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Negative Effects Of Smoking On Human Health And The Economy

1277 words - 6 pages

Smoking cigarettes has historically represented a leisurely and prominent activity that many people turn to in order to alleviate stress, lose weight, and fit in with an evolving social world. Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive ingredient that renders it difficult to quit smoking once a person begins to ingest tobacco frequently (Woolbright 1994, p. 337). According to the CDC, however, cigarette smoking leads to more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States, which translates into one out of every five people dying from smoking tobacco. A preventable cause of death, smoking kills more people than alcohol use, illegal drug use, motor vehicle accidents, gun-related deaths, and the HIV virus combined (Center For Disease Control and Prevention). Women who smoke incur even more health problems that harm not only their own reproductive health but also their children's mortality and morbidity (American Lung Association). People should not smoke because it not only causes adverse health effects but it is not economically beneficial. If people stopped smoking, many lives would both directly and indirectly be saved as a result. People should quit smoking because of the plethora of negative consequences it incurs, as it endangers both those who directly smoke the cigarettes as well as their family and friends. Smoking not only causes adverse health risks but also straps people economically due to high medical costs as well as taxes and insurance increases as a result of poor health.
People, especially females, often begin smoking because they believe that it will help their lose weight as well as alleviate stress and anxiety they feel. The tobacco industry targets women in its advertisement, projecting smoking as an avenue through which they would achieve desirable slimness and thus become socially desirable (American Lung Association). Smoking advertisements feature attractive, slim women in order to encourage other women and young teenagers to embrace smoking as an activity that conveyed their independence (American Lung Association). In 2008, approximately 21.1 million women in the United States smoked, many of them teenage girls who sought to control their weight gain and emulate the glamorous and independent women they saw in the advertisements. One study demonstrates that both adolescent girls and boys viewed smoking as a viable mechanism to suppress their appetite and control their weight. Tomeo, Field, Berkey, Colditz, and Frazier (1999) interviewed 16,862 children between the ages of nine and fourteen in order to analyze the connections between behaviors concerning weight control, weight concerns, contemplation about or the initiation of smoking cigarettes. They concluded that the onset of smoking during adolescence directly relates to concerns about weight and encouraged that parents and schools "dispel the notion of tobacco use as a method of weight control" (Tomeo, Field, Berkey et al 1999, p. 924). Moreover,...

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