Impact of Smoking on the U.S

Tobacco Basics

  • Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that is grown in warm climates. It can be smoked in a cigarette, pipe, or cigar. It can be chewed (called smokeless tobacco or chewing tobacco) or sniffed through the nose (called snuff).
  • There are over 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette.

  • Thousands of young people start smoking every day.More than 3,800 persons younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette and about  about 1,000 persons younger than 18 years of age begin smoking on a daily basis, each day.

  • Carcinogens are agents that can cause cancer. A cigarette contains at least 43 carcinogens.

Effects of Smoking

  • Can make a person’s asthma worse.
  • Reduced physical fitness 
  • Vision problems like cataracts 
  • Lose sense of smell and taste 
  • Increased risk for cancers like lung cancer, esophagus, pancreas, etc. 
  • More likely to use alcohol and illegal drugs
  • More likely to show acts of aggression (like fighting, carrying weapons, etc.)
  • Diseases that can result from smoking: COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s used to describe damage resulting in airflow restriction. It consists of two conditions: Chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
  • Chronic bronchitis: a chronic inflammatory condition in the lungs that causes the respiratory passages to be swollen and irritated, increases the mucus production and damages the lungs.
  • Emphysema: The walls between the tiny grape-shaped air sacs or alveoli are damaged and break down. They then form into much larger airspaces and there is less surface for gas exchange, so oxygen intake is less and the person feels breathless.
  • (stats on smoking)
  • Cigarettes don’t have as many toxic ingredients as tobacco based cigarettes, because  they simply break down nicotine in a chamber in the battery powered “cigarette”. But it still gets people addicted. Some views by experts: 1) Since they come in different flavors, and anyone can buy them, younger people may be tempted to try them. They may be safer, but it will still get the teenagers addicted to nicotine. 2) Most cartridges leaked onto people’s hands and all were defective in some way. Unsubstantiated health claims were found on many of the company websites and print materials. One says they put vitamins in their e-cigarettes. 3) The researchers also found evidence that vaping reduces cravings among smokers, not just for nicotine but also for the need to hold something in their hands and put something in their mouths -- making the devices more appealing to them than patches or gum.

Second Hand Smoke

  • Second-hand smoke: Environmental tobacco smoke that is inhaled involuntarily or passively by someone who is not smoking.
  • smoke not inhaled: smoke from a cigarette or cigar that the smoker does not inhale
  • Vaporous byproduct of burning tobacco products that is purposely taken into the lungs through the mouth.
  • Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because they are still developing physically, have higher breathing rates than adults, and have little control over their indoor environments. Children exposed to high doses of secondhand smoke, such as those whose mothers smoke, run the greatest relative risk of experiencing damaging health effects. 

Addictive Potential!

  • nicotine is the addictive chemical in cigarettes
  • Cigarettes have nicotine increases the heart rate by flooding the bloodstream with carbon monoxide. The addictive quality of nicotine causes the body to crave the continued adrenaline rush. A state of heightened awareness results from the activation of the brain's pleasure center. Stimulation and relaxation occur as a person's heart rate increases and her lungs fill with carbon monoxide. Eventually, smokers require the addicting effects of nicotine to wake, fall asleep, concentrate, manage stress, socialize and regulate the digestive system.
  • Symptoms can include headaches, irritability, nausea, decreasing heart rate and blood pressure, depression, anxiety and, as expected, cravings for tobacco.
  • Approximately 69% of smokers want to quit completely.


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