Smoking is one of the main issues that mankind today is confronted with in the world. Smoking is known to have started as early as 1439 A.D. Rodrigo de Jerez was the first ever smoker in Europe, and the development of cigars was originated by the Native American people. In the twentieth century, cigars were advertised all over the world as a harmless, anti-stress product with little or no side effects. Smoking was eventually become widespread all over English-speaking continents and was even popular among women. As technology became more advanced, the adverse effects of smoking on human health have increased exponentially. Researchers officially declared smoking as a harmful habit that in most of the cases is fatal.
There are many reasons why people resort to smoking; many of the choices are based on the individual’s decisions. Much of temptation to start smoking is based on the advertising propaganda carried out by cigarette manufacturers. People at home see the images of smoking people on their television screens, in newspapers, and magazines. Children are influenced by their parents and may be mislead to the thinking that smoking poses no danger. Statistics show that about nine out of ten tobacco users start smoking before they are eighteen years old. Peer pressure is another main reason why teenagers choose to do things they shouldn’t do: befriending the wrong group of people who might represent a negative example. Quite often it is the friends who persuade each other to start smoking or purchase a pack of cigarettes only to try what smoking is all about.
Smoking is often portrayed in today’s society as a “cool” and “hip” thing to do. Moreover, on many occasions, smoking can contribute to the status of a person. The fact that it makes you look “cool” can tempt a person to light up and eventually harm his or her health. Culture can also have a powerful impact on whether smoking is accepted by society. For example, in Turkey it might not be as frowned upon as in Switzerland. Some surveys point out that smoking is usually perceived as producing relaxing effect; this can particularly appeal to businessmen and people who have stressful occupations.
The harmful effects of smoking usually manifest themselves in one’s health over a long-term period. A cigarette contains three harmful substances that can lead to fatal illnesses. Nicotine is one of the most harmful chemicals in a cigarette. Nicotine is an addictive substance that can lead to having just one puff of a cigarette into buying numerous packets and smoking them all. Addiction can also result in absolutely unnecessary expenses, but most importantly this habit is very hard to part with which eventually leads to mostly irreversible damages to health. Most adults who start smoking in their teen years never expected to become addicted. Tar is another component in a cigarette which contributes to the harmful effects of smoking. It is a brown, tacky chemical that is left behind on the end of the cigarette filter. It stains the smoker’s teeth and fingers and it also coats everything with a brownish-yellow film. The build-up of tar in lungs can eventually cause cancer; it is now the most common causes of death among regular smokers. Moreover, cigarettes produce carbon monoxide which is, when inhaled, reduces the oxygen intake by red blood cells. This leads to shortness of breath, overall fatigue, and complications with heart and lungs. What makes smoking frowned upon by society is that it not only affects the individual smoker’s health but also other civilians around. Second hand smokers are also highly affected by the same damaging effects produced by cigarettes.
The causes and effects of smoking are being discussed frequently among our society, and more and more solutions to resolve this issue are being brought up worldwide. Being in the media-age, propaganda and commercial advertising plays a big part in the indoctrination of our generation. People see what they believe about smoking and are led to thinking it’s a solution to problems like peer pressure, stress, and feeling left out. However, the actual effects of smoking include a high risk of cancer, addiction, and fatigue. Men, women and children are informed constantly of these circumstances, but still today, smoking remains as a recurring topic on the list of the main issues around the world.