By Anna Valdez
Web Content Contributor
Smoking cigarette is known to be a highly addictive and dangerous drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that thousands of young people start smoking cigarettes every day, with an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults becoming daily cigarette smokers each day. It is also the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The CDC offers a fast fact sheet on their website about the health effects of cigarette use, costs and expenditures of smoking and analytics of cigarette use in the U.S.
With more than 480,000 deaths every year in the U.S. caused by cigarette smoking alone, you have to wonder what causes people to pick up such a deadly habit. Smoking cigarettes drastically reduces the overall health of the individual. It affects nearly every bodily organ and often leads to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and more. Current trends also suggest that death caused by tobacco use can expect to spike from 6 million to 8 million deaths annually by 2030.
With the tobacco industry spending billions of dollars each year promoting and advertising the use of cigarettes, a person’s health is clearly not a priority. Additionally, smoking costs the United States billions of dollars each year in terms of medical care costs for adults and what the CDC refers to as “lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Unfortunately, cigarette use is everywhere. Whether it’s in a movie scene or outside of a restaurant, smoking cigarettes has been a deadly trend that not only causes harm to the smoker but the people that are around the person smoking as well. This is known as secondhand smoking (SHS), which is when someone other than the user comes into contact with smoke from burning tobacco products (i.e. cigarettes, cigars, pipes). Tobacco smoke consists of more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and cancer-causing, and can affect anyone no matter the person’s age.
It is important to take care of our bodies and be mindful of how drug use can affect not only the user but the people around as well. Working towards a long, healthy and happy life is a goal that every person should strive for, but that isn’t always easy for everyone to achieve. However, change is possible and getting help is the first step to quitting tobacco use.
For more information about the health effects of cigarette smoking, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website or the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Be Tobacco Free government website.
Featured photo by Anna Lizette Valdez.