A lot of people smoke, all over the world. Everyone knows smoking is unhealthy and costs a lot of money. Everyone also knows that smoking is addictive due to the nicotine in it. But why do people smoke, what are the health risks of smoking and where does smoking originate from? That are the main questions I am going to answer in this essay.
Where does smoking originate from?
Smoking has been found out thousands of years ago. In the past people believed that smoking cured you from diseases, but in the 1900’s people found out that smoking is bad for you health instead of good. In the 1st World War a lot of people started to smoke because smoking stood for a carefree and glamorous lifestyle. In this period smoking became socially acceptable for women as well. Because so many people smoked in that time, a lung cancer epidemic broke out, while before World War 1 lung cancer was a rare disease. In the 1950’s and 1960’s Reader’s Digest started a campaign to reduce the number of smoking people by showing what effects smoking has on your health. In the last few years the smoking rate has dropped a lot, but still the tobacco production is growing all over the world. Especially in some Asian countries the smoking rate is very high.
What are the health risks of smoking?
Because there is a lot of tar in tobacco, there is a huge danger of getting lung cancer from smoking. When you smoke there is also a bigger chance to get a heart attack or cancer in your larynx (voicebox) or in your mouth. A 50 year study of over 30,000 people showed that non-smokers live about 10 years longer than smokers. Smoking is also unhealthy for an unborn child. In countries where most women smoke during their pregnancy, the infant mortality is higher than in countries where most women do not smoke during their pregnancy. Also passive smoking, the inhaling of smoke, is unhealthy; it can cause the same diseases as smoking. The chance of getting diseases through passive smoking is made smaller in the last years. Nowadays it is not allowed anymore to smoke in pubs, cafes, etcetera.
Why do people smoke?
When young people smoke it can be that they smoke because they want to be tough and want to belong to a certain group. It can also be that their parents smoke. It has been proved that children with smoking parents are more likely to smoke themselves. And once they have started and begin to smoke more, they become addicted to smoking due to the nicotine in cigarettes. And once they are addicted, it becomes hard to quit smoking, although the health risks of smoking are shown on the package.
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