Essay, Research Paper: Nicotine And Tobacco 

Alcohol and Drugs

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“One out of three people who use tobacco will die from it.” Nearly 3,000
young Americans each day become regular smokers. Of these, 1,000 will die early
from tobacco-related diseases. More Americans die due to complications from
smoking than from any other major killer such as AIDS, car accidents, drug abuse
and homicide. Why do so many people continue to smoke when they know the
possible risks involved? Many have become addicted to cigarettes because of the
addictive substance, nicotine, which cigarettes contain. How much did tobacco
companies know about this addictive substance, and what is their defense for
making addicts of their customers? Also, do people realize how much money they
are actually spending on cigarettes? These reasons and many more are the reason
tobacco is so addictive (www.tc.bmjjournals) Nicotine, the chemical substance
found in tobacco leaves, is recognized as a highly addictive drug. Tobacco
originated from the Western Hemisphere and eventually spread to Europe by
explorers such as Columbus. In the early 1600's the colonists introduced tobacco
to America, and eventually it became one of the major crop and trading
commodities of the Jamestown colony. Unfortunately people were not aware of the
adverse affects of tobacco until the 1960's. Since the public has been informed
about the possible health risks of smoking, over 38 million people have quit
smoking. Matherne 2 However, 50 million Americans, regardless of the medical
research, continue to put their health at risk. (www.historian.org) The
cigarette manufacturers used a series of unscientific techniques to make people
be skeptic about the addictivness of nicotine. The manufacturers invented a
definition of addictiveness, which said, addiction is "intoxication,
tolerance and a physical dependency that was manifested by
withdrawal"(www.tc.bmjjournals). Because smokers are not intoxicated, the
industry argued that it was ridiculous to concur that nicotine was addictive.
The tobacco industry also falsely claimed that because smokers can quite on
their own that it is impossible to be addictive. However, they failed to note
that no scientific authority on addiction ever considered being able to quit on
your own an attribute for a non-addictive substance (www.tc.bmjjournals).
According to the FDA, "many heroin addicts become abstinent by themselves,
and more than three-quarters of recovered alcoholics in a recent survey achieved
success without formal treatment” (www.tc.bmjjournals). Another erroneous
statement made by cigarette companies is that because smokers do not use
"ever-increasing amounts to achieve a desired effect," than nicotine
does not influence tolerance. Despite the manufacturer's feeble attempt to
manipulate the facts, the truth is that over a third of occasional users do
become daily smokers. To attach further information that nicotine is an
addicting substance, a new study shows that nicotine stimulates the "reward
system" in the brain (www.news.bbc.co). This area of the brain is proven to
be targeted by such drugs as cocaine, amphetamines, and morphines. Results from
research on this new documentation suggest that some methods used to treat
cocaine addition may be useful Matherne 3 for smokers as well. Hopefully smokers
will have enough money to afford help if they didn't already spend on their
cigarette addiction. (www.http://cnn.com) The cost of cigarettes lately is
outrageous. One pack is almost four dollars. If you smoke two packs a day, in a
week you might have spent over thirty-five dollars or more. That’s money that
could be used to pay car notes, or insurance. Many people do not realize the
amount of money they spend on healthcare due to cigarette smoke. “Nationally
it cost 72.7 billion dollars a year to treat smokers who suffer from
smoking-related diseases” (www.health.state). That is a lot of tax dollars
that’s going to people who are only hurting themselves. All you are really
paying for by smoking is an early ticket to see God. Most smokers are not aware
of the possible damage smoking can cause to their health. In women “smoking
increases your risk of cervical and rectal cancer….smoking worsens your
period….smoking damages your fertility….and smoking can affect your unborn
babies” (www.cnn.com). If all women smoker’s knew the actual effects smoking
has on them and their future offspring, there would be many soon-to-be
nonsmokers. Men aren’t off the hook either. In a man “ smoking increases the
chance of impotence….smoking impairs sperm mobility….and smoking changes the
shape of the sperm, which may be related to a greater incidence of miscarriages
and birth defects” (www.health.state). So all the myths about “it’s the
women’s fault for miscarriages” is false. Men who smoke have a 50%
responsibility for the absence of a newborn child. Even though all this
information on smoking is out there, people continue to smoke and increase the
chance of destroying another life. Matherne 4 Lies by the tobacco companies,
your money, and your health do not compare to the biggest problem with smoking.
The biggest problem with smoking is that it flat out kills people. “According
to recent figures smoking is responsible for approximately 3.5 million deaths
worldwide every year-or about 7% of all deaths” (news.bbc.com). Just like
those new commercials say, “tobacco kills one-third of its users”. I hope
that you’re smart enough not to be hoping to be that one. Humans just aren’t
that lucky. You are basically throwing your life to chance on a 3:1 odd that you
are going to die from smoking. Most gamblers would bet it all and say, “ Let
it ride”. 
Bibliography
1. www.historian.org/bysubject/tobacco1.htm 2. www.health.state.mo.us/SmokingAndTobacco/NICOTINE.html
3. www.http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/medical_notes/newsid_473000.stm 4.
www.health.state.mo.us/SmokingAndTobacco/HEALTH.html 5. www.tc.bmjjournals 6.
www.http://cnn.com/HEALTH/women/9911/08/women.smoking.2.wmd/index.html 7.
www.health.state.mo.us/SmokingAndTobacco/COSTS.html
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