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Why is Smoking Bad?

Smoking cigarettes can cause a variety of health problems including cancer, heart disease and emphysema.
Smoking increases the chances of being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Cigarettes.
Smokers often suffer from bad breath.
Smoking has been linked to a variety of cancers.
Many US businesses have banned smoking tobacco indoors.
Some people chew gum as an alternative when trying to quit smoking.
Smoking increases the risk of developing peptic ulcer disease.
Cigarettes contain a chemical featured in nail polish remover.
Pregnant women who smoke are at risk for miscarriages and premature labor.
Smoking contains many harmful chemicals including naphthalene, which is used to make moth balls.
Smoking while taking oral contraceptives increases a woman's risk of stroke almost four times.
A lighter.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2014
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Thirty percent of men and 19 percent of women around the world smoke. One hundred thousand children under the age of 15 start every day. One of every ten deaths around the world is caused by a smoking-related disease.

There are over 4,000 chemicals in a single cigarette, some of which are highly poisonous. Examples include naphthalene, which is used in moth repellent; acetone, the main component of nail polish remover; butane, a constituent of lighter fluid; and formaldehyde, used in embalming. Cigarettes also contain nicotine, a highly addictive stimulant that causes physical and psychological dependency.

The two most serious health effects of smoking are cancer and emphysema. Smoking has been linked to 11 forms of cancer, including cancer of the esophagus, mouth, pancreas, bladder, and kidney. According to recent studies, smokers are 26 times more likely to die of lung cancer than those who don't smoke. Emphysema is a chronic disease that destroys parts of the lungs and results in shortness of breath, hyperventilation, and asthma-like attacks.

Another common health effect of smoking is coronary artery disease. It reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the heart, increases blood clotting and blood pressure, and decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol. Women taking oral contraceptives should not smoke, as the risk for stroke increases almost four times.

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Other possible side effects of smoking include cataracts, reduced fertility, a higher risk of stroke, peptic ulcers, and back pain. Pregnant women who smoke are at risk for miscarriages, premature labor, and ectopic pregnancy. Babies born to mothers who use tobacco have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and behavioral problems later in life.

Using tobacco has some unpleasant cosmetic effects too. Smokers often suffer from bad breath, yellowing teeth and nails, and early wrinkles around the mouth. Smoking causes changes in the coloring and texture of the skin, often resulting in an ashy complexion. A smoker is also three times more likely to lose teeth than a non-smoker.

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Discuss this Article

anon317784
Post 114

I agree with the article. I have many family members who are losing their life because of smoking. Cigarette smoking to specific. Because of their bad habits, they have started developing unhealthy signs like harsh coughing, and wheezing. In fact, my grandmother just got over a stroke caused by smoking. It has been nothing but a huge setback in her life.

For those who have chosen to smoke, it is on you, it is your life. Just keep in mind any loved ones in your life who would flip out because you died of cancer or worse, a stroke. There are safer alternatives.

anon265312
Post 108

Smoking is bad for you: an undeniable truth. Other undeniable truths are: Alcohol is bad for you, overeating is bad for you, not exercising is bad, too little sleep is bad, too much sleep is bad, McDonald's is bad, fast food is generally bad, excessive sun exposure is bad, coffee is bad (depending on which day of the week it is, practically everything on this planet is bad (ratio-wise), worrying about what others decide to legally do to themselves will one day become fatal to your health. Worry about yourself.

anon242905
Post 104

Yes, It has more than 2000 chemicals and anyone who smokes should let that go. It's not good for your body at all. You can get cancer and lung cancer. Anything can happen to you so it's not good to smoke. Quit now, not later! This is the right time to stop!

anon220180
Post 102

I don't like to sit around a smoker, because they are very smelly. They also kill me!

anon161562
Post 98

I smoked my last cigarette in December 2010. Avoid those friends who smoke. Eat a healthy diet and start exercising and pranayama. Believe me, if you follow this, very soon you will hate smoking.

anon152983
Post 97

smoking is not good for you. one of my friends used to smoke and he was hospitalized for six weeks. when i asked him if it was worth it he said do not ever smoke. it's highly addictive and he doesn't even like it. it's all because of nicotine.

anon151614
Post 95

Well i hate when people smoke because it's killing your life! Do what you want,but you're going to die from it or not. I think that all smokers are wasting their life by smoking all day. I hate it and you should too. If you do smoke, quit it or die alone!

anon136305
Post 89

Smoking is bad for you. A lot of people smoke in parties after school, being cool but it isn't cool and i like smoking but i don't smoke because i don't want lung cancer.

anon136252
Post 88

This is stupid. Here are a bunch of people, either smokers or non smokers, trying to explain why it is good or bad.

Why would a non smoker listen to a smoker? They wouldn't because they know they are right.

Why would a smoker listen to a non smoker? They wouldn't because they don't know what it feels like to smoke.

I think if we want to find out if smoking is good or bad we shouldn't go online and find statistics of how many people died of this disease or that disease, but rather we should find a person who has a week left of life because he/she has some disease caused by smoking. We should ask them if they thought it was worth it. And if they had the chance to re-live life that they would still have smoked. That's what I would do if I wanted to know if smoking was good or bad.

anon131548
Post 86

if you don't like it, then don't smoke it! who (the people that are against it) are any of you to tell someone what they can and cannot do?

anon126237
Post 85

it's bad but still somebody likes it. It can cause asthma and it can kill anyone who likes it.

anon125404
Post 84

the fact is, if you don't like it, then don't smoke it!

let people die, helps thin us out. if you show any concern then be concerned in us having to pay for their medical bill out of our checks. that is worthy of a petition, not if a president should be allowed to smoke.

anon122379
Post 83

if you smoke it will take the minutes, seconds,

or even years from all your friends and family. Whoever hates rats better not smoke because it is a fact that there is rat poison in it.

anon101010
Post 80

Smoking is a horrible habit; people should never start. I find it disgusting that people here would smoke. I would ban cigarettes and cigars but then we would have people smuggling them into the country and everything. I can't believe Obama smokes -- an otherwise awesome role model making such a bad choice! I'm making a petition against it. I believe you all should agree.

anon94973
Post 79

From what I've read of these comments, people are very black and white. It's either "smoking's bad", or "I do it, I'm fine". Which seems completely ignorant to me.

In order to understand something, we must look at it from both sides. For everything, there is an opposite. You could live your life using only this as your known truth, and you would live a very open and full life.

Ok: Why is smoking bad?

Because it gives you health problems, right? And supposedly it's a proven fact that all forms or uses of tobacco are deadly and result in the highest form of preventable deaths.

Now to debunk.

In most cases such as lung cancer, if the person has any history of smoking, that is what's automatically written up by the attending doctor as the cause of death. And very little is actually done to counteract this, considering less than 10 percent of deaths receive a formal autopsy in the United States on average. We don't bother to research into that person's family history, and apparently it's irrelevant that his or her family might have had a genetic predisposition or history of lung cancer.

And then we must consider the statistics we're given and where they come from. In my experience, statistics can have almost any meaning that you want them to have. Maybe the study only looked at the number of people who were "recorded" to have had died from smoking. Or maybe this survey didn't bother to add all of the other people who never smoked who also died from this disease. But since they never smoked it wouldn't be relevant to them, would it?

And we also must look at the cultural applications of smoking. It is a very undebated "fact" that smoking is bad for you. So instead of disagreeing that smoking is bad for your health, tobacco companies would rather just adopt this view as their own and restate it to you in a different format, (ie. the surgeon general's warning on every tobacco product). So one couldn't be mad at these companies on their views since they are only agreeing with what we want them to say.

But anti-drug campaigns would say that the surgeon general's warning is too limited. But considering that the idea was culturally transmitted, does it make sense that they should stick it in our face every time we would use their products?

My point being is that you all have no grounds on which you base your claims. You just ridicioulsy shout these fantasies about this is bad or this is ok without having any inkling.

I'm not cheering for tobacco companies, nor am I for everyone else who would see them go under. I'm merely implying that you not be so oblivious on who you side with. Neither side is without its flaws.

Anti-smoking campaigns subject their will onto the public through their subliminal messages and influence on newer, restrictive tobacco laws, while tobacco companies cut corners and hire cheap child labor to survive in this financial downslide.

So before you fall either way on the issue as a smoker or non-smoker, be more skeptical in your decision. And that goes for everything in life. Don't be so sickeningly average.

anon92959
Post 78

smoking is really bad and it's hard to give up.

anon89805
Post 77

annon80971: You see, smoking is a very slow death. So, depending on how old you are, you won't see any health effects, not to say smoking still doesn't have any health effects.

anon89783
Post 76

I say we restrict, not ban smoking. You must sign a document by the government showing it is legal for you to smoke or consume tobacco. Then, when you go to buy tobacco, you simply show the form to whoever is giving you the product and off you go!

Furthermore, smoking should not be allowed indoors. Ever. If you want to smoke, do it outside. It's the same with the fact that you don't want your dog to do his business on the carpet.

Another big question: why would drop your cigarette butt on the ground when there's a receptacle for those 10 feet away? I went to a beach one time and there were cigarette butts all over the place. Smokers, people are trying to enjoy the beach, not what is left of your cigarette.

The smoking age should be 21, not 18. You can get addicted to alcohol, so why should smoking be any difference? The consumption age for any and all legal addictive substances should be 21.

Here are some last words. Smokers, with current restrictions, your life is in your hands. Keep smoking or quit shaving precious minutes, hours, and days of your lives. And quit for the sake of your families. You don't want to take a smoke break in the middle of something fun.

anon88852
Post 75

You were silly at first smoking!

anon88213
Post 73

I can't stand the people who parade around who have never smoked and think people are stupid for doing so. With the same comments everyone who does and doesn't smoke, I hear every day. give it a rest.

Nicotine is the most addicting and the fastest acting drug known to man. And you ask stupid questions like why do people smoke? Just saying to the person that what they're going to do is a stupid remark and is based under what lines?

I had a Grandfather who smoked a pack a day since he was 18 and still lives today (he's 78 now), and have had a grandfather on my mother's side who hasn't smoked a cigarette, cigar, pipe or any type of chewing tobacco and he died when he was 65. So again we all die! And no I don't smoke.

anon87904
Post 72

say no to smoking!

anon85083
Post 69

why do people get addicted?

anon84999
Post 68

no offense to all. I'm 100 percent against smoking and writing a paper about it, but just so you know, it is very, very hard to stop smoking once you're addicted.

My parents smoke and it takes time, maybe even months, to ease them off the cigarettes, but they were unsuccessful.

anon80971
Post 66

What is with all you people thinking that smoking is so bad? i have been smoking since i was 14, and nothing bad has happened to me and i don't care if it does. they help you relax when ticked off.

i mean, it's better than going and beating someone's face in. All you people make such a big deal out of it. everything in the world causes cancer, not just smoking.

anon80405
Post 65

smoking stinks. just say no and don't do it. it isn't cool.

anon78975
Post 63

The effects and dangers of smoking are clear and are being constantly researched. There are clear health risks, however, remember it has a very positive psychological effect as well as a negative side effects. Smoking is no more than a 'socially acceptable' form of drug use. And as with all drugs there are dangers and risks in their use.

For those who wish to experiment - don't be caught out by foolish comments like "you'll regret it for the rest of your life"! That's rubbish. Be free and make informed decisions.

I smoked for approximately a year in university as a result of stress and seasonal depression (and not to mention social exploration and acceptance). I quit with ease after that when I lost the taste for it and became more conscientious of my health.

I see smoking as perhaps just one of those phases we go through in life as part discovery and in answer to certain circumstances. Answer those circumstances and address the issues behind your desire or need to smoke and perhaps you may be like me who realised I don't want to be a dependant smoker.

I still, however, enjoy the occasional cigar at a poker game or on the festive family holiday celebration.

anon78959
Post 62

i am doing a persuasive essay on how smoking is bad for you and i am trying to find out where to find some info about how smoking leads you to making bad choices or even losing the ones you love and care about. i tried using google but it doesn't help does anybody know how to search to find that info?

anon78721
Post 61

ok so we all know cigarettes are bad, terrible, shocking, and anything else you want to say for our health. But my opinion is if the government weren't so bleeping greedy they would've made them illegal ages ago.

So stop saying ciggies are bad and get over yourself, and the money and make them illegal. duh!

anon77895
Post 60

bad, bad, bad! It's really bad for your health and air!

anon77825
Post 58

I'm 12 years old. i used to smoke but i remembered that a cigarette destroyed my friend's life. i threw that cigarette on the floor and walked away.

anon77537
Post 56

smoking killed one of my relatives.

anon73580
Post 55

Smoke, and you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

anon73073
Post 53

I've decided to quit as of today.

anon71135
Post 51

i got caught with cigarettes on my baseball team, now i can't play ball and i have oss, and is, and I'm grounded, is that what you want at 15?

anon69973
Post 50

Yes cigars are bad for you. they cause oral cancer.

anon69442
Post 49

smoking is horrible. i don't know why people still do it.

anon68512
Post 48

smoking is the worst thing to do. It affects your whole life, and smoking kills you, so stop before it's too late.

anon68497
Post 47

we all will die. So what? People die every day. Live your life the way you want to live it. No one likes a preacher, but everybody loves a bad boy!

anon67573
Post 46

Smoking is very bad. we are doing a play at school about it as well. people think it is really cool to smoke but it's only damaging the inside of you! many people die every day because of it and even more people die from the diseases they pick up from smoking. so all smokers out there, please stop smoking!

anon67415
Post 45

I've had people in my family smoke. I do not like it one bit! In fact it's the worst thing. My teacher has asked us to pick the number one object that we would ban from the world, and I picked smoking. It harms everyone.

Do you want cancer, a short life, unhappy friends and family, bad breath and breathing problems? Well that means smoking is for you! You might think that everyone is exaggerating when they talk about the consequences of smoking, but in reality, they actually aren't even telling you how bad it is.

It may feel "good" and you may be addicted but trust me, you can get professional help to try to stop.

Picture your loved ones dead. They are dying on the inside and out because of you people who smoke! If you don't want professional help, then you can help yourself. There are many ways to stop smoking, chewing special gum, a nicotine patch, and even holding a pen 24/7 to hold the place of a cigarette/cigar. So please stop.

I will pray for you and shed a tear for you. Please, don't hurt anyone else, especially yourself.

anon67189
Post 44

How can you be so naive? Smoking is horrible. it is not worth it! you will just die! some people just die and some people suffer! think you could be one of those people?

anon64746
Post 42

Dear smokers: Smoking is bad for you. You will have cancers and you wont be able to breathe good from your smoking. i have a question: what's the point of smoking? why do you think it's cool? Maybe it is, but why do you want to die? Only to be cool in front of girls? You must be healthy or you will get screwed up your whole life.

anon63644
Post 41

your life is in your hands. don't let it go.

anon55761
Post 30

I hate it when people say stuff like this! Because when a teen reads this they like to be brave, then they try a cigarette and nothing you said happens -- yet. They don't believe they are hooked until it's too late. And yes, smoking a cigar is bad for you. You may not feel the bad outcome for 20 years, but you will be sorry.

anon55455
Post 29

here are some reasons to stop smoking: you have a shorter lifespan; 4000 chemicals; smell bad; wrinkles; stained teeth; cancer; cough lasts longer; small lungs weaker; heart gains weight; destroys your body and many more.

i might be only 12 but this is true. i did the research. and any kind of tobacco is just as bad,

even a cigar.

anon54737
Post 28

Smoking is poison. It has more than 2000 chemicals and anyone who smokes here should quit and if they don't quit, they will die and trust me, no one wants to die.

Everytime you are smoking you are destroying your body. Humans are the earth's biggest enimies and cigarrates are a human's biggest enimies.

You are destroying your lives if you smoke.

anon54734
Post 27

Smoking is very bad for you so any one who smokes, think about your family because sooner or later you will die. Every time you are smoking you are having poison.

I think people who smoke are stuipid. just try to quit smoking. trust me, it will kill you. Just try quitting.

anon53369
Post 24

i smoke every day and im doing fine in sport and in my sex life so i don't have a problem with smoking yet.

anon53161
Post 23

smoking is optional and smokers know the risks and stuff so all those people who go around warning people about the risks of smoking can just shut up.

anon52720
Post 21

Cigars and cigarettes are bad for you. Smoking will kill you. If smokers read this, stop and think what you would lose. That will happen. What are you thinking, smokers?

anon52379
Post 20

what is wrong with people? smoking is very bad for you. it will kill u sooner or later. i don't get what the big deal about it is. stop smoking and save your life. You're putting death's ark in your mouth and you're breathing death down your throat.

anon50433
Post 19

smoking is bad i think.

anon49543
Post 18

when you smoke, you may as well think this little thought in your head: Now downloading cancer! Because that's what you are doing to yourself!

anon47494
Post 16

i think smoking is super. and it calms me down. by the time my generation grows old, wel'l all get and die of cancer. tragic but true. and if my family sees my last dying breath, at least they were there.

anon36739
Post 13

So as all (non)/smokers know, its bad to do. not all know exactly why we do it? how ever sitting at home playing video games all day, or eating at mcdonalds 4 times a week, and drinking booze, and using hair spray and drinking out of plastic bottles are all bad for you. millions upon millions still do daily? i think its because all the above have such subtle and long term effects one doesn't feel affected by the synptoms until its too late, like you have lung cancer or you weigh 300 pounds. if people died days after smoking obviously no one would, but the thought of " oh i'll just smoke a little, or oh i'll just eat here a couple times a week comes and goes and before you know it you smoke a pack a day and are eating out everyday! and still you tell yourself, well at least i don't smoke 2 packs a day or at least i don't weigh 500 pounds! when chemicals are added into cigarettes to make you addicted the question as to why people smoke should never be asked!!and how can such a product be sold in stores? Population control? app. the equivalent of a small city dies every year! that stat was from the early 90's! and i imagine its more now, imagine how many smokers have died young! and imagine how many people would be on the earth if they hadn't? its a bad way to think of it but that's just one way the world's populations is kept as low as is... but why do people leave their cars running? and eat out till they are 500 pounds and drink out of water bottles? those are worse choices which effect you and others in different yet harmful ways and are aslo a lot easier to not do than smoking.

anon33015
Post 12

What diseases we will take if we smoke?

anon31864
Post 11

To anon10471

1. Cigars are generally puffed, not inhaled (very few people, even regular smokers of cigarettes inhale cigars). This does not mean that there are no ill effects, but mouth cancer, not lung cancer would be the higher risk.

2. Also cigars are less habit forming than cigarettes. While possible, you are far less likely to form an addiction. Also, studies show that while any smoking carries some risk, one or two cigars a day only adds a small amount of risk for cancer (it increases a lot after that mark).

To anon28631

3. A whole 12 years old. Maybe someone should make a distinction between tobacco and standard cigarettes. formaldehyde, butane, ammonia are in most cigs, but as additives. They are not in tobacco naturally. In fact there are about 600 such additives. Nat Shermans and American Spirits, for example, do not have additives. This does not mean there is no risk, but it is misleading to list chemicals which are additives and say blanketly that cigs contain them. Some do, not all.

anon28631
Post 10

Smoking is very bad, not only do you get cancer but every time you inhale smoke from a cigarette, small amounts of these chemicals get into your blood through your lungs. They travel to all the parts of your body and cause harm; which isn't very nice and yes smoking a cigarette is very bad for you.

So my advice to you is to stop and not to start if you are thinking to. You don't want your family and friends to see you smoking one day and the other day breathing your last breath before you die!

Good luck. Make the right choice. Your life is in your hands.

from a secondary school student (aged 12)

anon22332
Post 8

and this is why people who despise the legalization of marijuana are 100% hypocrites. Not only is it proven safer than cigs, but FAR safer than alcohol as well. That's a fact, 10 more years I would say and it will be legal in all 50 states

anon14751
Post 6

smoking to me is like you are killing yourself, but you also know that you're killing yourself so why do it.

anon10471
Post 4

ya smoking a cigar is the same as a cigarette.

anon10086
Post 3

does it clog your heart?

anon7130
Post 2

Is smoking a cigar bad for you?

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