Smoking and Its Impact on Health

Introduction

Evidence has been produced as pertains to the contribution that tobacco smoking has on the overall mortality and possibility of extending life through the cessation of tobacco smoking. Smoking has been associated with adverse outcomes in the health of an individual, not only disabling the health but also the life of an individual.

This therefore calls for a dire need to address smoking and health in bid to create awareness of the adverse effects of smoking on health and to discourage increase in the incidence of smoking. It is expected that smoking habits be deemed to change if more research is conducted on smoking and health and this information is made readily available to both smokers and nonsmokers.

While at it, it is also important to demystify myths associated with smoking and health using statistical evidence on effects of smoking to the health of an individual. Moreover, the health belief model associated with smoking and its impact on health of an individual will be reviewed (Ostbye and Taylor 531). This therefore holds a bearing for this research paper and will be aimed at providing evidence to affirm the thesis statement of this paper, which is smoking has a negative influence on the health of smokers.

Smoking and health

Health as defined by the World Health Organization is the complete emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing of an individual. Moreover, health does not entail the absence of infirmity or disease in an individual. Instead, it should thus be viewed as a complete bio psychological wellbeing of a person.

With respect to smoking, it is thus important to review how smoking not only affects the physical health of an individual, an issue that has been broadly reviewed by many researchers. There is also a dire need to review the effect that smoking has on the psychological, emotional, and mental health of an individual. Smoking has been associated with increased stress levels, anxiety, and depression. It therefore, negatively affects the emotional health of an individual.

In addition, smoking affects the social relationships of an individual as it alters his or her association with others especially nonsmokers and his or her family. Based on the negative effect that smoking has on the social and mental health of an individual, this affirms the thesis statement of this paper that smoking has a negative influence on the health of an individual (Ostbye and Taylor 532).

The health belief model is an important pre-requisite when assessing the issue of smoking and health. This is since it encompasses the ingredients in an individual that determine how that individual is predisposed to acquiring a disease, the risk factors, and perception about health risks. Smokers have diverse health beliefs pertaining to the effect that smoking has on their health.

While reviewing smoking and health, it is important to note that individuals who do not perceive themselves as having health risk attributed to smoking will not collaborate in prevention initiatives.

However, individuals, who perceive themselves as having a greater risk of adverse health outcomes secondary to smoking, will be more responsive to ceasing smoking. This therefore means that the health belief model is important in affirming the thesis statement of this paper that smoking has negative effects on health of smokers if they perceive themselves as vulnerable to the adverse health effects (Ostbye and Taylor 535).

Cardiovascular diseases

Empirical evidence from research conducted between intermittent and light smokers reveals a nonlinear relationship between mortality associated with cardiovascular diseases and tobacco exposure. The risk to ischemic heart diseases has been reported to be three times higher in women and men between the ages of 35 and 39 who smoke compared to their nonsmoker counterparts. Consequently, women who smoke have been documented to have a 2.14 higher risk of myocardial infarction compared to nonsmokers.

Moreover, death resulting from aortic aneurysm has been documented as being three times higher among smoking men and women compared to nonsmokers. In general, it has been documented that cardiovascular mortality among smoking men and women is 1.5 times higher; 95% compared to individuals who do not smoke. The documented statistical evidence affirms that thesis statement of this paper that smoking has a negative influence on health of smokers (Schane, Ling, and Glantz 1518).

Cancers

Statistical information reveals that lung cancer is responsible for one in every three deaths secondary to cancer among men accounting for 31% of the total cancer deaths. In comparison to the women population, lung cancer resulting from smoking accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths resulting from cancer, culminating to 27% deaths resulting from lung cancer secondary to smoking.

Other than the risk of getting lung cancer, smoking has been associated with an increased risk of getting brain cancer, breast, prostate, and cervical cancer. This means that many individuals who smoke either actively or passively are predisposed to a wide spread of cancers. As pertains to increase in incidence and prevalence of cancers among smokers, this affirms the thesis statement of this paper that smoking has a negative influence on the health of smokers (Schane, Ling, and Glantz 1519).

Pregnancy

Women, who smoke during pregnancy and the breastfeeding years of their children, expose their children to enormous adverse health effects. To begin with, cigarette smoking has nicotine, which alters the development, maturation, and effective working of the placenta. The placenta plays the function of acting as an intermediary between the mother and the baby through providing the fetus with oxygen and nutrients required for growth.

Upon smoking, the development of the placenta is altered and the fetus suffers from intrauterine growth retardation. Consequently, the fetus may be born prematurely or suffer from low birth weight upon birth. Some of the pregnancies among smoking women may not go to term and smoking has been associated with miscarriages among pregnant women.

Smoking also alters the lung function of children born of smoking mothers and adversely impairs their intelligence levels and they have relatively delayed developmental milestones. Smoking during pregnancy has been attributed to increased morbidity and mortality rate among pregnant women and the children they deliver. This therefore concurs with the thesis statement of this research paper that smoking has a negative influence on the health of smokers (Hofhuis, Jongste, and Merkus 1086).

Other adverse health effects

It is also important to discuss other health effects of smoking that cannot be categorized into any broad category. To begin with, smoking has been associated with increased prevalence in blood pressure among smokers. This leads to increased demands on the heart and many smokers report having cold extremities because of the failure of the heart to meet the increased demands of the body.

Moreover, smoking has been associated with increase in the levels of cholesterol among smokers, hence predisposing them to obesity. Smoking has been associated with sedentary lifestyles that further make the smoker at risk of developing obesity. Smoking has also been associated with increased dysfunction and increased risk of the development of fractures.

This is since nicotine is associated with reduced bone density hence predisposing the individual to development of fractures. This further alters the mobility of the individual and thus alters the quality of life of an individual. Evidenced diverse health effects of smoking in an individual concur with the thesis statement of this research paper that smoking has a negative influence on the health of an individual (Schane, Ling, and Glantz 1520).

Health care costs

Health also encompasses the medical costs incurred by individuals in pursuit of maintaining their health. It has been reviewed of the increased health risks that an individual is predisposed to secondary to smoking. This entails that an individual will incur increased cost in seeking health care as a treatment option to the altered health.

In addition, the health sector will be plagued by increased admission in the number of clients suffering from diseases that would have otherwise been prevented but were not due to engagement in smoking habits. Moreover, upon suffering from cancer because of smoking, this terminal illness calls for palliative care of the patient to prevent increased cost.

This further illustrates that the family will also be affected since it has to outsource finances and specialized cancer treatment in adverse cases. Amputation secondary to fractures resulting from smoking is another adverse health effect of smoking not only in the health sector but also to the economy of a country. This is since the individual ceases to be productive and thus no income is generated translating to increase disease burden in the family and the country at large (Kiiskinen, et al. 145).

Conclusion

Smoking is an issue that has plagued the public health sector for a long time especially on the cost burden associated with smoking individuals and the adverse effects that smoking has on their health. Smoking has been associated with increased risk of developing cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, increased blood pressure, and fracture.

Not only does smoking alter the physical health of an individual, it also alters the emotional and psychological health of an individual. Smoking has also been associated with adverse health outcomes especially as regards pregnancy outcomes in women who smoke during pregnancy. The question that plagues every individuals mind is smoking and the right to breath. Passive smoking has been documented to have the same adverse effects on non-smokers though to a milder degree.

This illustrates that as long as people continue smoking in the streets, offices and public places, everyone will be at risk of the discussed adverse health outcomes. However, it is the responsibility of every individual to inculcate the health belief model and perceive being at risk of the adverse effects and thus initiate the appropriate prevention strategies. Based on discussed health effects of smoking, it is to conclude that it was proper that this paper had a thesis statement affirming that smoking has a negative influence on the health of an individual.

Works Cited

Hofhuis Wisdom, Jongste De Carson, and Merkus Mathew. “Adverse health effects of prenatal and postnatal tobacco smoke exposure on children.” Archives of Disease in Childhood. 88. 2 (2003): 1086- 1090. Web.

Kiiskinen Urbanus, et al. “Smoking Related Costs among 25–59 Year-Old Males in a 19-Year Individual Follow-up.” European Journal of Public Health. 12. 2 (2000):145–151. Web.

Ostbye Truls and Taylor Donald. “The Effect of Smoking on Years of Healthy Life (YHL) Lost among Middle-Aged and Older Americans.” Health Serv Res. 39.3 (2004): 531-552. Web.

Schane Rebecca, Ling Pamela, and Glantz Stanton. “Health Effects of Light and Intermittent Smoking.” Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine. 121.1 (2010): 1518-1522. Web.

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