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Investigating The Costs Of Cigarette Smoking On Human Health

1905 words - 8 pages

Investigating the Costs of Cigarette Smoking on Human Health

In this essay I am going to investigate the costs of cigarette smoking
on human health. To do is thoroughly I am going to discuss several
issues around this title so that I can produce an accurate conclusion
towards the end of this essay. I am going to explore mainly about the
physical and financial costs but I will also look into the social and
emotional costs a little. To do this I am going to use several sources
of three or four types for facts and information on the subject and
the topics surrounding it. These will most likely be from the World
Wide Web, books from the library, revision books and a scientific

There are four main dangerous groups of substances contained in
cigarette smoke, which are Carcinogens, Tar, Nicotine and Carbon
monoxide. Carcinogens damage the DNA of the cells in the lungs, which
can eventually lead to lung cancer. Tar coats the lining of the
alveoli in the lungs. It slows down gaseous exchange and permanently
damages the alveoli. Nicotine is the addictive part of a cigarette,
which makes people want to continue smoking. Carbon monoxide combines
irreversibly with haemoglobin and prevents it from carrying oxygen.

From these facts and the financial facts, which I'm going to discuss
later on in my essay, you can see that there would be several costs
that cigarette smoke has on human health. There are the direct costs,
such as the treatment of directly contributable diseases, and then the
indirect costs such as the financial burden to a smoker due to the

Since twenty-seven percent of men and twenty-five percent of women
smoke in England alone, it would mean there would be a great number of
illnesses occurring from smoking cigarettes, which would then mean
medical support would be required from services such as the NHS. The
NHS has to spend a huge £1.7 billion every year on treating
smoking-related illnesses such as lung cancer (a illness which occurs
by carcinogens damaging the DNA of the cells in the lungs)[2], heart
disease (a illness which is greatly affected by nicotine, which rises
blood pressure putting a lot of pressure on the heart as the heart has
to push blood quicker around the body), emphysema (a illness which
occurs by the walls of the alveoli becoming damaged and resulting into
a leak of tissue fluid)[3] and arteriosclerosis (a illness which
occurs over a period of many years during which the arteries of the
cardiovascular system develop areas which become hard and brittle.
Vessels become thickened. There is a loss of elasticity)[4]. The
treatment therefore works out as costing the NHS £209 per patient,
which includes medication and the treatment itself. Despite NHS' large
amount of money spent and effort put in to help smokers and their

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