Alexander, Brennan, Erik
Dr. Cooper
ENG 1301
9 November 2018
Smoking Kills
Smoking in today’s society has become more and more prominent than it has ever before. In fact, it is estimated that each day in the United States, over 3,200 youth smoke their very first cigarette (“Youth and Tobacco Use”). Smoking is a nasty habit to pick up and is most easily established during the adolescence era of someone’s lifetime. What many people don’t realize, however, is that this habit can have some fatal effects on their body both mentally and physically. Some of the effects that it can cause are increased stress levels in one’s mind, the degradation of one’s overall health, and an increased risk of contracting lung cancer.

(Alexander) To begin, smoking has a direct correlation with a person and their stress levels. When inhaled, the nicotine in cigarettes acts as a suppressant but also an instigator to a person’s stress. Whenever the nicotine enters the bloodstream, it starts to interact with HPA hormones causing them to produce and release epinephrine and cortisol. These two hormones released are the body’s natural reaction to stressors every day, and after continuous smoking, the body starts to work up a tolerance to the effects of these released hormones. The physical effects of smoking start to decrease with lower intake, but the cortisol/epinephrine levels stay increasing thus causing a “blunted natural stress reaction that prevents the body from responding appropriately to other stressors” (Hoey). Therefore, smokers tend to be more stressed and even sometimes overly stressed because their cortisol (stress hormone) levels are higher than the normal. Because of this, the risk of anxiety attacks, infectious diseases, and abnormalities in the endocrine system does increase.

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(ERIK)Next, smoking cigarettes has many side effects. Some effects happen over multiple years and some happen immediately. Effects range from smelly hair and anxiety all the up to cancer and blood clotting. So, smoking cigarettes takes a toll on the human body. The cause of smoking is most likely friends peer pressuring each other. A lot of people are aware of the general harmfulness of smoking, but many smokers underestimate the risks. About six million people die from smoking every year (Ruther). Studies show that women smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than nonsmoking women. This is something women don’t want to go through earlier then they must. Also, if people are used to smoking every day, they might get a little on edge if they miss their smoke break. Smoking doesn’t only affect the people who smoke, it also effects everyone around them through second hand smoke. This can cause bronchitis, and everything else smokers are prone to.

(ERIK) People think replacing cigarettes with cigars, pipes, or even hookahs will help prevent the side effects of smoking cigarettes, but it won’t. One of the ingredients in tobacco alters the mood of people drastically. This ingredient is called nicotine. Nicotine gets people hooked on smoking. That’s why its so hard for people to quit smoking. When a person is having withdrawals from nicotine their cognitive functioning is impaired. Smoking harms a person’s respiratory system as well. Inhaling damages a person’s lungs. Over time damage to the lungs leads to a variety or problems. Smokers are prone to emphysema, chronic bronchitis, COPD, and lung cancer. Kids who have parents that smoke are more likely to have asthma. The digestive system is also affected. Mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus cancer are effects of smoking. People think eating unhealthily is the only way to get diabetes, but smoking cigarettes also increases your risk of getting type two diabetes. So, people need to realize all the effects smoking has on their body’s, and then maybe they will quit killing themselves.
(Brennan) Finally, even though it has been proven that smoking causes cancer and many other heath side effects, many people still puff on little white sticks every day. In fact, lung cancer caused by smoking is the most common form of cancer. It is reported that “… 90 percent of lung cancer deaths among men and … 80 percent of lung cancer deaths among women are caused by smoking” (Wulffson). The way that this happens is whenever the user inhales cigarette smoke, nicotine is entered into this bloodstream through the lungs. The smoke degrades the lining on the lungs effecting the cellular growth. The rate the cells grow becomes erratic, causing tumors to grow. From the lungs, it spreads to the rest of the body effecting organs such as the heart, brain, and so on. With nicotine being so addictive, even with having cancer many patients continue to smoke. This only makes matters worse, adding another nail to the coffin with each breathe of smoke inhaled.
With this, it is clear to see how smoking can have such a negative effect on a person, and it can be even worse if started early in life. To prevent these from happening, it is best to just stay away from any type of tobacco use at all. After all, it is one’s own decision as to what they allow into their bodies.

Works Cited
Hoey, Nicole M. Van. “Stress and smoking.” Addictions ; Substance Abuse, edited by Robin Kamienny Montilvo, Salem, 2012. Salem Online.

Lakshmi, V.Sivangagai. “Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Various Biochemical Parameters inPatients Attending OPD of RMMCH.” International Archives of Integrated Medicine,vol. 5, no. 9, Sept. 2018, pp. 39–43. EBSCOhost,;dba9h;AN=132174285;site=ehost-live.

Rüther, Tobias, et al. “Effect of Smoking Status on Neuronal Responses to Graphic CigaretteWarning Labels.” PLoS ONE, vol. 13, no. 9, Sept. 2018, pp. 1–21. EBSCOhost,doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0201360.

“Smoking & Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 June 2018,

Wulffson, Robin L. “Cancer and substance abuse.” Addictions ; Substance Abuse, edited by Robin Kamienny Montilvo, Salem, 2012. Salem Online.


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