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Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burnt and the resulting smoke breathed in to be tasted and absorbed into the bloodstream. Most common practice and early smoking technique involves the rolling of the substance to be smoked in dried leaves especially of tobacco plant in a cylindrical manner called cigarette. However, due to increase and improvement in industrialization and commercialization, cigarettes have been well packaged into different forms and manners being sold worldwide.
The different examples of cigarette and substances (or drugs) been sold nationwide are cigarettes (which can be in different brands and we will not want to advertise them in this segment), tobacco, cocaine, heroin, weed (popularly known as Igbo) inhalants, marijuana (cannabis, this have different local names like “gbana” or other forms) etc.
Cigarettes have at its mouth end a second layer of porous paper (called tipping paper) and a filter. The tipping paper is designed to allow fresh air to infiltrate when the smoker inhales. This fresh air reduces the harshness of the smoke. The filter cools the smoke and reduces the flow of smoke out of cigarette.
Various Constitutions of Cigarettes and Drugs
There are various constituents of cigarettes and drugs which give them the characteristic “highness” felt by the smokers. These are nicotine, arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and 43 known carcinogens-substances or agents that can lead to or produce cancer which is devastating to the human health. The so called “highness” is as a result of the nature of the major constituents – Nicotine, which is a stimulant that is responsible for alleviation of pain, alertness, etc. this makes cigarettes to vary in strength, taste and intensity, depending on the major or dominating constituents.
Reasons Why People Engage in Smoking
Peer pressure has been one of the most dominant means by which different social vices occur. According to selected statistics from the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey in the United States, around 15% of people aged 18 years and over were smokers, that is, youths, they want to be acceptable among their peers, they want to feel among and make themselves believe that they are updated and on track with what is going on in their environment. Hence, they result in taking up habits such as smoking. This may not be separated from the environment a person grows up because this have a lot to do with the kind of influence the person gets. When friends, associates and colleagues are into it, it is only a matter of time before one join in. It is just like this saying “show me your friend and I will tell you your character”.
Lack of Parental Care
This is rampant in youths from broken homes, divorced parents, as well as parents who are always too busy to know what their child is passing through or what is going on in his life. The parents (read more on parenting styles here) are the first set of role models a child can lookup to. If a parent is holding on to a particular habit whether good or bad, it is only a matter of time before the child begin to engage in such acts. Hence, a smoking parent, a smoking child. Another view of this is when a child from single parent homes faced with lots of troubles or when parents are too busy for such child, he begin to depend on friends and outsiders for advice and other form of habit development.
A lot of people turn to or depend on an act or something due to psychological trauma or issues. This is common especially when someone tries smoking for the first time and found out that it gives this form of alertness, highness or stimulation, such person can become psychologically dependent on such. Hence, leading to constant dependence on cigarettes and a habit difficult to change or do without.
A person, who had just seen a bad examination result, suddenly lost a job or loved one, or heard a bad news or the other can result into smoking, thinking that is what can take away his or her sorrow at that instance.
The Health and Social Effects of Smoking
Too much of everything, they say, is bad. Continuous dependent on cigarette or any form of habit can result in addiction. Addiction is a state in which one seems to have lost control of the habit and the longing for smoking would be like if you don’t smoke you won’t live. This is a very critical health condition because it means it can be all you think about and want to do constantly. This can lead to unproductively in other aspects of the life of such person.
Due to the constituents of cigarettes and other form of substances or drugs used, this leads to high increase in the rate of metabolism and weight loss, especially nicotine which have effects on appetite and blood glucose level (blood sugar). Although, some may engage in smoking in order to control their weight, but, this is not an efficient method of doing so as the other health risks associated to it are enormous.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer and other form of associated cancer and disease (read more on diseases here). Smoking can lead to accumulation of toxic substances in the lungs especially when it is to the extent that the lungs had lost its ability to filter harmful chemicals due to excessive smoking. Smoking can increase blood pressure through the tightening of the arteries (one of the vessels that transport blood), it can cause skin discoloration, wrinkles, and premature aging. Smokers are also exposed to high risk of mouth cancer.
Crimes and Social vices
Those who are dependent on smoking and the relative “highness” they experience leads to various crimes and vices(read more on social vices here) in the society and are prone to other form of neurological disorder. When some addicted smokers crave for their cigarette (or tobacco), they can do anything such as stealing, killing etc. in order to get it at the moment.
Smoking is really a global issue and one of the leading causes of deaths in the world. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, most deaths resulting from tobacco smoking or other form of cigarette occurred in people aged 65 years or more and around one in five deaths occurred in the 35-64 years age group.
In conclusion, the effects of smoking on health cannot be overemphasized, therefore, parents should strive to be good role models to their children, have appropriate time for them. Also, youths should be mindful of the kind of company or associates they keep so as not to find themselves in bad habit. Appropriate policies should also be set in place by the government in regulating the production and commercialization of cigarettes and “smokable” drugs. You are therefore encouraged to quit smoking and avoid the risks of premature death. Just as it is written on the labels of most cigarettes “Smokers are liable to die young”.
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