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Nicotine


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Nicotine Essay, Research Paper

Matthew Matherne

English 1002

Ms. Westmoreland

4-11-00

Tobacco

?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.

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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

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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.

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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?.

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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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