Autor: Antonio 30 November 2009
Words: 1425 | Pages: 6
What effect does Smoking have on Society?
Smoking is a terrible habit, which 1.2 billion humans are addicted to. This is a terrible habit, and is in no way beneficial to the smoker, nor to the society around him. Smoking is known to be deadly for smokers, as well as damaging for those around them. Many people have trouble quitting the habit, because it is so addicting. However, science has enabled a fair amount of solutions to solve the smoking problem, by making people aware of the damage it does on the smokers, as well as the non-smokers who inhale it.
The reason smoking is so terrible, is the effect it has on the body. Smoking leads to various diseases. The main diseases caused by smoking are normally lung cancer, respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases. In a study done by G Wannamethee and A.G Sharper 7735 smoking men ages 40-59 were examined and the result that came out was that in the next 10 years 660 of them passed away due to smoking-related diseases. It was also found out that the lighter the smoker is, the higher the mortality is. The lean men normally got diseases such as lung cancer and respiratory diseases, while in obese men the deaths were mostly due to cardiovascular diseases. Smoking can also extremely damage the lungs. A smoker's lungs will be black, while non-smokers lungs will be the normal colored white. Cigarette smoke contains tar, which makes the lungs turn black. The cilia in the lungs are damaged, and there are far less cilia in a smokers lungs. "The cilia sweep mucous produced in the goblet cells, as well as mucous coming from deeper glands within the lungs and particulate matter trapped in mucous" (Joel, whyquit.com). A smokers lungs doesn't only contain less cilia, the ones they have are also damaged and not well functioning. Chemicals in tobacco smoke are toxic to cilia, which then destroys them. When the cilia is damaged or gone, mucous will build up in small airways, which makes breathing harder. The smoker is also almost defenseless if the lung is infected, because there are no more parts to fight disease.
Smoking also affects non-smokers who inhale the smoke of a cigarette. Per eight smokers who are killed by smoking, one none smoker is killed by Second hand smoke (No-smoke.org). This is devastating, and shows that smokers get other people killed because of their addiction. As no-smoke.org shows, if one is exposed to secondhand smoke for 30 minutes, heart damage can be caused, which is similar to the damage of smokers. Secondhand smoke is also as damaging to a fetus "as if the mother were inhaling the smoke directly."(no-smoke.org) Secondhand smoke exposure can also lead to spinal pain, pulmonary disease, asthma, lung cancer, nasal cancer, heart diseases and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This information has all been acquired by science, and scientific examinations, which shows how beneficial science is to finding out more about secondhand smoking.
I think if people are exposed to this knowledge, they are more likely not to smoke. However if they already smoke it is a different story. Many smokers are ignorant to such information and do not want to change their habit. To non-smokers who are asked to smoke, this information could certainly help them decide not to smoke, because of the terrible outcomes they have learnt about.
Our knowledge of science has definitely contributed in solving the health problems associated with smoking. An example of this is te nicotine patch. This invention was produced and tested by scientists willing to fight against smoking. The nicotine patch is a small patch to be stuck on
the arm, which releases nicotine into body through skin. As said on wikipedia, the patches come with different amounts of nicotine in them, such as 21, 14 and 7 mg. A cigarette releases 1 mg, so someone who smoked around a pack a day, would use a 21 mg patch to start off with, and then ration it down to a 14 after, perhaps a week. For heavy smokers, the nicotine patches cost less than the cigarettes, however for light smokers, the patches would cost more. A survey shows that nicotine replacement products such as nicotine patches, result in 7% of all users quitting, for at least 6 months. This doesn't seem like a lot, but it is better than 0%. Another replacement product, which has contributed to these 7%, is the herbal cigarette. These cigarettes contain a type of herbs instead of nicotine and tobacco. They usually contain caffeine to improve the mood and stimulate a feeling smoking transmits. These cigarettes aren't as popular because of the different taste, however are used by various people, and contribute to people quitting smoking. Science has helped solving the health problems, and these two products are only examples. Without science, nobody would know that smoking is harmful!
However science also has limitation in solving the health problems associated with smoking, due to the lack of knowledge and products. A main problem is that there is no discrete product or method to heal cancer. There are many different methods, however many of them are not useful. More than half of the people infected with cancer die, therefore it is shown that science is not as far yet. There are doubts of ever finding one single product, which heals cancer, due to the disease being so difficult and dangerous. Many smokers have cancer, which is difficult to solve, due to a limitation of science. Cancer is sometimes also detected rather late, due to a limitation of science, and then is sometimes too late to treat. Another limitation science has would be to not have found a good enough replacement for cigarettes, which is healthy and would be accepted by smokers. A reasonable change would be a cigarette that tastes, and gives the feeling of a normal cigarette however contains no nicotine, tobacco or tar. If the taste and feeling would be the same on both cigarettes, I think many smokers would accept this variation.
Science has various positive interactions made with factors of life. Due to the knowledge obtained by science, a lot has changed. Socially science has made a large change. The knowledge of the damage caused by second-hand smoking has resulted to many smoking bans. Many countries have forbidden smoking in public places, such as restaurants as well as in workplaces. Thanks to scientific research it has been found that passive smoking is dangerous, and unhealthy, therefore these laws have been made. Research has proven that life long non-smokers with a husband/wife who smokes have a 20-30% increased risk of lung cancer than non-smokers living with non-smokers. However non-smokers who are exposed to cigarette smoke in the workspace have a 16-19% increased risk of lung cancer, which is extreme. Therefore a smoking ban in the workplace is more than reasonable, and is for the safety of the non-smokers. These laws have been enforced due to the people having scientific information to back them up, which have been found using the modern technology and science. It has been found that smoking is economically costly for smokers. Science hasn't led to many discoveries in this area, however the causes of smoking found by science along with the economical challenge, make two good points for smokers to stop smoking. It has been found that "the medical costs associated with smoking are around $50 billion a year" (Rodgers). The average cost of smoking per person in Indiana is $548 per year, counting non-smokers as well. This shows how terribly costly smoking can be, and what a waste of money it is. Science and surveys have been able to find out how smoking can damage the environment. "In 1995 worldwide tobacco manufacturing produced 2.26 billion kilograms of solid waste and 209 million kilograms of chemical waste" (no-smoke.org). This is terrible for our environment. Also the same survey shows that "At least 4.5 trillion (!) Filter-tipped cigarettes are deposited annually somewhere in the world".
As stated, smoking is a terrible habit. It harms the environment, the people around the smoker and the smoker himself. Smoking leads to death, or even worse, death to the smoker as well as the people around him. It is not worth smoking, due to the clearly obvious points stated. "Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world. It is currently responsible for the death of one in ten adults worldwide (about 5 million deaths each year)." (No-smoke.org)
G.Wannamethee and A.G. Sharper
(All accessed: 20-01-08)