Loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs; and in the stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrific stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless. – King James I, in a decree banning tobacco from his kingdom, 1604.
I have been listening lots of advertisements in the radio and television since my childhood. They will have a beautiful slogan and an ad and at the end they will go on as, “Smoking is injurious to health!” Well I don’t see the point of making ads since it is injurious to health. I used to laugh at those ads at that time. Lots of the public places have the message in the walls as “Please do not smoke here!” too but no one even seems to care and read it, and those who notice it will just ignore it. I just collected some of the harmful facts that smoking can do to us. I hope this will at least encourage the smokers to quit and think twice before taking another stick.
The fight against tobacco and smoking goes back a long way. In 1604 King James I of England issued a decree banning it. In 1950s, researchers linked smoking to cancer but it took almost a full decade to convince doctors and still more time for the media to accept it. Cigarettes and smoking are present almost everywhere but the question is how much do we really know about this addiction?
A think little stick, usually white and barely 3.5 inches long, it seems very fragile, an unlikely guise for a killer. Researches have however shown that cigarette smoke contains over 4000 different chemicals with at least 43 known carcinogens (causing cancer). Listed below are some of the common ones:
Benzene: A colorless liquid, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture. It is a known carcinogen associated with leukemia.
Formaldehyde: A colorless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies. It is known to cause cancer, respiratory, skin, and gastrointestinal problems.
Ammonia: Used as flavoring in cigarettes. It frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into gas. Also found in dry cleaning fluids.
Acetone: Fragrant volatile liquid ketone and used as a solvents like nail polish removers.
Tar: Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 percent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smoker’s lungs.
Nicotine: One of the most addictive substances known to man. It is a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison often used as insecticide.
Carbon Monoxide: An odorless, tasteless poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts. It is the same gas that comes out of car exhausts and is the main gas in cigarette smoke.
Arsenic: Commonly used as rat poison.
Hydrogen Cyanide: Used as gas chamber poison.
Smoking is especially hard on the lungs. Tar coats the lungs like soot in a chimney, causing cancer. Carbon monoxide robs the muscles, brain, n body tissue of oxygen, making the whole body and specially the heart work harder. Over time, the airways swell up and let less air into the lungs. Smoking causes a lot of disease and ailments that are not usually associated with the habit.
Below are some of the diseases caused by smoking:
Emphysema: The lungs rot slowly. People with emphysema often get repeated bronchitis leading to lung and heart failure.
Heart Ailments: The nicotine and carbon monoxide in each cigarette temporarily increases the heart rate and blood pressure, straining the heart and blood vessels. This can cause heart attacks and stroke. Blood flow slows, cutting oxygen to feet and hands. Amputation of limbs are not uncommon. Heart disease and strokes are also more common among smokers. Fat deposits narrow and block blood vessels, which leads to heart attacks.
Heartburn: Heartburn happens when acidic juices from the stomach spash into the esophagus. Smoking decreases the strength of the esophageal valve allowing stomach juice to flow backward.
Peptic Ulcer Disease: An open sore in the lining of the stomach or duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, are more likely to occur, less likely to heal, and more likely to occur, less likely to heal, and more likely to cause death in smokers than in nonsmokers.
Liver Disease: Smoking alters the ability of the liver to process drugs, alcohol, and other toxins for removal from the body, influencing the dose of medication necessary to treat an illness.
Crohn’s Disease: Inflammation deep in the lining of the intestine leads to pain and loose motions. Smokers are at a higher risk than nonsmokers.
Smoking also leads to premature aging. It wrinkles the skin; sallow the complexion; stains teeth, fingers, and nails; and leads to bad breath. Women may have early menopause and low reproductive fertility.
Smokers love hookah as this is best part of taste for them. The hookah bar is giving a new trend for people using flavored tobacco to smoke and making a new sense of taste.
Despite all these hazards known to people, they still keep on smoking. It neither satisfies your hunger nor does it do any good to your health, but yet we smoke our life and shorten our lifespan and we invite more diseases and more suffering to ourselves. I don’t know if there will ever be a moment where cigarettes will be extinct and people will tell their kids that people used to do lots of stupid things in the past and one of them is smoking. So be that parent and start avoiding smoking and encourage others not to smoke.