According to the latest data released by the Center of Disease Control, almost 44 million adults in the United States are regular smokers, and this figure does not even take into account underage smokers. The effects of smoking are extremely widespread, even more so than the CDC’s data suggests, because individuals can be affected by second or third-hand smoke. As more research is done, society has become increasingly aware of the harmful effects of smoking that are affecting so many throughout our country. Smoking is detrimental to an individual’s health, because “when [a cigarette] is burned, it releases a dangerous cocktail of out 4,000 chemicals including: more than 70 cancer-causing chemicals, hundreds of other poisons, nicotine, a highly addictive drug, and many additives designed to make cigarettes taste nicer and keep smokers hooked” (Cancer Research UK). It is no wonder that cigarettes are sometimes referred to as “coffin nails”, because each one smoked is a metaphorical nail driven into the person’s coffin.
Smoking is a lethal habit. It “causes more than one in five deaths in America” (American Heart Association), and “one in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit” (Stop Smoking Programs). People who smoke are more likely to die earlier, usually due to various ailments ranging from hardening of the arteries to different types of cancer. Thousands of people die every day from smoking-related causes, even though the American Heart Association states that smoking is currently the most preventable cause of death in the United States. Smokers even have an increased risk of developing miscellaneous autoimmune diseases. All of these harmful consequences are caused by the toxic chemicals within the smoke that is inhaled when an individual smokes.
The deadliness of cigarettes can easily be seen by examining the contents contained within the seemingly harmless paper wrapper. For example, nicotine and arsenic, both which are released in cigarette smoke, are also used for exterminating pests such as rats and insects. Butane and Hexamine are both ingredients in lighter fluid, and methanol is used as means of rocket propulsion. The list goes on and on, ranging from chemicals used to reduce the composition of dead bodies to highly radioactive compounds. (American Lung Association). What is the one thing all of these chemicals have in common? They are all components of cigarette smoke and all cause serious health complications.
Cancer is one such repercussion that occurs because of smoking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that smoking causes cancer of the: nose, mouth, larynx (voice box), trachea, esophagus, throat, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, cervix, bone marrow, and blood. Around 70 of the chemicals in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer, making cigarettes the “number-risk factor for long cancer” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). In fact, “90 percent of lung cancer in men is...