Tobacco Essay

1045 words - 4 pages

Tobacco use should be banned due to the many health effects it causes. Tobacco is a plant grown commercially for its leaves and stems. Dried tobacco leaves and stems are rolled to make cigars and shredded for cigarettes and pipes. Tobacco can also be processed for chewing and ground into a fine powder to make snuff, which is inhaled through the nose. "The tobacco plant is a large source of nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug." When processed commercially, tobacco is mixed with a number of different chemicals that can cause various health problems. The related health problems differ depending on the person's use of tobacco. There are three ways to use tobacco. Smoking tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, and in pipes) will cause different problems than chewing or inhaling tobacco. Smoking tobacco has many negative effects. "Approximately sixty million Americans smoke tobacco, and 450,000 of them die each year". Smoking tobacco can cause various types of cancer. For example, it can cause cancer of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus. Smoking tobacco also causes occasional cancers of the bladder, pancreas, uterine cervix, kidney, stomach and leukemia. Many serious diseases can be caused from smoking tobacco. Some of them include heart, bronchitis, emphysema and strokes. Severe colds and pneumonia that weaken the lungs can become deadly with the use of tobacco. Smoking tobacco during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, infant death, and low birth weight because of the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes and cigars. "The ingredients in tobacco, that is smoked, include hundreds of substances like ammonia, tar, and carbon monoxide." Since nicotine is so highly addictive, once someone starts using tobacco, it is nearly impossible to quit without the help from counseling or medicine. If someone is successful in quitting, his or her risk of cancer and major diseases decrease substantially. "Smoking tobacco causes more deaths each year in the U.S.A than AIDS, alcohol, cocaine, heroine, homicide, suicide, and motor vehicle crashes combined." Tobacco produced in the form of shreds is chewed but, not swallowed. Chewing tobacco is much more harmful compared to smoking tobacco. "Chewing tobacco causes various types of cancers like mouth, pharynx, cheek, and gum." Chewing tobacco causes leukoplakia, which is a white sore/patch, found in the mouth that can become cancerous. Since chewing tobacco is constantly around the gums and teeth, the tobacco eventually causes gum recession and bone loss in the teeth. "Chewing tobacco also plays a major part in the cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure because the nicotine from the tobacco enters the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth and/ or gastrointestinal tract." While in the bloodstream, the nicotine causes the heart to beat faster and blood pressure to increase. Other effects of chewing tobacco can be discoloration of teeth and bad...

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