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Lung Cancer

  • Date Submitted: 10/09/2010 06:27 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 49.4 
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Lung Cancer

The Health Hazards of Smoking

Smoking affects a person's health in many ways, having both immediate and long term effects.   It is a serious addiction, caused by the drug nicotine.   Once inhaled, nicotine reaches the brain almost immediately (within seven seconds).   Milligram for milligram, the nicotine contained in all cigarette smoke is more potent than heroin.Humans have been using tobacco for 1,000 years or so.   Until about 100 years ago, most tobacco use was in the form of pipe tobacco, cigars, chewing tobacco and snuff. Those who smoked cigarettes had to roll their own, using loose tobacco. Then, in 1881, the cigarette-rolling machine was invented and smokers went from consuming 40 cigarettes a year on average to over 12,000 each year. Risk from tobacco smoke is not limited to the smoker.   It has been estimated that exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) increases the risk of lung cancer by about 30% (about 3,000 cases a year in the USA).
Non-smoking infants and children who are chronically exposed to in utero and environmental smoke have an increased risk of respiratory diseases, malignancy, and other health problems that result in increased hospitalization and days lost from school. Non-smoking adults who are exposed also have more respiratory symptoms that are likely to contribute to work absenteeism due to illness.
Whenever you light up, the nicotine in tobacco causes an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, and the air passages in your lungs constrict, making it more difficult for you to breathe.   As small blood
vessels constrict, your skin temperature may also decrease, causing your fingers, toes and skin to feel cold. Smoking dulls your senses, particularly your sense of smell and taste.   Finally, carcinogens, or cancer causing agents, and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, enter your bloodstream.   This can result in more rapid onset of chest pain and disturbance of heart rhythm during physical activity or...

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