Essay on The Costs of Smoking

1084 Words 5 Pages
The Costs of Smoking

Smoking has been an issue for many years. Even though children and teenagers are exposed to large amounts of anti-smoking propaganda, many still do smoke, and will continue to smoke for the rest of their lives, struggling to kick the habit.

Smoking has more than fifty illnesses and twenty causes of death associated with it. It has been estimated that in England 284 000 patients are admitted to the NHS hospitals each year due to illnesses caused by smoking (Godfrey et al). These NHS beds could serve a more productive purpose. Smokers have an increased risk of many diseases, including gum disease, diabetes (type 2), osteoporosis and tuberculosis (American Council 1997).
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Smokers have two to three times the risk of non-smokers and this includes light smokers as a US study showed when it found women who smoke 1-4 cigarettes a day had a 2.5 fold increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The role tobacco plays in coronary heart disease is both immediate and long term. Within one minute of starting to smoke, the heart rate begins to rise. In addition nicotine raises the blood pressure. The carbon monoxide in tobacco reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen. This means the heart has to beat harder to pump the same volume of blood and supply the right amount of oxygen around the body.

Smoking also causes arterial disease as cigarette smokers have raised levels of fibrinogen and platelets (which are involved in the formation in blood clots), leaving the blood stickier. The carbon monoxide also attaches to haemoglobin more easily then oxygen reducing the amount of oxygen available to body tissues. These factors make smokers more at risk of developing a form of arterial disease. A thrombosis (clot) is more likely to form, which may lead to a fatal heart attack or a stroke.

Illness is not the only effect that smoking has on people. It also has a negative effect on social aspects for example it leaves

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