It is a shocking fact that most smokers are young people, not the old people. Not that the elderly people do not smoke, but because smokers do not live to a ripe age as smoking sends them to the grave before they reach old age. Moreover, the decision to smoke is not actively made with every single puff that a smoker takes, but it only made during the first innocent puff, after which the addiction of nicotine keeps demanding more and more. Before one realises it, you are an addict. It is concerning this that I advise that smoking should be avoided at all costs.
Cigarettes contain more than four thousand chemicals in which ten percent of these are carcinogenic (Beckett 10). The most lethal of these are tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. When one is smoking, these chemicals are actively absorbed in the body, leading to various illnesses and complications. Many of the chemicals are carcinogenic, exposing the smoker to various kinds of tumours that affect the mouth, throat, tongue, lungs and the rest of the respiratory systems. The most chronic of these is lung cancer, which in ninety percent of patients it is caused by smoking. The effect of inhaling carbon dioxide is that it affects the circulation of blood in the body, making the smoker less conscious and less active. This reduces productivity. Smoking is thus a slow way to commit suicide.
The effects of smoking are not restricted to active smokers, but to the passive smokers who bear the blunt of side stream smoke. This is worse when smoking is done in an enclosed space like in cars, houses or in social gathering places. The smoke, which the passive smoker gets, is not filtered but goes into the body systems in high concentration. The passive smoker is therefore, exposed to a higher dosage of nicotine than even the active smoker (Shephard 50). This is the plight in families where when one parent is a smoker, technically, the whole family smokes!
The financial implication that comes with smoking is greater than one can imagine. Although the cost to an individual smoker is quite low, the overall cost is quite alarming considering that the person will smoke for a long time (Elders 160). Many spend thousands of dollars every year on cigarettes. The biggest burden comes to the federal government on the cost that is spent in treating diseases and other complications that are associated with smoking. In the year 1998, the total amount of money lost due to smoking or spent in treatment of associated illnesses totalled to one hundred and sixty nine billion dollars. This is three times the annual budget of the Department of Homeland Security.
Those in support smoking argue from the financial perspective that the tobacco industry supports millions of people in direct and indirect forms of employments. While this is true, the billions being spent to counter the effects of smoking is even higher than this perceived benefit. Why then should we provide employment by killing people? There can other this cannot be justified in any way. The cigarette industries claim that smoking is restricted only to adults, who can make their own decisions, but the smokers are addicted and are unable to make a rational choice whether to drink or not.
Whether one should stop smoking or not is not the question but it is on when to do it. The time to stop smoking is now. Several medications can be used to aid one to quit smoking, and are available over the counter (Britton 8). However, the best and the most effective way are through a rehabilitation program. There is no need for anyone to face a myriad of illnesses, spend thousands of dollars and pose a danger to others in the act of smoking. It is the time we should stand up and avoid smoking at all costs.
Beckett, Wendy. Quitting Smoking for life. Sydney: Pascal Press, 2004.
Britton, John. ABC of Smoking Cessation. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.
Elders, Jocelyn. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People: A Report of the Surgeon General. New York: DIANE Publishing, 1994.
Shephard, Roy. The Risks of Passive Smoking. London: Taylor & Francis, 1982.