The Effects of Smoking Cigarettes

Powerful Essays
The Effects of Smoking


Smoking cigarettes damage the body in a number of different ways. Over several years, the American Council on Science and Health and many others have documented the effects of smoking. Everyone knows that it is bad for you, but not many know how it affects the body. There are many myths about smoking, which mainly occur with all of the teens that are smoking. Most teens don’t know that the effects of smoking are mostly permanent. They think that they can smoke for a few years and then quit without suffering any long-term effects. This is most worrying to me, because the recent finding, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), claims that teen smoking rates have increased by nearly a third within the last six years. Teen smokers who believe that all of the health hazards will go away when they quit, usually have an “I can always quit tomorrow, or the next week, month or year” mentality. They feel as if they can walk away from smoking with no long term effects, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The quitting success rates of teenagers is also very low. Less than 16% of the 633 teen smokers in a study were able to kick the habit. Most teens report that they want to quit but are unable to do so, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Teen smokers quickly become addicted to nicotine and when trying to fight the addiction, experience high relapse and withdrawal symptoms. Of the 46 million smokers in the United States, 34 percent try to quit each year, but less than 10 percent succeed. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It accounts for almost 500,000 deaths per year, or one in every five deaths. Smoking also contributes to a breathtaking amount of diseases which includes coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peripheral vascular disease, peptic ulcer disease, and many types of cancer.

Irreversible Health Effects

With smoking, the reversibility of health effects is influenced by many factors. For one, the amount of smoking exposure (number of cigarettes per day and the duration of smoking). The presence of other diseases already in the body, genetics and even nutritional factors enter into the equation. Quitting brings benefits no matter what age. It is a fact that quitting prolong...

... middle of paper ... and disability. Smokers should not believe that they can smoke safely for 10-15 years, then become of the lucky few who do quit, and then believe that they are healthy and risk free, as if they had never smoked at all. They’re at risk for many irreversible diseases and health issues. The next time someone asks you if you want to “light up,” remember: Only 20% of smokers who try to quit are successful on a long term basis; for every four of those who take up smoking, the very decision to begin itself is irreversible.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What the Label Doesn‘t Tell You. 1998;

Pgs. 47, 386-389

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Public Health Service; 1989

Seddon JM, Willit WC, Speizer FE, Hankinson SE. A Prospective Study of Cigarette Smoking and Age Related Macular Degeneration in Women. 1996;

Pg. 276

Christen WG, Glynn RJ, Manson LE, Ajani UA, Buring JE. A Prospective Study of Cigarette Smoking and Risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration in Men. 1996;

Pg. 276