How bad are cigarettes really? Is it all just hype and fiction or are some of the rumors about smoking actually true? We will examine some of the common myths about smoking and better understand what is true.
One common misconception is that smoking is just an occasional habit that is easy to break at any time. Smoking is a very different habit than something like watching television. Cigarettes are actually quite addictive. Cigarettes contain an ingredient called nicotine that is one of the most addictive agents in the world. It is absorbed very quickly into tissues and is the drug that not only raises heart rate and emotions, making people enjoy the cigarette, but also the substance which causes people to want more.
Smoking cigarettes is sometimes thought to only affect a person's lungs, since the smoke is breathed in and out through the lungs. Unfortunately, smoking has an effect on nearly every organ in the body. For instance, smoking is associated with lung and throat cancers and is known to worsen various respiratory disorders like asthma, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but it also places people at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, it can negatively affect many other systems in the body, including causing problems such as poor bone health, increased risk of infertility and miscarriages, and worsening diabetes. It also worsens the chance of developing various autoimmune diseases such as Crohns disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Another misconception is that smoking has no long-term health effects. Smoking is well associated with causing multiple health risks. Smoking cigarettes is a highly addictive habit that has been known for many years to have several very dangerous chemicals that can cause a variety of problems including a higher risk of causing heart disease, developing lung and throat cancers, and worsening various respiratory disorders. Recent studies seem to be suggesting that there are even more negative and long-term potential effects of smoking than the medical community may have originally realized. For instance, a study was recently published showing an association between smoking and a risk for developing eye cataracts, a major cause of blindness. Even when people had quit smoking for twenty years, they were still at an increased risk of developing cataracts compared to those who had never smoked. Studied like this show that even for those who do not smoke very much or smoke for a long time, there are still many long-term consequences of smoking.
Smoking is also often used by people to help them calm down and relax, however, in reality smoking is actually quite detrimental to sleep and rest. The ingredient nicotine that is found in cigarettes is a stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure similar to the mechanism of a workout, and is a stimulant that can keep people from falling asleep. Nicotine is also highly addictive and in some cases can awaken people during the night to have another smoke. Finally, studies have shown that those who smoke often do not sleep as deeply, and thus are more likely to wake up feeling tired. Overall, smoking cigarettes is much more damaging to your sleep and your rest than it is helpful.
Smoking cigarettes is a very serious habit with numerous potential complications. Each year, many people try to quit smoking while thousands others die from smoking and its effects. In spite of how harmless and safe it may seem, it can affect nearly every aspect of a person's life, and should be treated with respect and better understood for all of its many potential complications and adverse reactions.