Cigarette smoking is a physically and psychological addictive disorder. It is the cause of many serious health problems. There are many dangerous chemicals in cigarette smoke. There are three known substances which are dangerous to the person smoking and to those who breathe in the second-hand smoke. They are tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas). The tar chemical condenses into a sticky substance in the lungs. Nicotine is the addictive component of tobacco smoke. Carbon monoxide decreases the oxygen carried by the red blood cells throughout the body. There is overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking is dangerous to ones health and anyone who smokes should make every attempt to quit.
Causes of Smoking
Cigarette smoking appeals to people with addictive personality traits such as impulsiveness, difficulty in delaying gratification, sensation-seeking or rebelliousness. A weak commitment to social goals, sense of alienation, or low tolerance for stress and low self-esteem all are factors that may lead to cigarette smoking. Anxiety, depression and conflicting parental expectations are other factors that may stimulate a young person to begin smoking. Those with less education or who grow up in lower socioeconomic groups have a higher incidence of smoking. Those in the age range of 25 to 44 have highest smoking rates. Those that are employed as blue collar workers have a higher rate of smoking.
Signs and Symptoms of Smoking
Symptoms from cigarette smoking relate to the amount one smokes. The more one smokes, the greater the health risks. There is no safe level of exposure. Someone who smokes occasionally (1 to 4 cigarettes a day) is still at greater risk for health problems than nonsmokers, and average smoker smokes 15 to 20 cigarettes a day.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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