Should Smoking be banned? By Asif

Essay by BD01M0121Junior High, 8th grade February 2004

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What is a cigarette? It is a small roll of finely cut tobacco for smoking, enclosed in a wrapper of thin paper. A cigarette contains tar; this is the harmful substance that caused 4.84 million people to die from smoking worldwide out of which 2.41 million are in developing countries like Bangladesh. Smoking is called the brown plague and not only does it harm the smoker, but also the environment and the people around us. Nearly 26% of men and 21% of women worldwide are smokers. More than 35% of adult smokers had become chain smokers before 18, and 64% of high school students have tried smoking at least once.

Tar and Nicotine

The two main ingredients of a cigarette that affects our health are tar and nicotine. Tar is a dark, oily, viscous material, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, produced by the destructive distillation of organic substances such as wood, coal, or peat.

Smokeless tobacco also has harmful effects. Chewing tobacco can cause damage to gum tissue and even loss of teeth. It also reduces a person's ability to taste and smell. Most importantly, smokeless tobacco contains cancer causing-chemicals. Nicotine is a colorless, poisonous alkaloid derived from the tobacco plant and used as an insecticide. This is the substance in cigarettes that make it addictive. The nicotine in the body causes a rapid release of adrenaline that causes rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure and rapid, shallow breathing. The nicotine reaches the brain within 8 seconds. Nicotine may also increase your basal metabolic rate, which means that you burn more calories sitting around. Still why do people smoke? Mainly because the nicotine acts in the brain where it can stimulate feelings of pleasure. Apart from tar, smoke also contains Cyanide, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Methanol (wood alcohol), Amonia, and Acetylene (the...