As I pen this article of mine, I unconsciously see myself thinking which of the probable reactions it is more prone to get ; creating a furor amongst my (male) peers, or it’s contents be toyed with and forgotten. How vain my efforts to enlighten the majority, of precisely why smoking is considered a hazard, I hope in thus resolving Monday onwards.
It’d be unrealistic to say that ‘to experiment with a drag’ is absurd and uncouth. It is a stage which all adolescents go through, and the rapid realization of them ‘growing up’ adds to their want of ‘looking old’, and acting like ‘grown ups’. Smoking, like applying make-up (for girls), and experimenting with the rough ruddy look for guys, is thus part of a transition that most children go though. Here I would like to clarify that it does not in any way assist the transition, but is simply a phase; one, which it is harder to wear out of, as once said by Mark Twain:
“To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did, I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times”
So what really is it besides the fact that you smell like an ashtray (because the smoky smells stays in your hair, on your breath, and on your clothes), that makes cigarettes less acceptable than a hand- gun to some?
Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals. Here are some of the things you take into your body when you smoke:
* Nicotine: a deadly poison that is as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
* Arsenic: a poison used to kill rats.
* Ammonia: found in cleaning products.
* Cadmium: used to make batteries.
* Methane: one ingredient of rocket fuel.
* Butane: the same thing as lighter fluid.
* Carbon Monoxide: found in car exhaust.
It’s ironic then that there still are people who spend their countless cash on cigars and cigarettes only to get more prone to to
# lung cancer and other lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis,
# cancer of the throat, mouth, oesophagus (food pipe),
# atherosclerosis – clogged and narrowed arteries,
# heart disease,
# early menopause,
# osteoporosis – the thinning and weakening of bones,
# infertility, and problems during pregnancy like miscarriage, early or premature birth, infants born with low birth weight, and even infant death. Infants of adults who smoke seem more likely to develop conditions like asthma, and suffer an increased rate of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Children and adults who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke have increased rates of pneumonia, bronchitis, and fluid in the middle ear.
This is where parenting comes in. Instead of labeling the subject as a taboo, parents should talk openly about the health effects of smoking, and there should be an open line of communication between the parents and their children so that they may talk honestly on important issues such as smoking. This also includes being a good listener. Parents should spend more quality time with their children, get to know their friends, and should know how they are spending their spare time. They should teach their children to say No to tobacco by being good role models themselves.
Here are some ‘smoke-related’ facts which may arouse your interest.
* Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
* Children who use tobacco cough and have asthma attacks more often, leading to more sick days, more doctor bills, and poorer athletic performance.
* Teens who smoke have smaller lungs and weaker hearts and get sick more often than teens who don’t smoke.
* Teens who smoke are 3 times more likely than nonsmoking teens to use alcohol, 8 times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine.
* Dependent, or addicted, smokers are more likely to continue smoking and to use larger amounts of nicotine over time.
* It’s easier to become dependent on, or addicted to, nicotine when you are a teen. When teens and adults smoke the same number of cigarettes a day, teens tend to become more dependent than do adults.
* Cigars have 4 times as much nicotine as cigarettes. Many teens think cigars are safer than cigarettes but, in fact, they are not. Even though they are mostly puffed and not inhaled, you can still develop cancer or other problems with your lungs, mouth, and throat
* Within 24 hours of quitting, the risk of having a heart attack decreases.
* Within 1 year of quitting, the risk of having heart disease is half that of a smoker.
* Within 10 years of quitting, the risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a continuing smoker.
* Many teenage girls are afraid to quit because of a fear of gaining weight.
Thus the benefits of quitting smoking are very clear.There is a drastic reduction in the risk for serious illness and disease like heart attack, stroke, and cancer. The people you live with will be healthier because they won’t be around your smoke, and you will never again have to deal with the hassle of leaving your workplace, someone’s home, your own home, a restaurant, or other places to smoke. Over time, you will notice that your teeth and breath are cleaner, stain marks on your fingers and fingernails are fading, and that you are able to smell and taste things better. Your skin will also wrinkle less and you will feel stronger and be able to do more physical exertion.
I’d like to conclude with a ‘Tip’ for those who wish disontinue smoking.The best way to quit smoking is to carry wet matches.