This is to discourage young people from taking up this deadly habit by appealing to their common sense and better judgment, thereby allowing them to choose for themselves not to smoke. The knowledge Of irreversible effects Of smoking on various organ Systems, can save your life. Will not recite the familiar litany of smoking-related health problems such as emphysema, mouth and throat cancer, and ignite-urinary tract infections. Rather, I will show that smoking cigarettes for as few as five years can have a permanent effect on the lungs, heart and circulatory system, and reproductive system.
Despite smoking having irreversible effects; it would be foolish for a smoker to conclude that after years of smoking, quitting would o him no good. Many studies prove that tobacco-related health effects decline substantially as time away from smoking increases; some of the benefits begin within months after quitting. After years of exposure to the damaging effects of tobacco, smokers that decide to quit, must realize that they have to be realistic in their expectations of recouping their health.
Cigarettes damage the body gradually and insidiously in a number of different ways. One popular argument the scientific community often makes encourage smokers to quit stems from the conjecture that all of the health effects of smoking are reversible shortly after cessation, regardless of the duration or intensity of the smoking exposure. Unfortunately, this conjecture is not true. Teenagers in particular, may be overly complacent about smoking because they believe incorrectly that they can smoke for a few years and quit without suffering any long-term effects.
This complacency is especially troubling in the light of recent findings, which teen smoking rates have increased by nearly a third within the last six years (Centers for Disease Control, 1998). Teen smokers who believe that all the lath hazards of cigarettes will disappear in a puff of smoke when they quit, who assume that smoking from, say, age 16 to age 28, will have no long-term effects, often fall back on an “I can always quit tomorrow”(or next month or next year) philosophy.
They trust mistakenly that any adverse health consequences they may incur during their smoking years will disappear when, eventually, they stop lighting up. Another recent study has reported that the quitting success rate among teenagers is very low: less than sixteen percent of the six hundred thirty-three teen smokers in the study were able o kick the habit (Centers for Disease Control, 1998). Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. It accounts for almost five hundred thousand deaths per year, or one in every five deaths.
Cigarette smoking contributes to a remarkable number of diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COOP), peripheral vascular disease, peptic ulcer disease, and many types of cancer (Rose, 1996). Of the forty-six million smokers in the United States, thirty-four percent try to quit each year but less than ten percent succeed (Rose, 1996). According to Centers for Disease Control approximately eighty percent of current adult smokers began smoking before their 1 8th birthday. Each day over three thousand teenagers light up for the first time.
Most teens are aware of smoking’s hazards, but few are worried about them. Moreover, most teen smokers quickly become addicted to nicotine. They report that they want to quit but are unable to do so. Teen smokers experience high relapse rates and debilitating withdrawal symptoms (U. S. Public Health Services, 1994). The bottom line is that smoking is costly, both to the individual smoker and to society as a whole. Recent long-term studies indicate that about half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually die from their addiction. With smoking, the reversibility of health effects is influenced by many factors.
Among those factors are smoking exposure, the number Of cigarettes per day and duration of smoking, and physiologic susceptibility. The presence of other diseases, genetic variables, and even nutritional factors also enter into susceptibility assessment. Quitting brings benefits at any age, but there are “thresholds” amounts of smoking that irreversibly increase the risk of some sissies (American of Science and Health, 1996). The good news is that quitting prolongs life and reduces the risk of tobacco-related cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and COOP.
Current knowledge of the irreversible effects of smoking, organized by organ systems, follows. The effect smoking has on the respiratory system are irreversible. Smoking irritates and damages the respiratory tract. In the lungs an accumulation of tar from smoking cause irritation and damage. This causes a variety of symptoms, including wheezing, productive cough, sputum production and expiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These effects can be reduced but not entirely reversed by quitting. Smoking is the primary risk factor of developing COOP, I. E. Heroic bronchitis, emphysema (American Thoracic Society, 1996). Emphysema is characterized by permanent structural changes in the lung tissue. The deterioration in the lung function associated with COOP is directly related to duration of smoking and the number of cigarettes smoked. Cigarette smoking during childhood and adolescence increases the number and severity of respiratory illnesses. It also causes retardation n the rate of lung development and in the level of maximum function (Surgeon General report, 1994). Retardation in lung growth during childhood means that the lungs may never attain normal function.
Smoking induced chronic irritation of the respiratory lining and the wide variety of carcinogens in cigarette smoke, induces permanent changes in the cells lining the respiratory tract. These changes can lead to cancer (American Thoracic Society, 1996). Cigarette smoke is, in fact, the major cause of lung cancers of all major histologist types. The effects smoking has on the heart and circulatory system can change your fife or even death. Premature coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most important medical consequences of smoking.
Smoking acts both independently of and syntactically with other major risk factors for heart disease. Sadly, sudden death may be the first sign Of CAD. Sudden death is four times more likely to occur in young male cigarette smokers than in non-smokers. In a recent study of atherosclerosis, the progression of fatty deposits in the carotid artery was found to be dependent on total pack-years of tobacco exposure, rather than on current smoking status (Hackneyed EL, 1998). This finding indicates that atherosclerosis progression may also be cumulative and irreversible, at least after some degree of baseline exposure.
Cardiovascular accident (C.V.), or stroke, causes brain damage that usually leaves its victims with permanent disabilities. Smokers’ excess risk for stroke appears to return to that of non-smokers within five to fifteen years of cessation (U. S. Dept. Of Health, 1990). It was recently learned that the incidence of “silent strokes” events that harbingers of both severe strokes and dementia is increased in anyone who has ever smoked. Smoking is a strong risk factor for several types of blood vessel diseases (Holbrook, 1998). Smoking causes poor circulation to the legs by narrowing the blood vessels that supply these extremities.
Quitting reduces, but does not eliminate, this risk. (U. S. Dept. Of Health, 1990). Once this becomes a problem surgical intervention is required. The effects of smoking in the reproduction system could mean the life of an unborn child. Infertility is more common among smokers but is not reversible. The damage done to smokers’ babies during pregnancy are irreversible. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with dire consequences for the baby as a fetus, as a newborn, and even as a child. Recognition of the evidence of this damage has prompted researches to designate it as ‘fetal tobacco syndrome. Miscarriage is two to three times more common in smokers, as well as stillbirths due to fetal oxygen deprivation and placental abnormalities induced by the carbon monoxide and nicotine in cigarette smoke. Smokers have a high risk of having a low birth weight baby; such babies are more likely to have impaired physical, emotional, and intellectual development (Washrag L S, 1997). Women, who smoked during pregnancy, were fifty percent more likely to have a child with mental retardation of unknown cause, than nonsmoking women (Dress CD, 1996).
Sudden death syndrome (KIDS) is significantly associated with smoking (American Thoracic Society, 1996). Women who quit smoking as late as the first trimester may diminish some of these risk, but the risk of certain congenital malformations such as cleft palate, is increased even in women who quit early in pregnancy. There should be no illusions as to the dangers and effects of cigarette smoking. Nicotine is a highly addictive pharmacologically active substance. The array of noxious chemicals packed in a cigarette can permanently and drastically affect health.