Hazards of Smoking Cigarettes
Over the years, smoking among men and women has been a major concern in our communities. Cigarette smoking is addictive and extremely dangerous to the health of smokers. Studies conducted throughout the world have revealed very important details about risks associated with smoking. Smoking affects nearly all organs of the body, reduces the health of the smoker, and causes numerous diseases (Aryal & Bhatta, 2015). Although smoking cigarettes may seem harmless to some, it can be deadlier than certain illnesses, or diseases that Americans face every day.
In the United States, the risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased in the past 50 years in both men and women. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of deaths in the United States and the whole world. It accounts for nearly half a million deaths annually in the United States (Aryal & Bhatta, 2015). Other major causes of deaths include HIV, alcohol-related diseases, fire-arm related causes, motor vehicles injuries, and illegal drugs use. Studies show that smoking causes more deaths than a combination of these other causes. Smoking is responsible for a great number of premature deaths in the United States. The number is estimated to be 10 times greater than that of people who died in wars throughout U.S. history (Aryal & Bhatta, 2015). Smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer in both men and women. It accounts for about 90 percent of the lung cancer cases. This means that 9 out of every 10 cases are related to cigarette smoking. The number of women that die of lung cancer associated with smoking is far greater than of those that die of breast cancer. Smoking is a major of cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. It is responsible for about 80% of the cases in the United States.
The risk of developing chronic diseases is higher in smokers than in non-smokers. Smokers are at a greater jeopardy of developing diseases such as heart diseases, lung cancer, and stroke. The risk of developing the coronary disease for smokers is estimated to be 2-4 times higher than for non-smokers. Studies show that male smokers have greater chances of developing lung cancer (Arnold, 2014). Men smokers are 25 times at risk of developing cancer than their non-smoking counterparts. Women smokers have 25.7 times more risk of developing lung cancer than their non-smoking counterparts (Neovius, Neovius, & Rasmussen, 2010). Smoking is a chief cause of cardiovascular diseases in the United States. It affects the heart and blood vessels. The coronary heart disease and stroke are some of the deadly diseases in this category. They are among the leading causes of death in the United States. Smoking damages the blood vessels. They grow narrower, hence restricting blood flows. The blood pressure increases and sometimes blood clots occur. A stroke occurs when a blood clot prevents blood from reaching some parts of the brain. It may also be an outcome of blood not reaching other organs such as skin or legs due to a blood clot or bursting of blood vessels (Neovius, Neovius, & Rasmussen, 2010).
Smoking is the number one cause of respiratory diseases. It leads to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. These are incurable diseases that affect the lungs. They affect the airways and alveoli. The diseases are characterized by airflow limitation in and out of the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are some of the diseases in this category. Emphysema makes the alveoli weak and full of mucus (Arnold, 2014). Breathing becomes difficult. The air sacs eventually burst and leave holes in the lungs. The holes trap air into the lungs. Smoking is the major cause of this disorder. Concerning chronic bronchitis, this disease affects the airways. They become inflammatory and start producing mucus. The effect cannot be reversed unlike in acute bronchitis. For asthmatic smokers, it can easily trigger attacks (Rostron, 2012). Smoking is the leading cause of cancer in all body organs. It increases the risk of developing cancer of the cervix, blood, esophagus, rectum, pancreas, stomach, and many other organs. Smoking causes many health-related problems. Infertility in men is one of these problems (Schroeder, 2013). It affects the sperms that can lead to miscarriages. Regarding women smokers, it affects their health such that it becomes hard for them to conceive. It leads to effects such as stillbirths, preterm deliveries, low birth weight and orofacial clefts among many other effects (Schroeder, 2013). Smokers have a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is hard to control. Smokers have 30-40 percent higher risk of developing diabetes compared to their non-smoking counterparts. Moreover, smoking leads to the development of cataracts in the smoker’s eyes. This is the clouding of the eye-lenses that makes it hard for the eye to see properly. Furthermore, smoking affects the gum and teeth. It is responsible for teeth loss and sometimes gum cancer. It also causes body inflammation and affects the body immune system decreasing its function. It leads to the growth of weak bones (Rostron, 2012). This affects women past the child-bearing age. It leads to greater risks of broken bones at advanced ages.
Smoking does serious harm to the body organs. It is the greatest cause of death that is preventable. The remedy to the problem is to quit smoking. Many diseases associated with smoking can be reduced. Quitting smoking significantly reduces the risks. Though chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and cancer are hard to treat, they can be controlled. This means that many deaths can be controlled too.