How does Tobacco Affect Our Health?
From the ancient times, people have domesticated many plants. It has brought them a great variety of benefits. For example, grain has become an essential part of everyday nutrition, as it is the main ingredient of bread and other bakeries. Nevertheless, people have been acquainted not only with useful plants but also with harmful ones. Among them, tobacco occupies the leading position. It has a devastating effect on human health. For example, it is estimated that between 1964 and 2004, this plant through smoking was the cause of 12 million victims in the U.S., including 5,5 million fatal outcomes from cardiovascular diseases, 4,1 million deaths from cancer, and 1,1 million deaths from respiratory illnesses (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010). In addition, tobacco affects not only physiological well-being but also psychological one, making a person addicted to the harmful substances. Moreover, the life of dearest and nearest is also under the threat because of it. One can prove it by the fact that almost 94,000 babies die every year because mothers smoked during pregnancy. Therefore, tobacco destroys the life of a person from all possible perspectives, namely physiological, psychological, and a social one.
Tobacco Effect on the Physiological Well-Being
Tobacco has a great negative impact on the cardiovascular system. Firstly, it doubles the risk of stroke. The main reason for it is the ability of tobacco to increase the blood pressure, making, in such a way, the heart work harder. Secondly, the consumption of tobacco leads to the development of coronary heart disease. It occurs because tobacco contributes to the creation of a build-up of plaque within the arteries and the reduction of the oxygen supply. Thirdly, tobacco use is the most significant risk factor for peripheral arterial disease. The reason for it is the reduction, under the influence of tobacco, cardiovascular drug therapies as well as the increase of the demand for oxygen. Finally, tobacco closely relates to the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. There is a clear relation between the duration of the smoking habit (years) and this disease (Bullen, 2008). It is possible to prove all these arguments by the research, revealing the rate of mortality. According to it, in 2010, 1, 62 million people died because of the negative effect of tobacco on a cardiovascular system (Bullen, 2008).
Tobacco is also a cancer-causing factor. The consumption of it relates to lung cancer (85% – 90% of cases). In addition, smoking also contributes to the development of cancer of the cervix, bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, mouth, larynx, and throat. The main reason for it is the influence of tobacco on the DNA in cells and destruction of the normal biological processes by it. It is possible to suggest that the use of tobacco increases the free radicals in the body. In addition, tobacco contains the harmful carcinogenic substance, called “tar.” Smokers absorb “tar” into the circulation, inhale it deep into the lung tissue, and hold it in the vascular sublingual area. It is generally estimated that tobacco is responsible for 160 thousand cancer deaths in the U.S. (Yarbro, Wujcik, & Gobel, 2011).
Respiratory diseases are the third major domain of problems, caused by tobacco. It is estimated that cigarette smoking increases significantly the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more extensive lung damage. In addition, tobacco closely relates to the development of asthma, especially from the perspective of the severity of its attack. It occurs because tobacco includes the inhaled carbon monoxide, which by attaching itself to the hemoglobin on the red blood cell increases the cardiopulmonary workload (Stratton, 2001).
Tobacco consumption has also a negative effect on the psychological health. Different types of it such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco contain the harmful substance known as nicotine. It, like other drugs, affects the brain pathways and makes people addicted to it. As a result, any attempt to escape from this obsession leads to irritability, sleep disturbances, increased appetite, attention difficulties, and great cravings for tobacco. In addition, prolonged use of nicotine relates to the long-term brain changes. In general, it becomes clear that tobacco transforms free human beings into actual slaves (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010).
Tobacco Effect on the Social Well-Being
People addicted to the constant tobacco use cannot be happy in the social life. Firstly, they are less likely to build a solid family. It occurs because tobacco affects negatively their reproductive function. For example, it is estimated that smoking is responsible for 20 – 35% of all low birth weights and 30% of infant deaths (Pollard, 2002). Secondly, tobacco has a negative impact on the people who surround its users. The research has found that every year, almost 50 thousand nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoking die from the negative influence of substances, which penetrate into the air during smoking (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010).
To summarize, tobacco has a negative impact on the life of people from all possible perspectives, namely physiological, psychological, and a social one. In the case of physiological health, it becomes clear that tobacco is the main cause of the development of cardiovascular diseases (stroke, coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm). It also provokes the development of different types of cancers (lung, cervix, bladder, kidney, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, mouth, larynx, and throat) and respiratory illnesses (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, bronchitis, more extensive lung damage, and asthma). Moreover, tobacco deprives human beings from the own will and transforms them into actual slaves. In other words, it makes them addicted to certain substances. Under such conditions, they do not have a chance for a happy social life. They cannot build a solid family as tobacco destroys their reproductive function. In addition, they are not able to provide the dearest and nearest with the security as their health is under the constant threat due to the harmful substances, released into the air during smoking. That is why it becomes clear that it is quite necessary to fight against tobacco use. Otherwise, it may overcome the humanity.