Effects of Smoking

Essay by kumitul2003A, March 2009

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The population of teenagers who have started to smoke has grown tremendously in recent years. Their lack of knowledge about the effects of tobacco has made the teenage market the most attractive market to the tobacco industry. The addictive substance in cigarette causes teenagers who become addicted to keep smoking through their entire life. Tobacco is a plant that people smoke in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. The same plant is in smokeless tobacco, known as dip, chew, spit, or chewing tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is not lit and breathed in the same way as tobacco in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Instead, it is put between lips and gum and sucked on inside the mouth. Tobacco use can affect people physically, socially, economically, and psychologically, but smoking is the most common form.

One of the ways smoking can affect the smokers is physically. Physical conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and pancreatic cancer are recognized as directly linked to tobacco.

When tobacco is smoked, nicotine is absorbed by the lungs and quickly moved into the bloodstream, where it is circulated throughout the brain. The nicotine molecule is shaped like a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine and its receptors are involved in many functions, including muscle movement, breathing, heart rate, learning, and memory. They also cause the release of other neurotransmitters and hormones that affect your mood, appetite, memory, and more. When nicotine gets into the brain, it attaches to acetylcholine receptors and mimics the actions of acetylcholine. Nicotine helps a smoker to cope better with stress, making it difficult to quit smoking. Heart and lungs need oxygen-rich blood in order for one to perform well. When a person inhales tobacco smoke, he/she introduces carbon monoxide into his/her system. When carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin in blood, a substance in the red blood cells...