The follwing question was posted under Health on September 21, 2012. It is such an important matter that I think it should be opened to general discussion. I believe that more testimonials against smoking besides mine might make a stronger impression on young readers.
Can someone give me their detailed opinion (pros vs cons) on smoking?
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I have personally known many people who died from smoking. My own wife died from smoking. Her father died from smoking. I had several friends who died from lung cancer due to cigarette addiction. The woman who lived in the apartment next door to me was dying of lung cancer, but she wouldn't go into a hospice where she could receive morphine injections because they wouldn't let her continue smoking. A man who lived across the hall was skin and bones from lung disease, and yet he was a chain smoker. He had an inhaler to help him breathe. He would take one puff on a cigarette and one puff from the inhaler. He died, of course--but he kept smoking until the end. I started smoking myself when I was only about twelve years old because I thought it was sophisticated. Fortunately I quit after many years and many attempts, but it was the hardest thing I ever did. I can't think of anything good about smoking. It is getting terribly expensive. Laws are being passed making it harder and harder for people to smoke indoors or outdoors. I truly hate to see young people smoking cigarettes. They don't know what they are letting themselves in for. But I can't say anything to them. Maybe they think that by the time they get lung cancer the doctors will have a way to cure it. Never happen!
I was hoping that more people would contribute specific cases of friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances who had died or suffered serious diseases from smoking. My wife died of lung cancer. She was horribly addicted. She smoked filtered cigarettes that were supposed to be low in tar and nicotine. This only caused her to smoke more and more cigarettes to get the amount of nicotine she craved. I gave up smoking many years ago, but, like millions of Americans I suffer from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) as an after-effect of smoking. It is incurable. It can be very unpleasant and can only get worse with age. It costs me a lot of money for inhalers. I can think of at least eight people I knew personally who died lingering deaths because of smoking cigarettes. Some people just cannot quit. One woman who lived in the apartment next to mine was dying of lung cancer but continued smoking to the every end. She wouldn't go into a hospice where she could get morphine injections because they wouldn't allow her to smoke there. American tobacco companies (as you can see on Google) are heavily advertising American brands of cigarettes in China, among other places. It is estimated that in 2025 there will be two million deaths from lung cancer a year in China. I would like to see more horror stories about smoking. They might have a persuasive effect on young people and save some lives.
As a former smoker, I can only say that I don't know why I started in the first place. As a kid I was very opposed to the idea, but at some point I just started doing it. Probably because people around me in college were smoking.
My advice regarding cigarettes or alcohol or illegal drugs is that the only way to avoid certain addiction and disaster is to never try any of them, ever. I tell my kids and my students that every single person on earth is an addict, and if they are dumb enough to try something for the first time, they'll quickly find out what they are addicted to. Then they'll find out that addiction is an enemy more powerful than any they've ever known, and one they'll never, ever be able to completely defeat.
Just from a sheer economic viewpoint, who can afford to smoke these days when you calculate the real cost of the habit in terms of buying cigarettes on a regular basis? I am consistently amazed at the amount of money spent by some of my relatives throughout the years on cigarettes alone. The average yearly cost of smoking is between $1,500 and $3,000, depending on what state you live in. When compounded by say ten years of smoking, the amount of money spent on cigarettes could easily buy a car, not to mention the other expenses associated with the habit.
Regarding #3's post about smokers who feel calmed when they get their cigarette fix, I have heard the same thing many times from my high school students. However, it's important to note that this calming effect is not really coming from the nicotine, it's coming from your body - nicotine is addictive, and when you don't get your fix, you get irritated and jumpy, so of course smoking calms you down - but if you didn't smoke, you wouldn't need to be calmed in the first place! Do you really want to give control over your brain to cigarettes?
The tobacco industry does support farmers, which would be a pro except for the fact that tobacco only grows in excellent rich soil, so those farms could easily be growing a different crop that would help to feed people.
The long and short is that there are no real, rock-solid pros to tobacco use. The people who own and invest in the cigarette companies get rich at the expense of their customers' health.
The cons are easy. Smokers cause everyone to have to pay more for health insurance. Smokers smell bad, face several major health risks because of their habit, live shorter lives on average, and spend a lot of money on cigarettes.
Smoking is highly addictive. The drug users of heroin, crack, and other hard core drugs cite smoking as more addictive than any other other drugs. It has been proven statistically that smoking causes death. It also impacts other kinds of diseases: heart problems, lung problems, kidney problems, etc.
Other than for personal use and enjoyment, there is nothing good to say about smoking. That is a personal choice and lethal choice.
Now, the point that the smoke of someone else becomes my problem...that is where I am absolutely against smoking. I choose not to smoke. I have allergies and asthma and am prone to having pneumonia.
If I am sitting at a football game, I should have the right not to have to breathe someone else's smoke. When the man sitting behind me smoking and his smoke comes billowing down on me, then I believe that he has infringed on my right to breathe and enjoy a game without smoke.
When confronted about his smoke and my breathing his secondhand smoking, his response was:
Who do you think you are? I have a right to smoke anywhere I want. Why don't you get up and move? It is your problem not mine.
He is wrong. I have a right to not breathe in his smoke since I choose not to smoke. Second hand smoke is a serious problem. It has more carcinogens than regular smoke.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. More than 250 of these chemicals are known to be harmful, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer.
The problem of second hand smoke should be the issue. If an adult chooses to smoke, that is his prerogative. However, it becomes a crime when he forces me to smoke along with him. That is infringing on my rights to breathe without taking chemical compounds from someone else.
Legally, there have been some laws set in place: restaurants, workplaces, and government offices. These places are protected. Go to a casino or an outdoor facility. You might want to ask the smoker what brand he smokes, so you know what you are smoking with him as you breathe his smoke.
Public places where children go are a special area of concern. By breathing second hand smoke, the child's lungs might be damaged forever.
My opinion is that smoking is unhealthy and should be avoided. Educating children about the damaging effects of smoking is where it all begins. Although any kind of education that gets anyone of any age to quit smoking is great too! However, children are the next major group that will either smoke or not smoke so the education process must begin as early as possible. Post #5 states that the industry creates jobs and this is true - it also helps create more jobs in the health care industry that must deal with the results of smoking, especially cigarette smoking. I only have one question: why is there not a crackdown on the beer, wine, and spirits industry like there is on the tobacco industry? The tobacco industry is vilified, while alcohol is glamorized and given total freedom to advertise on TV, and more? I'm not against having a drink - but alcohol poses dangers as well, especially when abused, but it's viewed as "Hey, let's party and drink, and watch NFL with a host of Bud's at hand." Then after the game we'll hop in the car and drive home!
I hate smoking too, but I figure that it is not without its good side. The main one is that it gives a lot of people jobs. We can say that all of those people should find jobs in other industries, but we know that that isn't all that easy, right? Of course I realize that it's kind of horrible that their jobs are based on an industry that ends up making people very unhealthy. But it is still about the only plus for smoking. And I suppose that there are plenty of other industries that are bad for us (maybe not as bad, though) and which we don't criticize nearly as much.
My grandfather died of lung cancer rather suddenly. Although that saddens me, my biggest problem with smoking is secondhand smoke. I have breathing problems, sometimes severely, and I do not react well to smoke. When people smoke, especially in enclosed spaces, the smell and irritation can last for hours afterward. In public places and high-density populated areas like apartment buildings it can be almost impossible to get away from the smoke. People who face the dangers of secondhand smoke do not have a choice, but smokers do.
Pro's of smoking? That sounds like an oxymoron, except that those who are smokers claim it is easily the quickest way to make them feel instantly calm and in control again. I've heard from several math-minded people that with the onset of a nicotine fix, they experience acute mental clarity and the ability to focus really well. I've definitely heard this from more than one smoker, most of them men, and most of them engineers, ironically. Nicotine also helps with bowel regularity.
As for the cons, as a non-smoker, instead of arguing the obvious health issues smoking causes, I simply speak from the perspective that smokers smell and taste terrible. I made my (now) husband quit smoking when we were dating. I would not kiss him as long as he was a smoker!
I agree with your post. My two favorite brothers-in-law both died of lung cancer, and the death is so awful. With the second brother-in-law, he smoked when he would drink, so it was doubly difficult. He had surgery to try to extend his time as he had just retired to the Boston area. I flew out to help my sister, and watched the agony he went through. His back was broken, his ability to enjoy anything was gone, and he finally consented to hospice at home. His last year of life was agony personified. I keep thinking that if the young people could see the end result of smoking, they would never start. Many of the prisoners I see also wish they had never started smoking because of the expense and the agony of withdrawal which must happen in prison, again because of money. I wish young people would look at smoking as the expense it is, both in money and health.
For me, I do not find any true pros/advantages of smoking. As a non-smoker who grew up with relatives who smoked, I always found it unpleasant to be around. And after I was old enough to learn about the harmful effects of smoking, I vowed never to even try it.
The cons, to most people, definitely outweigh the pros. The biggest cons would have to be the health issues that are associated with smoking. For example, lung cancer, liver failure, mouth cancer, gum disease, blackened or yellowed teeth, bad breath, the list goes on and on. Another big con would be the effect on family members, especially young children. Being exposed to second-hand smoke constantly is just as bad as being a smoker yourself, and in some cases, it could even kill the person, without them ever having touched a cigarette themselves.
That's just my opinion on the matter. Hope this helps!
My views on Smoking
Health wise : It is bad to a core and causes so many health problems not only for me but also from the second hand smoking.
Society wise: society becomes vulnerable and culturally they are behind and aAny society wishes to uplift the wealth and health of the people.
Spiritual exprience is not possible if you are addicted to smoking and it will give you an excuse to do what ever feels good.
The only positive thing I can tell about smoking is that it is a laxative. At least, that's my brother's excuse every time I tell him to quit. Apparently, it is also a way to relieve stress.
Smoking is bad for our health and it could eventually kill you. It is a terrible thing not only for the smoker, but also to those around him - his family and friends. I have read an article once, that said second hand smoke is even more dangerous and could potentially cause cancer. These non-smokers who inhale the smoke from the cigarette and from the mouth of the smoker becomes involuntary smokers at risk.
But why is it that this becomes an addiction? Why can't chain smokers stop?
Tobacco contains nicotine. It is a substance as addicting as heroine and cocaine. It gives the smoker a pleasant feeling that makes him want to smoke more. It's ironic how the smoker tries to please himself, the more he is actually killing himself.
People should quit smoking. For their own sake, and most especially for the people around them.
cons of smoking are the health factors, the deterioration of teeth, bad breath, the possibility of putting your loved ones in danger. The Pro's of smoking would be the sense of calmness you get when you smoke, the relaxing feeling.
How can you even say there's a good side to smoking? In my opinion, your setting yourself up for death and lug cancer. Do I judge people that smoke? Of course not. Do I support it? No. Seeing one of my closest family memebers go though the pain caused by him being addicted to cigarets, gives me some good reasons to disagree with smoking. Once you start it's hard to stop, I've wittnessed it. So why would you even get addicted in the first place?
It was only a couple decades ago that they discovered that smoking was harmful for you, so all our grandparents and probably most of our parents grew up smoking, sometimes at really young ages. The people who have no excuse is our generation, and, to be honest, our generation doesn't care. That's what I think anyway.
Many people get sucked into smoking the same way they get sucked into drugs: peer pressure. Urged by friends to take up smoking, or just have one, they end up addicted and unable to break their addiction.
And for those that are depressed, no one's going to worry about what harmful things smoking does for you because they're going to kill htemselves anyway... eventually.
But, please everybody, don't get offended by what I just said, because it's just my view on the facts of life.