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Smoking Essay, Research Paper

Smoking. What is it? Is it safe? What is in it? All these questions constantly appear in the minds of the world s youth. In due time, you will begin to discover the truths and myths of smoking both marijuana and tobacco. Many people wonder about the actual hazards of smoking. Some think that all the stuff that they see is what really happens. Not quite. Sometimes you might wonder what that is you re smoking. If so, do you even know what s in it? What is second hand smoke? Is it even dangerous? What is with all the fuss with marijuana? There are a lot of items here to arrange so let s get started.

What is tobacco? Of course everyone knows it s the dried leaves from a tobacco plant. But is that just it? It s almost unbelievable that this little plant can kill approximately 400,000 people in the world each year. Some people wonder why people even smoke tobacco. Most regret even starting. These same people feel that they can t quit for the same reason that presents all of them. They are addicted. That s what makes tobacco so dangerous. It s a relatively slow killer but it s hard to stop as soon as you start.

What are some of the hazards of smoking tobacco? In basic English, it kills. Smoking accounts for over 90% of cases of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause for cancer deaths today. That means that around 90% of cases of lung cancer can be easily prevented. Cancers that begin in the lungs are divided into two major types, small cell and non-small cell cancer; it depends on how it looks under a microscope. Non-small cancer is the most common form at lung cancer. It accounts for about 80% of the types of cancer. Small cell accounts for about 20% of lung cancer cases.

People often wonder why tobacco is so addictive. Although many people smoke because they believe cigarettes calm their nerves, smoking releases epinephrine, a hormone that creates physiological stress in the smoker, rather than relaxation. Most users develop tolerance for nicotine and need greater amounts to produce a desired effect. Smokers become physically and psychologically dependent and will suffer withdrawal symptoms. Many would wonder after this, is marijuana addictive? No, it is not. Recent studies show that 10% of our populations have “addictive personalities” and they are neither more nor less likely to overindulge in cannabis than in anything else. On a relative scale, marijuana is less habit forming than either sugar or chocolate but more so than anchovies. Sociologists report a general pattern of marijuana use that peaks in the early adult years followed by a period of leveling off and then a gradual reduction in use. It is the most appealing drug to adolescents. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use. Marijuana refers to the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant, which contain the non-narcotic chemical THC at various potencies. It is smoked or eaten to produce the feeling of being “high. THC is the most important active ingredient in marijuana. It stands for tetrahydrocannibinol, and is the most responsible for this feeling of high.

There have been many rumors spread about that marijuana has gotten more powerful than it was in the sixties. The truth is that it has, but not even close to how much people have predicted. Most were saying that marijuana was approx. 20 time stronger than it was in the sixties. If that were true, then the marijuana would be composed of THC levels over 100%. Current day they are about at 25-35%. Marijuana itself is no more harmful than a tobacco cigarette, but it depends on what you put in it.

What about the people who are constantly exposed to smoke; Is second hand smoke dangerous for people as well? Secondhand smoke comes from two places: smoke breathed out by the person who smokes, and smoke from the end of a burning cigarette. Second hand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals. 200 of which are poisons, and 63 others contain cancer-forming substances. A child spending only one hour in a smoke-filled vehicle may be exposed to as much dimethyl-nitrosamine, a very powerful carcinogen, as if he or she had actually smoked 17 – 35 filter tip cigarettes.

The pollution indoors from someone smoking is generally much higher than the pollution outdoors in some of the most heavily polluted areas. The effects of one cigarette in a room can last up to two weeks and put enough particles in the air to violate the Clean Air Act. Second hand smoke causes over 50,000 deaths to non-smokers each year.

Second hand smoke does many things to the body, especially to a child. It is responsible for

15,000 children hospitalized

26,000 new cases of asthma

150,000 – 300,000 lung infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, in children less than

18 months old

40% of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) due to mothers smoking during and/or after pregnancy or another person smoking in the house

Here are some of the chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes:

1. 4-aminobiphenyl…..Promotes liver/bladder cancer

2. Ethyl 2-furoate……A liver poison, considered for use as a chemical warfare agent

3. Hydrogen Cyanide….A poison used in gas chambers, responsible for paralyzing and killing the cilia in lung airways

4. Arsenic………..A poison used to kill rats

5. Formaldehyde…….Used to preserve dead bodies

6. Carbon Monoxide…. Replaces the oxygen in red blood cells can mimic anemia

7. Ammonia……….An irritant and poison used to help vaporize nicotine so it can be easily inhaled

8. Nickel…………An organ specific carcinogen

9. Naphythlamine……A bladder carcinogen

10. Toluidine……….A bladder carcinogen

11. Benzo(a)pyrene……A cancer promoter

12. Acetylene……….Used for fuel in welding torches

13. Cadmium……….Used in rechargeable batteries

14. Benzene………..Used as an industrial solvent

This is just a small list. There are over 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco alone.

The truth of the matter is, the dangers of smoking both cigarettes and marijuana are not to be taken lightly. Smoking does claim the highest death rate in our country each and every year. Second hand smoke is unbelievably unhealthy to our environment, not to mention how terrible it is for the youths of America, and the rest of the World at that. Most people have or will try marijuana, but it doesn t mean that everyone has to. All of the information above was entirely true and there are absolutely no exaggerations.


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