Health complications of smoking

Health complications of smoking

Smoking is the process of inhaling smoking burning from cigarettes. Users of cigarettes develop the habit of smoking until they cannot do without it. They end up getting addicted to smoking just like the other drugs. Users of cigarettes dig for stimulatory chemicals. An example of such chemicals is nicotine. It is unfortunate that smokers are not aware or are aware but assume the adverse effects of the activity. The activity result to complications in the human body. One example of these complications affects the heart system.

Let us illustrate how one of the health complications caused by smoking affects the body. Smoking involves to burning of carbon substances in the presence of air. The substances contain carbon compounds. Oxygen is used to burn the compounds to release carbon dioxide. The gas is injected into the blood system. When there is incomplete burning due to insufficient oxygen, a different gas is produced. Incomplete burning of carbon compounds result in production of carbon monoxide. Similarly, the gas is injected into the blood stream. In blood system, oxygen is transported by a protein substance called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin has affinity for oxygen in the blood stream and engulfs it to form another oxyhemoglobin. The problem comes when it comes to competition for hemoglobin. Carbon monoxide has 80 times more affinity to hemoglobin than oxygen. As a result hemoglobin binds carbon monoxide to form carboxyhemoglobin. The existence of carboxyhemoglobin in the blood system causes clotting of blood as well as high blood pressure and coronary artery diseases. This denies the body of accessibility to oxygen hence causes health complications. Some of the organs affected by smoking are lungs, cervix, kidney, and pancreas among others. These are just a few examples of the effects of smoking.

CDC statistics reveal that, in United States of America, approximately 42.1 million people smoke. This represents about 18.1% of people above 18 years old. In addition, about 16 million people are affected by smoking either directly or indirectly. It is sad that the U.S looses 480,000 people succumbing to effects of smoking every year. The leading age bracket that smoke is people falling between the ages 25 and 44 years. This makes up 21.8% of the total smoking population. The leading smoking race is American Indians/Alaska natives where by 21.8% of them smoke. In terms of education levels, those who hold GDE diploma constitute the highest proportion of smokers at 41.9% followed by adults with no diploma at 24.7%. It was also found that 27.9% of people living below the poverty level smoke in comparison to 17% of those living above the poverty level. The victims of the activity are aware of the problems caused by smoking. It is upon them to make a critical decision for the interest of their health. However, ignorance has made them not agree that the behavior is unhealthy and it is high time they dropped it. According to me, proper sensitization has not been done to inform the society on the need stop smoking.

As I had mentioned earlier, the country loses about 480000 individuals to effects of smoking of tobacco every year. The victims of the activity also cost the country a lot of money. Every year, the United States uses $96 billion on medical cost of smoking related illness. This money could be diverted to development expenditures rather than being used in preventable recurrent expenditure. There are also losses incurred that are attributed to cigarette smoking. The amount lost in productivity every year amount to $97 billion. The effects even extend to non users. Out of the deaths occurring every year due to smoking, 49000 of them are from exposure to second hand smoke. This means that smoking is an environmental hazard that is also contributing to depletion of the ozone layer.

As I had mentioned earlier, smoking causes a lot of smoking is harmful to human health. It causes cancer of many organs. It has been studied that there is a relationship between smoking and decreased bone density. In the study, it was established that smoking causes osteoporosis. This is a state where bones become weak and susceptible to fracture. Women are more problem to this condition than men. When women smoke at an early age, the level of the hormone estrogen gets lowered. As a result, they go through their menopause earlier hence increasing the risk getting osteoporosis. There are over 4800 chemicals that result from smoking. The chemicals are very harmful to the blood cells of human beings and leads damaging of the function of the heart. Smoking causes building up of waxy substances in the arteries. This is a disease called atherosclerosis. It leads to the expansion and bulging out of blood vessels which can cause death. This condition is called aneurysms. When wax build up in the arteries, coronary heart disease is developed. Smoking can also result to stroke which is a sudden death of brain cells that arise from bleeding or clotting of blood due to accumulation of carbon monoxide in the blood stream. Injecting nicotine into the blood stream can change the chemistry of the blood. This may damage blood vessels because the vessels react with chemicals from the smoke to change their chemical structures. The blood vessels get thick. The thick cross-sectional area causes the heart system to increase pressure in order to meet the demand for body requirements. The high pressure of pumping is the cause of high blood pressure which can lead to death.

Smoking is harmful to the respiratory system. Though the effects do not come immediately, they are progressive, slow but deadly. The body has a respiratory maintenance system. The respiratory organs are continuously cleansed using the mucus produced from respiratory tubules. The mucus and traps dirt and any disease causing microorganisms. Cilia then sweep away the mucus. However, this cleaning process is impaired by smoking. Smoking slows down the beating of the cilia. After sometimes, the cilia get paralyzed not able to perform the function. It then disappears. The user then starts coughing when cilia have been lost. The coughing comes in to perform the function of cilia. The victim coughs the mucus out due to the absence of the cilia. Consequently, excess mucus is produced by the body. Production of excess mucus has the effect of clogging the air passageway. The situation eases the effort by pathogenic microorganisms to access respiratory surface. The congestion of the respiratory tract favors the growth of harmful microorganisms. The environment also favors lethal reactions within the respiratory system which worsens the situation. The destruction of respiratory cilia leads to development of chronic bronchitis. Excessive production of mucus leads to its accumulation in the tract which makes the linings of bronchioles thicken. As a result, breathing becomes difficult. What follows is a condition called emphysema. This is a situation where the bronchioles lose elasticity making it difficult sustain pressure from the alveoli. It leads to the rupture of alveoli walls. The bursting of the alveoli comes along with such complications as wheezing, fatigue, impaired breathing, and cough. The changes in the structure of the respiratory organs farther results to cancer. This happens when rapid multiplication of the cells of the bronchial lining to take the place of ciliated cells. At this point, they adopt nuclei that look like those of cancerous cells. The situation can be dealt with if treatment is administered on time. Otherwise, the cells can penetrate the base membrane and start multiplying in the lung tissue leading to the formation of a tumor. It is said that 80% of lung cancer cases are as a result of smoking.

Some of the cases involving low weight babies have been attributed to smoking. Some women smoke even when they are pregnant. About 25% of low-birth weight babies are as a result of smoking in women. Smoking has resulted to babies being born before the maturity period of pregnancy. This has accounted for about 14% of preterm births. In addition, 10% of infant death is due to smoking. This occurs when expectant mothers smoke while they are pregnant. Consequently, the baby acquires health complications from the mother. More men smoke than women, but the number of women who smoke is alarming. This is especially awkward when they do it while they are expectant. A survey conducted in 2005 showed that 10.7% of pregnant women smoke. This is though a fall in the percentage from 45% in 1990. In U.S, it is approximated that $366 million is attributed to neonatal health-care every year as a result of smoking.

Smoking of cigarette does not stand on its own; it is promoted by other factors. Smoking is passed on from one generation to the other. Some individuals get induced to smoke cigarette because they see others doing so. This can be explained by behavioral theories that associate environment with ones behavior. Secondly, peer pressures among the youth promote cigarette smoking. The youth collectively indulge in drug abuse thereby getting addicted to the drugs. This especially happens among students when they are way from parental control. Next, ignorance about the effects of cigarette smoking also promotes it. People are not informed about how dangerous smoking is to their lives. Those who get informed ignore the information because they do not understand the need for health education. The government does not take proper actions to mitigate the activity. The regulations on smoking are not very strict and still permit cigarette smoking though not in public. Specific places have been set aside for smoking not knowing that this does very little to control the situation. Users still continue smoking though in the specific places. I think this does not solve the problem. The users are still exposed to the effects and the smoke also diffuse to other places.

It is important to note that smoke does not only come from actual smoking of cigarette. It can come from the environment where one is. The characteristics of smoke that makes it able to diffuse from one place to another makes it possible to include a lot of substances in the smoke group. Some of these substances affect the body in the similar way that tobacco does. In addition, the effects of smoke from a tobacco used by one person can affect the next person. This explains why smoking in public has been banned. The passive inhalation of smoke is called secondhand smoking. In the U.S, about 3000 lung cancer deaths every year are due to exposure to secondhand smoke.

Some cigarettes are called light cigarettes, with the deception that they do not have health implications. There is no safe cigarette. Some also think that menthol cigarettes are the safest which is not true so long as it produces smoke. The government appreciates the users of tobacco and does not set strict regulations on them. One of the regulations on smoking is that one can smoke so long as he or she is 18 years and over. The manufacturers are obliged to include it on the drugs. The government makes an attempt of discouraging consumption of the drug by imposing heavy taxation on the product. Regulation promoting consumption of the product is that which sets aside specific places for smoking.

Though production of the product benefits the related stakeholders such as farmers, manufacturers, and sellers, the government should totally discourage its consumption. The punishment on crimes associated with smoking should be encouraged. The government has the responsibility of taking care of every citizen. Therefore, it should not hesitate in enacting laws that illegalize consumption of tobacco. The users are stubborn despite the health education that they are given to discourage them from smoking. The stakeholders who economically benefit from the product can divert to other sources of income.