Essay Question: Sociologically analyze and describe the ill health condition of smoking. Includes extensive bibliography

Essay by bzzzbeeCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2002

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Sociologically analyze and describe the ill health condition of smoking

Introduction

Tobacco smoking has been used all over the world for hundreds of years. Tobacco is a plant that contains the stimulant drug, nicotine, which can be found in the leaves of the plant. Tobacco can be smoked in many forms, including cigarettes, cigars and through pipes. It may also be chewed or inhaled as a powder. Since the 1800's smoking became more frequent due to the development of machinery. This technology allowed for the tobacco to be easily made into cigarettes in mass production. By the 1960's smoking increased dramatically and reached its peak. However, in 1964 the first general surgeon's report was released outlining the dangers of smoking. Many antismoking campaigns took place and following this there was a decrease in the amount of people who smoked. Smoking has been found to cause cancers, due to the carcinogenic properties contained within the cigarette.

The chemicals within cigarettes have also been found to diminish the capacity of the lungs and damage many organs within the body. Smoking has also been found to affect women's health in areas such as pregnancy and menopause. Over the years, the dangers of smoking have become more apparent, although many people continue to smoke for various reasons.

There are many factors that contribute to an individual's choice to smoke. However, the social factors that influence the condition are the more prevalent. There are two main reasons for people choosing to smoke. These are either because they find it pleasurable or through peer pressure. Millions of people are starting and continuing to smoke each year around the world. Many of these are young teenagers who smoke in order to fit into the social norms within their peer environment. Smoking is addictive and leads to the...