A review of US Department of Health And Human Services report on “The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 years of progress.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The health Consequences of smoking- 50 years of Progress. A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2015 May 10].
Smoking causes enormous harm to an individual’s health. There is no safe way to smoke, replacing cigarette with Cigar, hookar or even cigar cannot help one avoid risks that comes with smoking. This is because cigarettes contain 600 ingredients, which dissociates to 7000 chemicals when burnt. Many of the chemicals which are produced in the event of smoking are poisonous and have been associated with a number of diseases and health conditions. The largest particles in the smoke of a cigarette that collects at the points where the lungs branches are tar and nicotine. Tar has carcinogen that has been highly associated with the cancer of the lungs. The chemicals and irritants from the smoke collect in the air sacs thus causing damage to the air sacs. This puts an individual’s health at risk since this is the very point where oxygen is absorbedin the body. Absorption and transportation of the chemicals found in the smoke into the body results to many health related complications.
Despite the results of smoking on an individual’s health being known to many, a substantial a number of people still engage in the act, a fact that has caused more deaths. U.S .Department of Health And Human Services notes that smoking is the world’s leading cause of deaths that results from chronic and pulmonary related diseases.
In the United States for instance, smoking is the principal cause of preventable diseases. The deaths have forced the American Government to put in place initiatives that will help to control consumption of tobacco. The control will not only help in promoting the welfare of the smokers but also protected the non-smokers from secondary effects of smoking.
According to U.S .Department of Health and Human Services smoking enormous consequences on both active and passive smokers. Some of the effects include:
Addiction to nicotine
Nicotine is a mood altering ingredient that is found in tobacco. When then an individual smokes, the chemical reaches the brain in a flash of a second. Ingredients found in the nicotine stimulate the central nervous system a fact that will make an individual feel relaxed and energized. Addiction will come when an individual craves for more Cigars and will also feel a bit tired. The habit begins to form to a level where one cannot do without the smoke. Addiction also causes weakens ones sense of taste, smell and appetite. An addict needs more nicotine to regain normal operations of the nervous system. In addition, the human body has Corticosterone, and hormone helps in controlling stress. The hormone lowers the effects of nicotine a fact that makes one to crave for cigarette whenever he is under stress. Withdrawal from smoking can impair an individual’s cognitive functioning thus making him feel depressed, exhausted, or irritated. Sleeping problems and headache are other effects that come with addiction to nicotine in the event of withdrawal.
Smoking has been found to be the leading cause of chronic Obstructive pulmonary diseases. U.S .Department of Health and Human Services argues that deposition and absorption of the inhaled smoke together with its components takes place in the lungs. The smoke deposit causes various effects to the respiratory system like Malignant and nonmalignant diseases, respiration infections.
Continuous smoking hinders the capacity of the lungs to filter out harmful chemicals that enters the body through the lungs. Coughing which is the most efficient way of clearing toxic substances from the lungs is rendered ineffective among regular smokers. This is because the toxins are trapped in the lungs thus exposing them to high-risk contracting respiratory infections like flu and colds compared to those who do not smoke. Conversely, smoking causes emphysema, a condition that makes air sacks in the lungs to be destroyed. The lungs also becomes inflamed making smokers to be at risk of contracting bronchitis and lung cancer if the habit continuous for a longer period.
Withdrawal from the use of tobacco to people with the mentioned conditions can cause respiratory pain and congestion as the lungs starts to clean out. Furthermore, those children whose parents smoke are at an elevated risk of suffering from pneumonia and bronchitis unlike those whose parents do not smoke.
Reproductive system and sensuality
Chemicals found in the smoke causes restrictions in the flow of blood to the genital parts. In men especially, restricted flow of blood can affect the ability of a man to get an erection. Toxic substances from smoke can alter genetic makeup of the sperms which can lead to infertility or deformities in the genetic composition of the child notes that people who smoke are at risk of being infertile as smoking makes it difficult for one to achieve an orgasm. On the other hand, those women who smoke are likely to reach menopause at a younger age than those who don’t smoke at all. Early menopause has been for a long time associated with high prevalence’s on cervical cancer among women.
During pregnancy, smoking may have dangerous effects on both the baby and the mother. Chemical substances found in the smoke are absorbed into the blood stream which the only source of food and oxygen to the infant. Moreover, nicotine and carbon monoxide, which are found in the smoke, lowers the availability of oxygen both to the unborn baby and the mother. This has resulted to serious complications like premature delivery, stillbirth, and delivering of a child with little weight.
Effects on the digestive system
Conditions related to oral problem are synonymous with regular smokers. Constant use of tobacco can cause periodontitis or gum inflammation. The problem can lead to a bad breath, tooth decay, or even tooth loss. Smoke also increases prevalence of cancer of the mouth, pancreas and kidney. Insulin resistance is another phenomenon associated with smoking of tobacco thus exposing the users to high risk of type 2 of diabetes. Depression which is another side effect of smoking has adverse effects on the loss of appetite a fact that can make a smokers body to lack essential nutrients a condition that may precipitate to nutrition deficiency diseases. Nausea is also another condition that is highly associated with tobacco.
Impact on the cardiovascular system
The entire cardiovascular system is damaged by smoking. When nicotine enters the body, it tends to boost the sugar in the blood. The chemicals in the smoke make an individual to feel tired and crave for more puffs. Nicotine which is contained in the cigarette causes the blood vessels to tighten thus restricting the flow of the blood in the body. The condition may increase the pressure of the blood and a reduction in the good cholesterol. The stretching of the vessels can cause the buildup of cholesterol and stretching of the arteries thus raising the risks of formation of the blood clots in the vessels. Clotting of the blood and weakening of the blood channels in the brain because of the smoke increase risks on one getting stroke. Furthermore, those smokers who have undergone heart surgery are at high risk of recurrent of the condition.
Non-smokers have also not been spared in the utilization of tobacco. U.S .Department of Health and Human Services highlights that contact with used smoke increases one’s chances of contracting cardiovascular related diseases by about 25-30%.A significant number of lives has been lost through secondary exposure to smoke. Nonsmokers are at risk of getting coronary heart diseases and stroke. Those who smoke in long-term are also at risk of getting the cancer of the blood.
A rise in the number of people who are affected by the secondary smoke has forced the government to enact laws, which inhibits smoking in public places. The law also prohibits smoking in areas where we have children like schools and children. Furthermore, special secluded areas have been designated by the government where those people who smoke can visit and smoke freely. Those found breaching the state regulations on smoking are liable for imprisonment or fine. The strategy has played a crucial role in reducing the number of people suffering from secondary effects of the cigarette.
Effects of smoking on Hair skin and nails
The most visible signs of smoking are always evident on the skin. Chemical substances in the smoke have adverse effect on the structure of an individual’s skin. Actually, smoking causes discoloration of the skin, premature ageing and wrinkles. The fingernails and the skin of the fingers will get stains in the event of prolonged use of the cigarette. Furthermore, smoking also makes smokers to develop brown or yellow stains on the teeth. The hair also retains the smell of the tobacco for long hours even after putting the cigarette out. The smell might also cling on the nonsmokers in the event that they come in contact with a smoker a fact that may occasion respiratory discomfort.
When an individual smokes, less blood which carries oxygen flows to the body muscles. The muscles of the body begin to deteriorate since they cannot build up easily.
Some of the ingredients found in the smoke hinder natural development of the bones. This is because the body becomes unable to develop new tissues compared to the rate at which the older tissues get worn out. With time, smoking results to the reduction in the density of the bones as a result of the thinning of the muscles of the body. The condition makes the bones to become brittle and weak. U.S .Department of Health and Human Services reports that those people who smoke have high tendencies of bone fractures compared to those who do not smoke. Moreover, in the event of the bone fracture, nonsmokers take the least time to heal then smokers.