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Smoking Has Dangerous Effects On Your Health
Cigarette smoking is surely one of the strangest of human behaviors. It is preposterous that numerous adults and youths, regularly perform a grotesque act which is unnecessary for the maintenance of life. This is an act which is acknowledged even by the adherents to be harmful to health and even distasteful. The ubiquity of cigarette smoking in the face of vigorous proscription is mindboggling. Jacob Baide, a Jesuit Priest, asked in an anti-tobacco tract published in Nuremberg in 1658, “What difference is there between a smoker and a suicide except that one takes longer to kill himself than the other.”
But despite all the dangers of smoking, it is terrifying that many men and women are taking to smoking. Reasons for smoking are influenced by a complex interplay of differing factors from social, sensory and pharmacological sources. Cigarette smoking behavior is prevalent among mostly men,’ liberated’ women, some mischievous youths and harlots.
For our libbers, it gives them the false image of sophistication and success. For the harlots it is a market strategy to attract attention. For the youths, it makes them acceptable in their social circle, and for the men, most of them had developed the habit in the youthful days, and had been unable to break it.
There is prolific anecdotal evidence of smoking when people are uncertain, anxious, angry and excited. The rituals of smoking, taste and aroma soon become very important to some. And advertisements for cigarettes lay greater emphasis on the taste and flavor of brands and manufacturers even employ panels of trained blenders similar to those used in assessing the acceptability of different brands of tea or coffee.
The British Medical Association have called on their government to ban all advertising and sports sponsorship by tobacco firms to shield children from pressure to start smoking. Because once a person starts smoking, the smoker becomes to some extent pharmacologically involved in smoking and a large number of people progress along a continuum from habit to dependence.
The association between smoking and diseases has been widely accepted for many years even by smokers themselves. Yet despite the generally accepted view that smoking is a form of ‘slow motion’ suicide, the proportion of the population smoking is increasing daily. Medical experts have said that cigarette is a means of nicotine self-administration, and that some smokers take into their bodies quantities of the drug is sufficient to have important effects on brain and behavior.
Pregnant women are always advised to abstain from smoking so as not to jeopardise the health of their babies. In cases where they cannot give up smoking, they are advised to reduce their cigarette consumption. Raymond Pearl, Professor of Biology at John Hopkins University in 1938 indicated the link between non-smoking and longevity. Whereas only 46 percent of heavy smokers lived beyond 60 years of age, this was true of 67 percent of non-smokers.
Tobacco smoking has been implicated in a range of diseases, including cancer of the oral cavity, laryna, pharynx, oesophagus, and bladder, coronary heart disease, bronchitis and emphysema. From the incandescent tip of a lighted cigarette, the smoker with each puff draws into his mouth a lot of gases and many particles. Much evidence suggest that starting to smoke is related to parents, siblings and peers.
A survey of over 1600 adolescents carried out in 1969 on behalf of American Cancer Society (Mauser and Platt 1971) showed that smokers constituted 32 percent of the teenage children of mothers who smoked, compared with only 23 percent of the children of non-smoking mothers. Although, having a father who smoked influenced also show the likelihood of teenage smoking to a similar extent.
British Medical Association also said that more than 100,000 persons die in the country each year as a result of cigarette smoking and that 40 percent of heavy smokers died before the age of retirement compared with only 15 percent of non-smokers. A survey carried out in Britain has shown that smoking in the home might increase the frequency of coughing of children. While United States Department of Health and Human Services said, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in United States.” Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has also been decrying the excessive smoking in the country.
“Smoking causes more deaths each year than all of these combined:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
- Illegal drug use.
- Alcohol use.
- Firearm-related incidents” Source: Mokdad A.H., Marks J.S., Stroup D.F., Gerberding J.L. Actual Causes of Death in the United States. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association 2004: 291(10) 1238-45).
Smoking is a behavior governed by a learned disposition to act in a certain way –the tendency having been acquired by frequent repetition of the act. It could become compulsive. It is common for those with compulsive disorders to recognize that the nature of their compulsion is foolish and dangerous but for this rational appreciation of the consequences to have no power to prevent the behavior. The sense of compulsion usually overrides internal resistance.
A woman who smokes has this to say, “I smoke because I want to smoke. Nobody tells me what to do with my life. I know that smoking is detrimental to my health, but that is my business.”
Tobacco industry has always promptly responded to any adverse change in their marketing audience. Also they averted legislative measures which might seriously affected it profitability. Many cigarette manufacturing companies have expended considerable effort on attempts to design cigarette with filter which carry a lower associated health risk than the former ones without filter. Some of them too have claimed to have reduced the tar and nicotine of their products.
Smoking like alcoholism and phobias can be considered a maladaptive learned response. As a result, it is amendable to the various techniques of behavior modification which have proved useful in the treatment of certain psychiatric disorders and anti-social behavior. Drugs of one form or another have been used in attempt to help people give up smoking.
Another method of stopping smoking is by Auto-suggestion. Tell yourself every day that smoking is not good for you. If you practice for some time you will get result depending on how sincere you are in the mind to stop smoking. This method might sound too simple but remember that the irresistible urge to smoke is from within and your cure has to come from within.
If you are already smoking, try to give it up, but for those who are yet to start, don’t give it a try. It is not worth the effort. The ultimate end is self-destruction. Your money could be better spent on more worthwhile things to make you look more desirable and your life more purposeful. The impression that smoking is a measure of sophistication is erroneous.