How Smoking Affects Your Health
There are no physical reasons to start smoking. The body doesn’t need tobacco the way it needs food, water, sleep, and exercise. And many of the chemicals in cigarettes, like nicotine and cyanide, are actually poisons that can kill in high enough doses.
The body is smart. It goes on the defense when it’s being poisoned. First time smokers often feel pain or burning in the throat and lungs, and some people feel sick or even throw up the first few times they try tobacco.
The consequences of this poisoning happen gradually. Over the long term, smoking leads people to develop health problems like heart disease, stroke, emphysema (breakdown of lung tissue), and many types of cancer including lung, throat, stomach, and bladder cancer. People who smoke also have an increased risk of infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
These diseases limit a person’s ability to be normally active, and they can be fatal. In the United States, smoking is responsible for about 1 out of 5 deaths.
Smokers not only develop wrinkles and yellow teeth, they also lose bone density, which increases their risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes older people to become bent over and their bones to break more easily. Smokers also tend to be less active than nonsmokers because smoking affects lung power.
Smoking can also cause fertility problems and can impact sexual health in both men and women. Girls who are on the pill or other hormone based methods of birth control (like the patch or the ring) increase their risk of serious health problems, such as heart attacks, if they smoke.
The consequences of smoking may seem very far off, but long term health problems aren’t the only hazard of smoking. Nicotine and the other toxins in cigarettes, cigars, and pipes can affect a person’s body quickly, which means that teen smokers experience many of these problems
- Bad skin. Because smoking can slow the flow of blood vessels, it can prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the skin which is why smokers often appear pale and unhealthy. Studies have also linked smoking to an increased risk of getting a type of skin rash called psoriasis.
- Bad breath. Cigarettes leave smokers with a condition called halitosis, or persistent bad breath.
- Bad smelling clothes and hair. The smell of stale smoke tends to linger not just on people’s clothing, but on their hair, furniture, and cars. And it’s often hard to get the smell of smoke out.
- Reduced athletic performance. People who smoke usually can’t compete with nonsmoking peers because the physical effects of smoking (like rapid heartbeat, decreased circulation, and shortness of breath) impair sports performance.
- Greater risk of injury and slower healing time. Smoking affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, so common sports injuries, such as damage to tendons and ligaments, will heal more slowly in smokers than nonsmokers.
- Increased risk of illness. Studies show that smokers get more colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia than nonsmokers. And people with certain health conditions, like asthma, become more sick if they smoke (and often if they’re just around people who smoke). Because teens who smoke as a way to manage weight often light up instead of eating, their bodies also lack the nutrients they need to grow, develop, and fight off illness properly.
Books v. cigarettes – wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Orwell states that the essay was triggered by the experience of an editor friend who was firewatching during the Second World War. He was told by factory workers that they had no interest in literature because they could not afford books.
The essay first appeared in Tribune on February 8, 1946.
Orwell questions the idea that buying or reading a book is an expensive hobby. Working out that he had 442 books in his flat and an equivalent number elsewhere, he allocates a range of prices, depending on whether the books were bought new, given, provided for review purposes, borrowed or loaned. Averaging the cost over his lifetime, and adding other incidental reading costs, he estimates his annual expenditure at 25.
In contrast, Orwell works out that before the war he was spending 20 a year on beer and tobacco and that he currently spends 40 per year on tobacco. He works out the national average spent on beer and tobacco to be 40 a year. Noting that it is difficult to establish a relationship between the price of different types of books and the value derived from them, Orwell works out that if books are read simply recreationally, the cost per hour is less than the cost of a cinema seat. Therefore, reading is one of the cheapest recreations.
And if our book consumption remains as low as it has been, at least let us admit that it is because reading is a less exciting pastime than going to the dogs, the pictures or the pub, and not because books, whether bought or borrowed, are too expensive.
Orwell’s essays in Tribune, including this, have been described in The Independent as some of the greatest essays in the English language. 1 The question Orwell raised continues to provide a basis for discussion, as in a review of a poll in which one in four Americans read no books at all in 2007 2 and that chief executives claim that they have no time to read literature. 3
The essay was the subject of an article in Structo magazine which published ‘Books v. Cigarettes 63 years on’ in their November 2009 edition.
See also edit
- Bibliography of George Orwell