Smoking is the Primary Cause of Evitable Death in the US

Abstract

Cigarette smoking causes harm to almost every organ of the human body, reduces the life span, and worsens the life quality of a smoker in general. Every day, about 1,000 children and teenagers take up this dreadful habit in the US only. About 20% of adults are active smokers in spite of the fact that cigarette smoking is the primary cause of evitable death in the US. The habit takes the lives of 443,000 people every year, which makes smoking the most critical issue nowadays.

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Nicotine is a Drug

Giving up cigarette smoking is not easy, because nicotine is a drug, officially recognized as such in 1997. Being a stimulant, it triggers the center of the human brain responsible for reward and pleasure, leads to dependency and addiction. Nicotine incentivizes the formation and release of dopamine in the brain and adds to the good feeling. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include headache, irritability, insomnia, increased hunger, depression, craving for sweets, problems with blood pressure and digestive system. Regretfully, every year, 30 million US citizens try to give up smoking and fail.

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Any pleasure one may get from smoking is not worth the inevitable consequences; up to 87% of deaths from lung cancer are caused by smoking. Secondhand smoking is extremely dangerous; it has no level of safe exposure and causes death to thousands of people annually. More than 8 million Americans suffer from diseases triggered by smoking. The majority suffers from lung diseases; the other conditions include stroke, cataract, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, acute myeloid leukemia, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer of every and any part of the airways, stomach, pancreatic and kidney cancers. Smoking leads to numerous disorders, such as detained healing of injuries, peptic ulcer disease, and infertility. In figures, smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 2 times, of stroke by 2 times, of lung cancer by 25 times.

Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/

Smoking during pregnancy leads to preterm deliveries, low-birth weight and doubles the risk of stillbirth. Birth defects include reduced lung function and narrowed airways. Oxygen shortage leads to a destructive effect on the development and growth of the baby. Underweight babies are born with undeveloped lungs, which leaves children not only with a high risk of asthma but also endangers them to other long-term lung problems. Heart defects and lifelong brain disorders such as low IQ, behavioral and learning problems are other horrible consequences of smoking while pregnant.

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Summary

People should never soothe themselves with the idea that once they give up smoking, their health will recover completely in a while, their lungs will clean up, and they will avoid all the death risks. The risk is never eliminated. In five years of quitting smoking, the risk of dying from mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer drops by half. The risk of developing lung cancer drops to the same level in ten years only. Still, giving up the devastating habit is efficient at every point, even if one was diagnosed with lung cancer already. Smoking worsens the body’s ability to heal and react to medication, which affects the chances for recovery.

Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/

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