A human being is exposed to various harmful influences has many bad habits. Some of them are caused by the objective conditions and some emerge solely because of person’s choice. Smoking nowadays is one of the most destructive habits that claims millions of lives every year. Tobacco exerts a deadly influence on human’s physical body and psychological health. Is often claimed to be one of the scourges of the modern society.
Tobacco plant contains a broad range of harmful components, among which nicotine is the primary one. Nicotine belongs to the alkaloids and has a toxic and narcotic effect on the body. It activates the process of adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine hormones release, increasing the pulse and blood pressure. Moreover, nicotine stimulates the central nervous system that may result in emotional changes, increase the ability to concentrate and bring the feeling of elation and joy for a short time (Haustein, 2013). The scientists note that nicotine is “a powerful poison that is effective almost the same doses as prussic acid” (Haustein, 2013, p. 66).
The greatest harm, however, is caused by the tobacco smoke. The latest researches show that there are more than 9500 chemicals in the tobacco smoke, and most of them come not from the tobacco itself but are produced during combustion. Apart from that, the toxic effect of tobacco smoke may be increased by the additives used by the cigarette producers to soften the smoke or to add some specific taste (Wiebel, 2015). Among the most harmful elements of tobacco smoke Wiebel (2015, p. 44) names: the strong carcinogens butadiene and benzene; acetaldehyde and acrolein that cause respiratory diseases; cyanide and arsenic that lead to heart diseases. Furthermore, tobacco smoke contains radioactive elements such as polonium, lead, radium and cesium. It has also been proved that tobacco smoke may be the reason for infertility and impotence, vision loss and multiple sclerosis (Haustein, 2013). Tobacco smoke poses an extremely significant threat to all systems of organs in the human body. The damages cells and tissues cannot be restored, and the human body loses its normal functionality.
Tobacco smoke affects not only those who are addicted to smoking. Passive smoking is one of the reasons for health deterioration of those people who are constantly exposed to second-hand smoke. Children who directly interact with their parents-smokers are the most vulnerable group. The most widely spread disease caused by passive smoking is bronchial asthma (Haustein, 2013).
As it has already been mentioned, nicotine contained in tobacco leads to addictiveness; its nature can be both physical and psychological. When the body is physically addicted, its demand of nicotine dose may be so strong that all the smoker’s attention focuses on finding cigarettes; the idea of smoking becomes so intrusive that the majority of other essential needs are often neglected. The person is unable to concentrate on something other than cigarettes; he or she becomes apathetic, irritable or even depressed. In case of psychological addiction, the person may refer to cigarettes in a state of stress or nervous tension, as well as to be closer to some smoking social circle. Smoking may become a kind of ritual, or the way to kill some time (Torre, 2013).
Overall, it can be seen that tobacco is a serious threat to the health and well-being of the person and the society. Smoking can only bring benefit to cigarette producers. Thus, all efforts should be done to make society free from this addiction.
Haustein. C.O. (2013). Tobacco or health? Physiological and social damages caused by tobacco smoking. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Torre, G. (2013). Smoking prevention and cessation. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Wiebel, F. (2015). Chemistry and toxicity of tobacco smoke. In R. Loddenkemper & M. Kreuter (Eds.), The tobacco epidemic (pp. 37-45). Basel, Switzerland: Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers.