthood). 4) 70% of adolescent smokers wish that they hadn't started and have tried to quit but did not succeed. 5) More than 80% of adolescent smokers who smoke more than a pack a day report that they need or depend on cigarettes.

Cigarette Smoking And Adult Leukemia

Several studies over the years have suggested and have shown that cigarette smoking increases risk of leukemia, as it does for other cancer prone areas. They say that risk may increase about thirty percent in active smokers and may cause up to 3,600 cases of adult leukemia a year. The report combines the results of 15 studies, including the Cancer Prevention Studies 1 and 2. This combined analysis strengthens the evidence that smoking may cause adult leukemia, especially myelocytic, or non-lymphocyte forms.


Is cigar smoking on the rise?

Cigar smoking is currently the latest trend in the U.S, especially among young men and women. It is fueled in part by the efforts of tobacco companies trying to glamorize them. Especially for women, the industry seems to have risen. Teenagers or young adults may be particularly vulnerable because of the mistaken idea that cigars are safer than cigarettes. From 1973 to 1993 cigar smoking had been on the decline. Since 1993 however, cigar use in the U.S has increased to nearly 50%. Use of small cigars has gone up about 13% while consumption of large cigars has risen nearly 70% during this time period. Sales of even the premium cigars have risen to an all time high of an estimated 250%.

The greatest increase in adult cigar smoking is among the young and middle-aged white men (ages 18 to 44) with higher than average incomes and education. There is a boom in the popularity of premium cigars that is also similar to the interest in gourmet coffee and microbrewery beers. The health risks of cigar smoking are, again, ignored in this effort of making cigars look "cool" or "better than cigarettes".

Do Cigars Cause Health Problems?

Smoking as little as ONE cigar per day can increase the risk of several cancers, including cancer of the oral cavity (lip, tongue, mouth, throat), esophagus, larynx, and lung. Cigar smoking may be linked to the cancer of the pancreas as well.

Daily cigar smoking, especially for people who inhale, also increases the risk of heart disease and a type of lung disease known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Just smoking one or two cigars a day doubles the risk for oral cancers and esophageal cancer, compared to someone who has never smoked in their life. And smoking as few as one or two a day increases the risk of cancer to the voice box (larynx) by more than six times that of a non-smokers. There are some differences between cigar and cigarette smoke, though. These differences are due to the long aging and fermentation process used for cigar tobacco. The cigar wrapper is also not quite as porous as the cigarette paper. Cigar tobacco has a high concentration of nitrogen compounds (nitrates and nitrites). Also, because the cigar paper isn't as porous as the cigarette paper, the tobacco doesn't burn as well. The result is a higher concentration of nitrogen oxides, ammonia, carbon



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