What are some of the health problems associated with smoking? Explain one of these problems.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The previous posts have detailed much in the way of strong information about the hazards of smoking.  I think that you can generate enough information from what is there.  I do think that one of the most underrated hazards of smoking is the psychological dependence that forms as a result of the habit.  Unlike other drugs that are socially stigmatized, smoking is something that is relatively accepted in our society.  It is becoming less and less "vogue," but there is still a permissiveness that exists with it.  The result of this is that it becomes very easy to become "hooked," and the chemicals in the product that permeate the membrane of the cerebrum helps to enhance the addictive quality to it.  This becomes one of the reasons why addiction/ psychological dependence is one of the challenging side effects to smoking.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Smoking can cause any number of health issues.  Some of the more serious can include emphysema, a lung disease that gets progressively worse, or lung cancer.  As for health problems during the life of a smoker, many experience shortness of breath, a more limited ability for their cells to carry oxygen, high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Women who smoke are more at risk for problems during pregnancy, low birth weight for the baby, and birth defects.

Because smoking continually stresses the respiratory system, it stresses all the elements of it, including the heart, which has to work harder to get the same amount of oxygen to the brain and vital organs and tissues.  So heart attacks among smokers are much more common, and at younger ages.


besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are numerous health problems associated with smoking. One health problem associated with smoking is the dangers of women who smoke while pregnant. Women who smoke while pregnant are more likely to miscarry or go into premature labor as the baby receives less oxygen and possibly lethal doses of carbon monoxide.

In addition, these babies are at a much higher risk for having a low birth weight or abnormalities.

Once the baby is born, he or she is more likely to become sick with colds and other respiratory problems as they have compromised immune systems. They are also now exposed to second hand smoke which is also very dangerous.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Smoking refers to inhaling of tobacco smoke by various means such as cigarettes, cigars and pipes. People have been smoking tobacco indifferent forms since many centuries, for relaxation and pleasure. However with regular smoking a person gets addicted to a substance called nicotine contained in the tobacco and then the major objective of smoking becomes satisfying this craving for nicotine.

This craving for nicotine and compulsion to smoke because of it is, in itself, a significant problem of smoking. However since 1900 scientists have found increasing evidence of many harmful effect of smoking on health.

Smoking has now been associated with diseases like lung diseases, cancer of mouth, lungs and other organs,and heart problems.

Tobacco smoke contains thousands of different chemicals as particulate matters, which are very harmful for the health of the smoker. Some of these harmful chemicals include hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide. Continued high level of carbon monoxide associated with smoking is known to cause heart problems.

The particulate matters in the smoke gets deposited in mucous lining of lungs and the air passages leading to the lungs. This deposits get accumulated over a period and scar lung and the airways.

Smoking by women during pregnancy can harm the unborn child leading to low weight at birth and defective development of baby.

In addition to these problems classified as diseases, smoking cause general loss of stamina and causes breathlessness in smokers.