Smoking - an essay on the history and hazards of smoking.

Essay by selenoHigh School, 11th gradeA, May 2002

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One of the most popular habits in today's society is smoking. Yet each year, cigarette smoking kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, homicides, suicides, illegal drugs and fires combined. Smoking is an extremely bad pastime, practiced for centuries, for an individual's health and those surrounding him/her. People start for many different reasons and get addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. Smoking cause many fatal diseases, but help is available to those who seek it. Cigarette smoking is a disgusting and unhealthy habit.

History of Smoking

Smoking is defined as the action of inhaling tobacco from a pipe, cigar or cigarette. It has been practiced for 100's of years, including by early North-American natives. Europeans had introduced it into the Old World by the early 16th century (Petrakis). It was continually practiced since then throughout the world, with tobacco companies arising and packaged cigarettes soon available. Smokers would praise it for medicinal reasons and also claimed smoking to be pleasurable.

Smokers had no knowledge of cigarette smoke's harm to their health until 1964, when the surgeon general of the U.S Public Health Service concluded that smoking was hazardous to an individual's health, and soon after it was discovered that second-hand smoke was also hazardous to the health of surrounding non-smokers inhaling it.

Reasons Why People Smoke

There are many reasons why people begin smoking. One of which is insecurity. In an uncertain situation in which a person is not comfortable with their individuality and not confident with themselves, if there are smokers around then that person may be tempted to take up smoking. It might be because they would like to "fit in" with an unknown group of people, or someone may take it up based on a new friend's or girl/boyfriend's influences.

Another reason why people take...