No matter how old a person is, practically everyone knows someone, a friend, family member or co-worker, who smokes cigarettes. The use of tobacco for smoking is something that has been practiced for centuries (A Complete Social History of Cigarettes, par. 1). Since the seventeenth century the tobacco plant has been grown in America and it has been used in its various forms ever since (A Complete Social History of Cigarettes, par. 1). James Bonsack invented a machine that could roll cigarettes and produce thousands per day in 1883 (A Complete Social History of Cigarettes, par. 2). Bonsack’s invention was followed by an increase in the popularity of smoking, as it made cigarettes much more accessible to those who wanted to smoke but did not want to roll their own cigarettes (A Complete Social History of Cigarettes, par. 2). Throughout this time, as cigarettes were gaining popularity, most people believed along with the Native Americans that tobacco could be an effective medicine (CNN, par. 5). However, by the early twentieth century, articles addressing the health effects of smoking began to appear in scientific and medical journals (CNN, par. 6).
Scientists and researchers now know for a fact that cigarette smoking has various health risks that our society is beginning to take more seriously. Some of these health risks include increased chances of developing/having lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity, disease and illness, and premature death (mortality) worldwide (General Smoking Facts, par. 2).
The smoke from cigarettes contains more than seven thousand chemicals with sixty nine of them being known to cause cancer (General Smoking Facts, par. 2). Each and every day there are more and more young people who begin smoking cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day more than three thousand two hundred people younger than eighteen smoke their first cigarette (Fast Facts). Each day there is an estimated two thousand one hundred youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers that become daily smokers (Fast Facts). Those young adults who start smoking two or three cigarettes daily can become hooked in as little time as two weeks (Health Effects of Tobacco, Troubling Health Fact 10).
Smoking does not only affect the smoker, but it also can affect those who interact with the smoker. People affected can include their family members, friends, and co-workers. They are at an increased risk of secondhand smoke, which can be just as dangerous to a person’s health as smoking. Every year, mainly due to exposure to secondhand smoke, an estimated three thousand nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer (Tobacco Facts and Figures). As people recognize the danger of secondhand smoke, more businesses are becoming smoke-free establishments....