Smoking may be appealing because it symbolizes a transgression of the prohibition. However, when people started smoking during adolescence, it is more difficult to overcome, so the best solution is to never start or stop immediately. It is commonly believed that smoking affects the health of smokers only later in life, after many years of smoking or chewing tobacco. In fact, the negative health effects begin to occur shortly after the adoption of smoking.
The most serious danger of smoking is tobacco addiction. Although the lack of research makes it difficult to say with certainty how quickly addiction to nicotine takes young smokers, existing indices suggest that most smokers and smokeless tobacco users become addicted before the end of adolescence. That dependence is a major concern because it makes almost impossible to give up smoking later, even if the smoker wants. This dependence increases the risk of developing smoking-related diseases and dying prematurely.
Smoking is immediately raised the heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking also increases the physical effects of stress on the body from other sources. Cigarette smoking has been associated with the onset and severity of atherosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arteries with fatty degeneration) in men of 15 to 34 years. Smoking introduces carbon monoxide in the body and reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen, and increases the resting heart rate and basal metabolism. These effects cancel out the benefits of endurance training in smokers. The effects of smoking on physical fitness are influenced by dose (Sloan, Smith & Taylor, 76). This means that the importance of consequences refers to the duration of smoking and amount smoked.
Smoking reduces ventilator function in smokers, which is clear evidence of damage to small airways of the lungs of smokers in the twenties. There is a correlation between smoking and increased rates of cough, phlegm, wheezing, colds and shortness of breath. Smoking aggravates the problems caused by asthma, and lung function abnormalities associated with smoking are more pronounced in asthmatics. It was found that asthma is more common among young people aged 11 to 16 who smoke and the evolution of this disease during childhood and early adulthood is less satisfactory in smokers.
The most serious consequences of smoking are chronic and fatal diseases occur most often later in life, after longer periods of smoking and greater consumption. However, many of these diseases occur when the smoker is very young, and are more likely to occur when started smoking early. The risk of lung cancer is much more severe in smokers who started smoking before the age of 20 than those who started later. The increase in risk is more closely related to the duration of smoking than the amount of tobacco consumed. Similarly, evidence suggests that the risk of dying from coronary heart disease is higher among smokers who started younger than those who started later.
Smoking is not only injurious for lungs, heart etc. but it also directly affects the smoker's physical appearance. Smoking alters the appearance of the skin, teeth and hair, among other things. Wrinkles and gray hairs are things that no one can escape but smoking accelerates this process. The bags under the eyes are classic among smokers. A possible explanation of this is that smokers sleep badly, are restless and that is evident in their physical appearance. Snuff smoke prevents facial skin breathe oxygen and nutrients such as vitamin C and carbon monoxide. This may cause wrinkled, dry, pale, emaciated, discolored and stained skin. Smoking not only affects the appearance of the face, but it also negatively affects the appearance of the body. The skin loses its own elasticity; some areas may begin to get limp and fall including the inner arms and breasts. The most visible sign in the mouth of a smoker are yellow teeth. Smokers tend to develop periodontal disease, gum problems, bad breath, tooth loss and mouth cancer. Baldness is also a consequence of smoking. Smoking is also one of the major causes of voice hoarseness or aphonia, a disorder which affects the vocal apparatus. It is the inability to transmit voice beyond a whisper.
There is clear evidence that smoking in adulthood is responsible for a progressive loss of lung function. Smoking during childhood may increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (e.g. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema) in adulthood. Abnormalities in lung function observed in adolescent smokers may be responsible for an increased risk of later suffering of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Thus, after discussing so many dangers and disadvantages of smoking, it seems appropriate to suggest to ever smoker to quit smoking as soon as possible.
Sloan, Frank, A., Smith, Kerry, V. & Taylor, Donald, H. Jr., The Smoking Puzzle: Information,
Risk Perception, and Choice, Harvard University Press, 2003, Print.