The use of tobacco has had a devastating effect on communities worldwide with one smoker dying every six seconds. One third of people using tobacco die. Tobacco smoking accounts for each tenth adult death, which implies five million death yearly on a global scale. The use of tobacco is highly addictive because of the contained nicotine and other psychoactive substances. According to scholarly findings, 85% of tobacco users are unable to stop smoking, although having a desire to quit. Moreover, up to 80% of former smokers return to this bad habit within a six-month period. The number of smokers remains almost unchanged with thousands of young smokers replacing those who died. Despite the health advocates’ alert for reducing the tobacco use, the consumption of tobacco products remains stable. Moreover, the emergence and popularity of e-cigarettes has not produced a considerable improvement in the use of cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, and cigars.
Cigarettes are the most common product of the tobacco consumption that provides the brain with the addictive drug nicotine. The short-term effect of nicotine inhaling is responsible for withdrawal symptoms experienced by smokers between their smoking sessions. Smoked in any form, tobacco causes severe health outcomes, where lung cancer and heart disease are the most frequent ones. Smokers of cigars and hand-rolled cigarettes are at high risk of oral cancer coupled by lung, esophageal, and stomach cancer. Nicotine and carbon dioxide inhaled by smokers are strong risk factors of lung disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The use of tobacco is dangerous not only to smokers, but also to people around.
Second-hand smoke is associated with serious health outcomes and higher risk of death as well. Second-hand smoke is a vital concern for prenatal medicine, as smoking during pregnancy causes irreversible health consequences for embryo. There is a high incidence of infant deaths caused by prenatal secondhand smoking. Low weight, delayed development, psychological problems, and physical impairments are outcomes of smoking during pregnancy. Children of smoking parents suffer from serious health problems that reduce the quality and duration of their life. Furthermore, smoking parents express the wrong example of conduct for their children since early years, which increase the risk of their engagement in such destructive behavior during adolescence and youth.
Given credit to the unprecedented incidence of tobacco-related deaths and severe health outcomes, the use of tobacco has been an acute subject of the policy-making and public debates. For the past decade, governments across the globe have adopted a series of anti-tobacco initiatives and laws designed to discourage the use of tobacco and punish smoking in public places. In the United States, tobacco smoking remains a highly acute problem with dozens millions Americans suffering from tobacco-caused disease. National statistics claim that at least one in 30 smokers lives with a serious disease caused by smoking, such as lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary illness. Besides, tobacco smoking produced negative effects on erectile function, eyes, and immune system.
The use of tobacco is destructive for smokers’ health and the public health and well-being as large. Smoking costs billions of dollars to the United States economy annually because of the lost working hours, workforce, and healthcare expenditures. In address of the problem, the United States allocate substantial budgets to preventing and controlling the use of tobacco. Despite various public initiatives and state taxes, the use of tobacco in the country remains very high with thousands of new smokers appearing every day. So far, efforts of the federal and local governments lack efficiency in discouraging smoking and promoting healthier lifestyles among youth and young adults, which allows expecting a steady increase in tobacco users and tobacco-caused deaths in the future.
CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). “Smoking and Tobacco Use.” Data and Statistics. Last modified March 29, 2017. Accessed June 2, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/
Reger-Nash, Bill, Smith, Meredith, and Juckett, Gregory. Foundations of Wellness.
WHO. “The Global Tobacco Crisis: Tobacco – Global Agent of Death.” WHO International, 2008. Accessed June 2, 2017. http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/mpower_report_tobacco_crisis_2008.pdf