Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. It’s one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Cigarette smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people.
Many smokers begin smoking in social settings. The offering and sharing of cigarettes is often an important rite of initiation or simply a good excuse to start a conversation with strangers in many settings; in bars, night clubs or at work.
People start smoking for a variety of different reasons. Some think it looks cool. Others start because their family members or friends smoke. Statistics show that about 9 out of 10 tobacco users start before they’re 18 years old. Most adults who started smoking in their teens never expected to become addicted.
Worldwide, about 1.35 billion people smoke. The world population statistic in 2009 stood at 6.8 billion meaning almost 20% of the world’s population smokes. Smoking is a hard habit to break because tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. The body and mind quickly become so used to the nicotine in tobacco that a person needs to have it just to feel normal.
The nicotine in cigarette smoke causes the release of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. When the level of dopamine in the brain is increased, a person experiences feelings of extreme pleasure and contentment. In order to sustain these feelings, the level of nicotine in the body must remain constant; a smoker becomes dependent on the good feelings caused by the release of dopamine and thus becomes addicted to nicotine.
Effects of Smoking
The effects of smoking on human health are serious and in many cases, deadly. There are approximately 4.000 chemicals in cigarettes, hundreds of which are toxic. Your smoke is also bad for other people - secondhand smokers can get many of the same health problems as smokers do.
Tobacco smoke is one of the leading causes of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in the world. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema.
Smoking also contributes to a number of cancer diseases. These include lung, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, bladder, stomach, cervix, kidney and pancreas, and acute myeloid leukemia.
Women who smoke have a greater chance of certain pregnancy problems or having a baby die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Components of a Cigarette
Today is the day to stop before it’s too late. If you quit smoking TODAY, your body will naturally start to heal itself and expel all those dangerous chemicals in your system. Don’t put our lives into an early grave. Think twice before lighting your next cigarette!
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