31 Crucial Smoking Facts: How It Could Cost You Your Health & Life | Kidadl


31 Crucial Smoking Facts: How It Could Cost You Your Health & Life

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Smoking is one of the major issues impacting human health around the world, causing addiction and disease.

More than 8 million people are dying every year from tobacco use, as well as over 1.2 million deaths from secondhand smoke. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society are some of the organizations that are constantly trying to reduce smoking and tobacco use in people.

People usually start smoking when they are young, encouraged to by other people, or when they try to use it to overcome depression and stress. What they need to understand is that this addictive habit can cause a multitude of diseases in the future. The terrible truth is that most smokers already know that what they are addicted to leads to various lung diseases, heart diseases, and numerous other problems, as well as reducing their life expectancy but, in the end, they ignore the facts.

Historical Facts

The popularity for smoking tobacco and using tobacco products began long back in ancient history.

Tobacco smoking began in South America and Mesoamerica a long way back in the years 5000-3000 BCE.

The first-ever recorded tobacco smoker in England was a sailor in Bristol. He was first seen smoking in the year 1556.

Tobacco was first raised as a cash crop in the year 1612 by John Rolfe, an English settler in North America.

The first-ever anti-smoking campaign was held in the year 1920 after a few German scientists identified that smoking could cause lung cancer.

Adolf Hitler is known to have quit smoking during the Great Depression. He thought he was wasting money by smoking.

After Hitler stopped smoking, a movement was started in Germany according to which women who smoked were viewed as unsuitable to become wives and mothers.

Substances And Equipment

People should be aware of the various substances in tobacco products and the equipment made for smoking.

The smoke produced from tobacco burning has thousands of chemicals, out of which 70 are cancer-causing chemicals.

The most common substances in tobacco smoke include carbon-monoxide, ammonia, arsenic, nicotine, lead, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde. Most of these are known to cause cancer.

Smoke from tobacco contains polonium-210, which is a radioactive element, and this has been shown to cause lung cancer.

Many cigarette companies mix flavoring substances like menthol into their cigarettes, and claim them to be safer than regular cigarettes, but in reality, they are equally dangerous.

Snus is a smokeless tobacco product with lesser nicotine and chemical levels but has been confirmed to be equally addictive and is a contributing cause of cancer.

Another form of smokeless tobacco is dissolvable products that are chewed or tucked in the mouth until it dissolves, but this also contains harmful chemicals.

There is tobacco heating equipment available in markets that do not burn the tobacco inside but instead just release nicotine and other chemicals in the tobacco, which is then inhaled. The level of chemicals is lower than traditional cigarettes but still is not considered safe.

Today electronic cigarettes are the most popular among young people. While they are accepted as less harmful alternatives, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine and a few toxic chemicals.

Health Effect And Prevention

All tobacco products have adverse health effects on your body. Although with time and treatment, the addiction is curable, the diseases caused by tobacco use can stay longer or sometimes, forever.

Heart diseases common in smokers include several types of conditions, but the most common is coronary heart disease.

Coronary heard disease causes blood vessels to narrowing up, resulting in chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, or arrhythmia.

The next effect is a stroke. Here blood supply to the brain is disrupted, thereby causing the brain tissues to die.

This condition causes memory loss, weakness in muscles, speaking troubles, and in extreme cases, paralysis or even death.

To prevent these conditions, first, one needs to quit smoking and tobacco use and then try maintaining a healthy lifestyle by including regular exercise and healthy eating.

Almost all body parts are susceptible to cancer or tumor because of tobacco use.

Tobacco products contain poisonous chemicals that destroy your immunity system and a cell's DNA.

You can cut down the chances of any cancer but, most significantly, lung cancer by 50% within 5 -10 years of quitting tobacco smoking.

Smoking tobacco products causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes conditions like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.

The sure shot way to prevent COPD is by abstaining from smoking or quitting if you have already started, and also try and prevent the inhalation of secondhand tobacco smoke if you are a non-smoker.

Women smokers face difficulties in becoming pregnant.

Studies show a direct link between pregnancy miscarriages and mothers who smoke tobacco.

Babies exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, and babies whose mothers smoke, are more susceptible to die due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

To prevent pregnancy issues and SIDS, mothers need to stop smoking. Non-smokers need to stay away from tobacco smoke, and babies are also required to be kept away from secondhand tobacco smoke.

Smoking tobacco may also lead to tuberculosis, eye diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and middle ear disease.

Tobacco use lowers your life expectancy by multiple folds.

Society And Culture

Societies and culture play an important role in most aspects of life. They tend to influence lifestyles, and smoking is no different. Here are some facts regarding the same.

Under most major religions, smoking is widely discouraged. They don't prohibit smoking but try to discourage people from indulging in it.

Native Americans practice ceremonial tobacco smoking using a ceremonial sacred pipe, and they believe the smoke carries prayers.

The society people live in is considered to be an influence and a major determinant factor for smoking.

Young adults who live in societies where tobacco use is encouraged by peers or even family members and where tobacco is widely available tend to start smoking at an early age.

Adolescents and young adults are easily dragged towards smoking due to lower self-esteem and a diminished self-image.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

There are numerous facts about smoking that are not known to the world today. Here are a few of them.

Most people dying from tobacco-related deaths occur in low and middle-level income countries.

Low and middle-level income countries are the highest targets of tobacco marketing.

Pollution levels in indoor smoking areas are higher than busy roads and firestorms.

 The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control took effect in 2005, and this was the first-ever public health treaty.


How harmful is smoking?

Smoking is known to have the significant negative impacts on your health and your body, thereby causing more than 15 diseases involving almost every part of your body. Around 8 million people die due to smoking every year, out of which around 1.2 million die from just inhaling secondhand smoke.

Why is smoking addictive?

A chemical named dopamine is released when nicotine from tobacco products enters the brain, and this chemical temporarily makes the person feel good. Tobacco smoke is known to be the fastest way for nicotine to reach your brain, and immediately when the dopamine levels start reducing, the urge for cigarette smoking increases. This is what makes cigarette smoking so addictive.

How does smoking affect your brain?

The brains of smokers are affected in four different ways. First is loss of brain volume, which thereby causes the second and third problems, namely dementia and cognitive decline. Dementia means a reduction in behavior, thinking, memory, and disability to perform everyday activities. Cognitive decline symptoms include apathy, anxiety, delusions, personality change, depression, and hallucinations. Fourth, Smokers also have an increased risk of developing brain cancer.

Do cigarettes lower IQ?

Cigarette smoke affects your brain, causing symptoms like reduced thinking and memory power, disabilities in performing daily activities, and apathy. These symptoms do prove that smokers have lower IQ levels.

Does smoking cause anger issues?

Anger issues are caused in smokers mostly when they are trying to quit tobacco smoking because withdrawal from nicotine addiction causes anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and insomnia.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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