The harmful effects of smoking on human health
According to Medical Dictionary from The Free Dictionary (n.d.), “smoking is the inhalation of the smoke of burning tobacco encased in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars.”
The main component of tobacco is nicotine. It is a highly addictive substance and it is very difficult for smokers to quit this habit of smoking. Nicotine increases the level of dopamine hormone which is neurotransmitter and activates the feeling of happiness and pleasure. So, when nicotine is inhaled by smoker, it reduces stress and anxiety and produces the feeling of satisfaction. According to research, as the smoker smokes more often, his brain becomes more dependent to inhale nicotine. He wants to smoke again and again to receive this feeling of satisfaction.
People involve in smoking due to different reasons like they want to overcome stress and anxiety, or they want to get pleasure, relaxation and weight control etc. whatsoever the reasons are, smokers are at risk of many health related issues and it affects them physically, emotionally and mentally.
When chemicals from tobacco are inhaled, the body is at risk physically. According to research done by Champion et al. (2017), smoking is among one of the six risk factors that has been identified as strong cause of many chronic diseases like cancer. The chemicals from the smoke enter the bloodstream and may damage the body. Smoking causes around 15 types of cancer. These include cancer of mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, liver, stomach, kidney, lungs, bowel, ovary, bladder, cervix and leukemia.
The major type of cancer which is associated with smoking is lung cancer. According to research, in 2012, around 1,590,000 people died due to lung cancer. Smoking first damages lungs by harming the airways and air sacs in the lungs. The functions of the lungs are badly affected as the person continues to smoke and its long term use leads to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This conditions worsens with time and then there is no treatment for this disease. With the passage of time, the airways become swollen and more lung infections occur. The physical health of the smoker is also affected due to continuous use of nicotine. It reduces appetite which leads to lower body weight.
According to study by Malik, Kohli & Sharma (2015), the mental health of smokers is poorer as compared to non-smokers. The smokers believe that smoking could help to reduce stress and anxiety, but latest research shows that smoking affects the biological pathways of the smoker which may increase the risk of anxiety and stress disorders. The nicotine creates the feeling of satisfaction which makes smoker believe that it reduces stress and anxiety. This satisfaction is only for short period of time. The long-term use of tobacco is associated with higher rates of psychological disorders and mental disability as compared to non-smokers.
The emotional condition of smokers is also badly affected due to smoking, they are addicted to nicotine which makes them dependent on it. The studies have proved that smoking decreases the emotional stability. The smoking in adolescents leads to problems of conduct, emotional symptoms and hyperactivity. According to 2013 Gallup Survey by Katie Bass, smokers feel isolated. The smokers are less likely to feel positive emotions like to smile and to laugh.
The smokers have higher risks of psychological distress and psychosis. Smoking increases the level of emotional despair. The people who never smoke can also develop different diseases through second-hand smoking. The smokers blow the smoke into air which is inhaled by non-smokers. Every year, more than 6 million people die worldwide directly due to tobacco use and about a million people die from second-hand-smoking. Therefore smokers also harm people around them.
The smokers should help themselves to stop smoking. They should engage themselves in activities, programs and rehabilitation centers that help them to quit smoking. Although it is very hard to quit this habit, yet it is in person’s hands whether to quit or not.
Thank you for reading! Stay Safe!👋😌