According to recent studies done in the USA, approximately 3200 people up to the age of 18 smoke at least one cigarette to get their morning started.
Now you can just imagine the figures on a global scale if these numbers are just from the US only. Sad to say, not many new smokers know that smoking can lead to health complications including cancer, heart and lung diseases, stroke and diabetes. Therefore, in essence, it’s not a fun thing to do as most people may think. Deaths due to cigarette smoking in the US alone are at a whopping 480,000 annually and if you took a more detailed look at the components that make up a cigarette, you would be better able to understand.
There are about 600 different components of an average cigarette and the smoke from it can create over 7000 harmful chemicals. Looking at where some of these ingredients can actually be located outside of a cigarette stick would probably make you stay clear of them for the rest of your life. Cigarettes consist of several hundred ingredients apart from tobacco, and burning them will activate other chemicals that are harmful to your health. This is just one of a list of issues pointed out by an environmental health scientist with Mount Sinai School, Dr. Luz Claudio.
A considerable amount of the components that appear in cigarettes are also present in FDA-approved foods and drinks as explained by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. In some instances, you wouldn’t think that any of these ingredients could ever be in your body. The inorganic arsenic substances found in wood preservatives and rat poisons are just a few examples of the harmful ingredients. The FDA released an Established List of Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke, and that list went on to explain some of the dangers related to consumption of arsenic. They include reproduction of toxins and exposure to cardiovascular toxicants.
Nicotine and carbon monoxide are few of the more popularly known substances that can be found in cigarettes. However, they can both be found in insecticides and car exhaust fumes respectively. Formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen and component of embalming fluid can also be found in cigarettes. Some of the other ingredients like cadmium and hexamine may not seem harmful, but contrary to popular belief, they can be found in batteries and barbecue lighters as well. Despite all the information provided, the fact remains that there is at least 70 carcinogenic ingredients found in cigarettes which can result in death.
The smoked produced from burning cigarettes affects the oxygen flow in our bodies in two ways as explained by Dr. Brian Tiep, a pulmonologist who specializes in pulmonary rehab with the City of Hope. The first way is through another compound called cyanide that hinders tissue from receiving and using oxygen. While on the other hand, the second way is due to the carbon monoxide attaching itself to hemoglobin, which in turn hinders oxygen transfer to red blood cells.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for 30% of America’s cancer-related fatalities according to the American Cancer Society. This 30% is inclusive of lung cancer deaths in both men and women, which is are 87 and 70 percent respectively. Chronic airway obstruction, bronchitis, and emphysema are some of the other lung diseases that are a result of cigarette smoking. Over 16 million people in the USA are currently suffering from some disease related to the bad habit and in closing, plans need to be implemented to reduce the number of young people who choose to pick up smoking, so these type of fatalities can be avoided.