Despite the pros and cons of smoking among the society, smoking has been practiced since time immemorial. Some people enjoy the pleasure of smoking while others averse the idea of smoking. Serious debates have been going on in various parts of the world. There are those against cigarette smoking and others want cigarette smoking to continue. Some governments also intervene in these debates and pass legislation to regulate cigarette smoking. This debate is far from being concluded but people are becoming more enlightened about cigarette smoking. This paper seeks to discuss the pros and cons of cigarette smoking, component of cigarette and effect of each on the body and any additional pertinent information that may be available.
Cigarettes smoking affect our health in myriad ways. This is mostly related to the direct intake of cigarette .nonetheless, indirect smoking, or inhalation of smoke from cigarette can also affect health. When cigarette smoke ‘arrives’ into our body, a number of chemicals circulate all over our body through the blood stream. Finally, these chemicals cause damage to various part of the body including the vital organ such as the heart, kidney, lung, brain and many more (Archer, 2004).
Lung is the main organ in the body that is affected by cigarette smoking. Tar is the major component in cigarette. It affects lung by damaging the cells that supports the walls of the alveoli. This in the end is likely to cause cancer of the lung or larynx. There is also a high chance of mucous membrane surrounding the bronchi becoming inflated a condition known as bronchitis. Emphysema is another lung condition that occurs due to cigarette smoking. Emphysema is a situation where the walls of the alveoli are unable to stretch or recoil. The air sack becomes frail and collapses. The loss of elasticity by the lungs leads to poor exchange of respiratory gases. The air sac collapses when carbon dioxide is going out of the lung. Usually obstruction is most common accompanied by difficulty in breathing. This condition also leads to general tiredness, loss of appetite and persistent cough. Individuals affected by this disease are usually uncomfortable. The effects of smoking cigarette to the lung depends on the daily intake, duration of smoking and mode of intake (Kozlowski et al, 2001).
The effects of cigarette smoking on health and specially to the heart are destructive. One is an increase in the heart beat rate. Secondly, it causes unprecedented rise in blood pressure. Nicotine is a major component of cigarette. Nicotine attacks the nerves of the heart and this causes the blood vessels to compress. It has a devastating effect to the blood pressure. Nicotine causes an increase in blood pressure and cause the blood to clot simply. Additionally, carbon monoxide inhaled during smoking competes with oxygen in the lung and causes the buildup of cholesterol dump on the wall of the artery. All of these cases increase the chance of developing a heart attack. Moreover, poor flow of blood in the system due to cholesterol deposit in the major arteries of the heart can easily lead to strokes and coronary heart disease (Kozlowski et al, 2001).
Smoking also affects the eye. Various chemicals that are found in the cigarette usually damage the macula that is part of the eye. The macula is mainly the susceptible part of the retina. The small blood vessels of the macula easily break causing a damage that is beyond repair. Consequently, tobacco inhalation causes the change in morphology and functionality to the site responsible for proper seeing. This is usually due to the damage that occurs in the capillaries of the muscles of the eye. Brain is also affected by cigarette smoking. It causes the accumulation of fatty granules in the main artery that supplies blood to the brain. This greatly increases the risk of an individual succumbing to stroke. In addition, cigarette chemicals are lethal to development of the new tissue. These chemicals also contribute to the weakness of bone a condition known as osteoporosis (Ropeik & Gray, 2002).
Tobacco users also talk of various advantages of smoking. Smoking is usually a form of relaxation. It usually reduces other symptoms that are brought by fear. There is increased lowering of tension to those individual who take cigarette for a long duration. In addition, smoking leads to increased alertness and minimal stress hence a remedy to health complication that usually occurs due to these conditions. Such diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are caused by increased stress level. Stress is reduced by smoking because most of the body muscles are given room to expand and relax. Additionally, smoking reduces the probability of an individual developing complication associated with aging. These include the Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease usually associated with older people (Shah, 2008).
Smoking also plays a role in weight loss. This occurs due to the alertness that exists in smokers. Their blood vessels become wide allowing the flow of blood all over the body in a short period. This makes majority of the smokers to become hyperactive and hence able to reduce calories in their body. This can be a useful method to stop the increased rate of obesity observed in today’s society (British American Tobacco, 2011).
When an individual inhale smoke from cigarette a number of chemicals enter in the body. These chemicals are more than a thousand. Each chemical has its own effect in the body. However, their main chemicals are contained in cigarette. Their health implication to an individual is usually discussed in broader terms. These major components are nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide. They have serious health implication. Nicotine is the addictive component of cigarette. It is absorbed by blood and circulates to all body parts. It causes elevation in blood pressure, heart rate leading to complications (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).
The other component is tar. It is lethal to the body. Its sticks to air filter in the body causing serious damage to the lung and cause the tensile strength of the lung to collapse. Carbon dioxide is also an important component of the cigarette, when inhaled during smoking it competes with oxygen and hence major organ in the body are deprived oxygen. This leads to various complications in the body. There is still some minor component but still affect the body, these are Ammonia, Hydrogen Cyanide, Arsenic, Benzene, Formaldehyde and all these components are harmful to the body ( Rodgman & Perfetti , 2008).
There are various regulations that exist that control the production and sale of cigarette. Most of these regulations require the cigarette manufacturing company to indicate the harmful effect of that particular cigarette when branding their product. Such warning may include ‘cigarette smoking is harmful to your health’. In other legislation, the companies are supposed to indicate the age that can be allowed to have access to cigarette. Generally, no one who is below the age of eighteen is allowed to buy cigarette. Serious fines are usually imposed to companies that violate the above policies. In other countries, cigarette smoking is not allowed in public and usually there are designated areas for smoking (Queensland Government, 2012).
In conclusion, it is now obvious that there are risks and benefits of cigarette smoking. It is now for an individual to choose which step to follow. However, heath risks associated with cigarette smoking far outweigh the benefit of cigarette smoking. Additional, cigarette smoking is contributing significantly to death because of cancer. If this disease is to be managed, the level of smoking should also be minimized. Those governments that ensure there is regulation as to the production and sale are playing a crucial role to seeing healthy individuals.
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- Kozlowski, L., Henningfield, J& Brigham, J. (2001). Cigarettes, Nicotine, & Health. New York: Sage
- Queensland Government. (2012). Tobacco and Other Smoking Product Regulation.Gov. Retrieved from http://www.health.qld.gov.au/tobaccolaws/
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- Shah, A. (2008). Tobacco. Globalissues. Retrieved from http://www.globalissues.org/article/533/tobacco