Smoking kills. Whether its financially, socially or economically smoking can only lead to ruin. Smoking reduces the bloods intake of oxygen leading to muscle deterioration. Muscles become more prone to aches and they tend to tire more easily. Since the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive, once hooked people tend to continue for a very long time. Increased exposure to cigarette smoke inhibits the growth of bones. Bone density decreases leading to brittleness exposing one to high risk of bone fractures that take very long to heal. Long time exposure to smoking also leads to constriction of blood vessels reducing the amount of blood supplied by veins into body organs. Since nutrients and antibodies are transported by the veins in the body, thin blood vessels reduce the amount of essential nutrients transported in the body. Wounds start taking more time to heal, raising the risk of infections.
Financially, smoking hurts families as money that would have been better spent on utilities is used in buying cigarettes. Chain smokers may be burrowing their own fiscal pits, but they usually blow a big hole in the family’s finances. Financial problems are further compounded when money has to be spent on illnesses that arise from smoking. The time taken from work for treatment also negatively affects a countries economy. Not all the effects of smoking are restricted to the smokers. Secondhand smokers, people who inhale smoke fumes, are also medically impacted. Various studies tend to show that secondhand smokers may get lung cancer or heart diseases. Pregnant mothers who smoke it has been shown are at more risk of suffering miscarriages than non-smokers. Those mothers who carry the baby to term may have premature births. Other babies of smoking mothers are usually underweight. Think of quitting cigarettes.
With all these facts against smoking, how can cigarettes be any good? Smokers have been found to have comparatively lower occurrences of Alzheimer’s disease. Acetylcholine, a substance found in cigarettes, was found to help Alzheimer patient retain their cognitive abilities for long periods. Nicotine has also been found to reduce depression by boosting the body’s production of dopamine and serotonin. Socially, smoking is viewed as a sign of maturity by youths and may as such build ones stature with their age mates. Economically, buying cigarettes from local stores is throwing lifeline to local economy. The tobacco industry also employs millions of workers directly to work in tobacco farms, to work in industries and to sell cigarettes. By providing employment, the sector helps in reduction of necessity driven crime as people get a steady source of livelihood.
Whether the pros beat the cons is a Gordian knot better left for each individual to untie. However, the documented effects of smoking to non-smokers may lead to the adoption of a smoking ban in public places as a mitigating factor. The effect of one’s choice ought to be restricted to their enjoyment, but where they are negative measures have to be taken for the good of the society.
American Academy of Pediatrics. Healthy Children. 31 March 2014. Webpage. 23 October 2014.
National Cancer Institute. 18 Ways Smoking Affects Your Health. 23 October 2014. Webpage. 23 October 2014.
The Cancer Council. The Cancer Council. 2014. Webpage. 23 October 2014.