Causes and Effects of Smoking

There are many factors that prompt people to take up smoking, and there are hundreds of ways in which this habit could harm an individual. This WellnessKeen write-up tells you the causes of smoking and its effects on health.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: May 29, 2018
Girl smoking cigarette
Since a young age, we are told about the many harmful effects of smoking and why we should stay away from it, but as we grow older, we find that a majority of people are addicted to it beyond redemption. This stems from the fact that cigarettes are a huge source of revenue for the government, and try as they may, they cannot cover up the fact that cigarettes provide huge income for them. It is for this reason alone that smoking will never be banned by the government in spite of so many people getting afflicted by its effects.
Lung cancer and mouth cancer are some of the biggest dangers of smoking, and a single cigarette contains thousands of harmful chemicals. There are very few people who can actually recognize the dangers involved, and quit it altogether.
Even though approximately 480,000 people die due to it every single year in the United States alone, the number of smokers just keeps rising and people do not stop smoking. It is not only the smokers who get affected, but also the non-smokers who get affected due to inhaling of secondhand smoke. Let us first see what causes people to start smoking.
Why Do People Smoke?
When we speak of smoking, we generally refer to cigarettes, but there are many other substances that are smoked and are dangerous to the human body as well. As we all know, cigarettes contain the very harmful substance known as nicotine, and this causes irreversible damage in the long run. To get to the bottom of potential causes, one needs to understand the basic psychology behind people taking up this habit. The problems of teen and women smoking cigarettes is also something that needs to be addressed in a responsible manner.
Woman smoking
Here are some of the most commonly seen causes.
  • Peer pressure. This is the biggest reason why teenagers start with it.
  • Feelings of stress and fatigue. The nicotine certainly makes one feel relaxed, but this comes at a painful price of addiction.
  • Growing up in a house or environment where people regularly smoke.
  • Experiencing a total lack of discouragement against smoking.
  • Ignorance about all the associated disadvantages and risks.
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Getting to the bottom of why people smoke cigarettes is something that can only be understood completely by understanding the nature of the individual. Different people have different reasons why they take up this habit, and to make a universal list is virtually impossible.
Effects of Smoking
man with smoking
Here are the effects of smoking cigarettes, and needless to say, most of these pose a real danger to the health and well-being of an individual
  • Rise in blood pressure and heart rate.
  • The person may experience dizziness and nausea for a short or long period of time after smoking a cigarette.
  • The person will experience a considerably lower appetite.
  • The sense of taste and smell of the individual will be affected as well.
  • The blood circulation in the body will be negatively affected.
  • Chronic coughing and shortness of breath will often be experienced.
  • The cigarettes will leave a yellow stain on the fingers and teeth, and a black stain on the lips.
  • It weakens the immune system of the individual.
  • It makes a person appear older because of more visible wrinkles and lines on the face.
  • Increased risk of various diseases and disorders like heart attacks, coronary disorders, different kinds of cancer, respiratory tract infections, ulcers in the stomach, peripheral vascular disease, and emphysema.
Building stamina
It also affects and weakens the overall fitness and stamina of the individual.
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All these effects should be enough to lead anyone to question their true motives behind it. It is also true that these effects affect people in different ways. It all depends on the number of cigarettes the individual smokes in a day, the amount of time he/she has been doing this for, the general health and fitness of the individual, and the kind of lifestyle that he/she leads.
Facts and Statistics
Here are some facts and statistics related to deaths that should be a cause for alarm for any smoker.
  • 90% of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking and 20% deaths are due to tobacco.
  • People who smoke are 20 times more likely to contract some form of cancer.
  • Around 25% of adults and 30% of high school students in the US are into smoking.
  • Secondhand smoke causes around 33,000 deaths annually in the US and also increases the risk of lung cancer and heart diseases by 20-35%.
Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services
Marijuana Plants
When you compare cigarettes with weed, or marijuana, you will find many differences. Cigarettes are certainly more harmful than weed, and this is something that surprises many people, considering that marijuana is illegal and is classified as a narcotic. It is definitely less harmful than tobacco, and it is certainly less addictive than cigarettes. The reason for the continued legalization of cigarettes is the high income that it generates, thanks to the large number of smokers all around the world. If the government is serious about getting rid of smoking, they need to be bold enough to go ahead and impose a ban and enforce it effectively.
There is so much more to learn about this topic, and most of these factors are beyond the realms of this article. This is a very vast and insinuating issue, and this is something that almost everyone has an opinion on. If you are smoker and wish to quit, then do so now! You won't regret it ever.