Smoking: A Hazard to All

What can be made with ammonia, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and formaldehyde? It may be surprising to know that these are but a few ingredients found in an average cigarette. These are poisons and chemicals found in substances like household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, and batteries. On Quit Smoking Support, it is mentioned that the cigarette smoke that’s exhaled contains over four thousand of these chemicals-and at least forty-three of them cause cancer. Is it not obvious that these are substances not meant for our bodies? All of our lives we have been warned against the dangers of smoking. It affects the smokers themselves and everyone around them.

Smoking is a one way road to an agonizing death. For the one who smokes, the whole body is affected. According to the Center of Disease Control (Or CDC), smoking causes a laundry list of various cancers, like throat, oral, lung, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancers. Most of your organs vital for digestion are damaged. In addition, your risks for heart diseases and infertility increase. For men who smoke, the risk for developing lung cancer increases by twenty-three times, and for women, thirteen times. Coronary heart disease due to smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States. For anybody who lights up, the risk for that increases two to four times.

Since misery likes company, everybody can suffer from the presence of a smoker. Dictionary.com defines secondhand smoke as “smoke from a cigarette, cigar, or pipe that is involuntarily inhaled, especially by nonsmokers.” At your favorite restaurant, at your work place, at school, even in your home, everyone around you is detrimentally exposed to an awful smoking habit. The noxious fumes are quite unpleasant, and create risk for heart diseases in innocent bystanders. Ever heard of third-hand smoke? The Mayo Clinic considers it a “residual nicotine and other chemicals left on a variety of indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix. This toxic mix of third-hand smoke contains cancer-causing substances, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers who are exposed to it, especially children.” A home can never be rid of third-hand smoke. A young child’s exposure causes ear infections, respiratory symptoms and infections, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS), and asthma attacks.

Smoking burns away your quality of life as its deathly chemicals char your internal organs. Out in public, it’s inconsiderate to expose everyone around you to the smoke you exhale. Nobody ever likes a whiff of cigarette tobacco. And you worsen the risks for those who have a family history of heart problems or cancer. Could you tell your own children that the problems they have were caused by your smoking habit? Or that you’re sick and dying because of it? Smoking lights up the world, and not in a good way. It’s a selfish practice that should be ceased altogether, or at least more strictly controlled.