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Smoking and Health


I. Introduction

II. History of Tobacco

Write my Essay on Smoking and Health cheap

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III. Harmful Chemicals In Cigarettes and Tobacco Smoke

VI. The causes of smoking

Physical Causes

Psychological Causes

V. The effects of smoking

Lung Cancer

Heart Disease

Teeth decay

Women and Children

Passive smoking

VI. Conclusion

VII. Illustrations

VIII. Bibliography


Tobacco is unique, the only product that kills consumers. Despite of the dangers of cigarette smoking there is a dramatic increase in smokers, especially young people. They smoke with many reasons; some smoke because of physical problems such as addition, the others use cigarette because of psychological problems.

Smoking damages human beings’ health even kill them .According to ASH ( Action on Smoking and Health Organisation) annually, tobacco use kills around one hundred and twenty thousands people in the UK, about 0 every day; and around twenty thousands Australians ACOSH (Australian Council on Smoking and Health). The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco will kill 10 million people annually by the year 00.

The above statistics shows brief information to help us imagine how tobacco is. However, today people are aware much about the harm of smoking , more and more anti-smoking organisation found to help people giving up smoking.

In this assignment, I would like to discuss about some causes and effects of smoking. Then I also mention some methods of giving up it.

History of Tobacco

Tobacco has been growing in America about thousands of years ago. People started using tobacco around two thousand years.

Christopher Columbus, who sailed to the Americas in the late 1400s, discovered smoking. In the middle of 1500s tobacco was planted in Europe and then used widely in England and Europe. During this time, People used tobacco as a monetary standard throughout the American colonies of the British Empire.

By the 1700s, smoking industry had become increasingly widespread but at the same time people began knowing the danger of smoking. In 175 and 178 a Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine and Benjamin Rush, a physician, mentioned of cancer as the effect of smoking.

In the 1800s, people started using machines to produce cigarette, at first a machine could produce two hundred cigarettes a minute and now it can make nine thousand cigarettes a minute. Because of cheap and mass production and widening of advertising cigarette, cigarette markets have been extended increasingly and widely .

There was the first medical reports about lung cancer concerning smoking during the 10s , however, the reports were not published by many newspapers because the editors did not want to annoy cigarette companies who advertised heavily in the media.

During the world wars, smoking became very popular, the production increased dramatically. But in the latter half of the twentieth century, people have had a knowledge of the health effects of smoking. In many countries there is a long-term decline in smoking prevalence. Media have been used in the war against smoking and there was the first successful lawsuits against tobacco companies over smoking-related illness.

Harmful Chemicals In Cigarettes and Tobacco Smoke

Chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco smoke make smoking harmful. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals, at least 4 are known carcinogens which cause cancer in humans such as

Benzene (petrol additive)

A colourless cyclic hydrocarbon obtained from coal and petroleum, used as a solvent in fuel and in chemical manufacture - and contained in cigarette smoke. It is a known carcinogen and is associated with leukaemia.

Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)

A colourless liquid, highly poisonous, used to preserve dead bodies - also found in cigarette smoke. Known to cause cancer, respiratory, skin and gastrointestinal problems.

Ammonia (toilet cleaner)

Used as a flavouring, frees nicotine from tobacco turning it into a gas, found in dry cleaning fluids.

Acetone (nail polish remover)

Fragrant volatile liquid ketone, used as a solvent, for example, nail polish remover - found in cigarette smoke.


Particulate matter drawn into lungs when you inhale on a lighted cigarette. Once inhaled, smoke condenses and about 70 per cent of the tar in the smoke is deposited in the smokers lungs.

Nicotine (insecticide/addictive drug)

One of the most addictive substances known to man, a powerful and fast-acting medical and non-medical poison. This is the chemical which causes addiction.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) (car exhaust fumes)

An odourless, tasteless and poisonous gas, rapidly fatal in large amounts - its the same gas that comes out of car exhausts and is the main gas in cigarette smoke, formed when the cigarette is lit.

Arsenic (rat poison)

Hydrogen Cyanide (gas chamber poison)

source Health Education Authority (UK) - Lifesaver

The causes of smoking

There are many causes which make people smoke, however we can divide into main causes physical and psychological causes.

Physical Causes

Physical causes are the causes which concern human body’s needs. Nicotine which is contained in cigarette is addictive substances. It is the chemical which causes addiction.

Nicotine reduces tension in the muscles and allows smokers to relax. smokers feel that they can relieve stress by smoking.

Nicotine can also have a calming effect on people who are anxious and worried. This is why it can bring a feeling of tranquillity and help smokers to cope with stress. So people smoke when they are depressed, lonely or bored.

Nicotine is absorbed by the smokers’ lung and intestines. Very quickly nicotine can stimulate brain and certain types of nerves so heart rate and blood pressure go up; respiration increases. A little nicotine makes smokers feel more energy and improve concentration.

Psychological Causes

Childhood and teenage years are considered the most vulnerable for potential smokers. According to a recent Royal College of Physicians report - United Kingdom, there is far less risk of being a smoker after the age of twenty. The longer that first cigarette is put off, the less likely it is that a person will become a smoker. (Royal College of Physicians. Health or Smoking? London, Pitman, 18)

A study of Hamilton schoolchildren, aged ten to sixteen, found that 40 percent of girls and 46 percent of boys had their first cigarette before they were ten years old. Some had their first furtive puff when six years old. (Ritchie, J. Children‘s knowledge of the health risk of smoking. NZ Med, 187.). A 18 British survey of five thousands children in England, Scotland and Wales found that about half of the boys and a third of the girls had tried smoking by the age off eleven. (Reid, D. Prevention of smoking among school children Recommendations for policy development. Health Ed, 185)

Let us consider the reasons why children smoke

1) Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem seems to be linked not only to smoking but also to other behavioural problems such as drinking. High self-esteem means feeling like a distinct individual. It means being able to make decisions for yourself and not just follow the crowd.

People often use smoking as a means of identity, to try and make up for something that they feel they lack. Many people know that smoking is not good for them but they look to identify themselves with something that they feel makes them more masculine or more feminine or more mature

) Peer pressure

Peer pressure is a powerful influence. Friend were the usual source of the first cigarette and smoking was usually done with friends at parties, or in public places. Young people think that they look a wimp if they do not smoke when their peers smoke around them.

) Parent as role models

Seeing their parents smoking is another spur for children to take up the habit. Surveys have shown that children who smoke are more likely to have smoking parents because parents influence by example. Parents who smoke provide their children with a model of acceptable and normal behaviour. Smoking appears universally acceptable because even mother and father do it. Consequently, taking the first cigarette seems like part of the natural process of growing up.

4) Lack of knowledge.

Most of young smokers know that smoking is dangerous for human beings but knowing is not enough. They do not understand the contain of the harmful chemicals in cigarette and how it affects body until one of their relatives or friends have diseases from smoking.

5) Advertisements

Smoking advertisements are one of the causes which influence potential smokers. Tobacco companies use smoking’s images which are very attractive, adventurous and exciting. Young people can find their heroes’ image from smoking advertisements so they want to look as impressive as the heroes. The companies also play the role of sponsorship in the world of sport, fashion and art so a dangerous products can be looked healthy and trendy.

The effects of smoking

Because tobacco contains many harmful chemicals cigarette smoking cause many dangerous disease to human beings such as lung cancer, heart disease, teeth decay. In addition, smoking also affect mothers and children, and non-smokers.

Lung Cancer

Of all the disease associated with smoking, lung cancer is perhaps the most notorious. Around 0% of lung cancers are caused by the smoking habit and it isn’t just man or old people who are affected. In 18 around forty thousands people in Britain died from lung cancer; one third of them were aged under 65 at the time of death. The risk of getting lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked. Someone who smokes only five a day is about six times more likely to die of lung cancer than someone who does not smoke. The twenty-a-day smoker stand a nineteen times greater chance of dying from the disease than the non-smoker. The age at which someone starts smoking is also important. The younger a person starts smoking, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer.

Most lung cancers start in the lining of the bronchi. Lung cancers are thought to develop over a period of many years. First, there may be areas of precancerous changes in the lung. These changes do not form a mass or tumour. They cannot be seen on an x-ray and they do not cause symptoms. But, these precancerous changes can be found by analysing cells in the lining of the airways of smoke-damaged lungs. These precancerous changes often progress to true cancer.

The chances of contracting lung cancer increase with age. However, the lung will clear themselves if the habit is stopped, allowing the ex-smoker to regain normal health and life expectancy. A former smoker who has not smoked a cigarette for ten to fifteen years will find that he has only a slightly increased risk of contracting lung cancer compared with someone who has never smoked.

Heart Disease

It is the combination of nicotine and carbon monoxide found in tobacco smoke that is considered to cause heart disease in smokers. Nicotine is a powerful drug which stimulates the production of adrenaline (a pair of hormones that prepare the body for emotional stress by increasing the blood pressure and the blood sugar level. Adrenaline has a stimulant action.) This increases the workload of heart by making it beat faster and thus making the blood pressure rise. Within one minute of starting to smoke, the heart rate begins to rise it may increase by as much as 0 percent during the first 10 minutes of smoking (What the warning label doesn’t tell you. American Council on Science and Health, 16). Consequently, the heart needs more oxygen, moreover the carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. In heavy smokers, it has been estimated that the oxygen carrying power of their blood may be cut by as much as 15%. Both nicotine and carbon monoxide also make the blood more likely to clot.

Many doctors believe that giving up smoking certainly reduces the danger of having a heart attack, particularly amongst those who have other ‘risk factors’ such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels or excessive body weight.

Teeth decay

Tobacco products damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas.

Smoking can delay healing after a tooth extraction or other oral surgery. Smoking also can contribute to bad breath, stains on your teeth and tongue, and a build-up of tartar on your teeth.

Women and Children

Almost twice as many mothers who smoke have low birth-weight babies compared with non-smokers. The chance of having baby which is born dead or dies within its first week of life are 0% greater in women smoking twenty cigarettes a day than in non-smokers. (Source Vanora Leigh, 186, Let’s Discuss Smoking)

Nicotine is thought to constrict the blood vessels in the placenta. This slows the passage of nutrients from the mother’s blood to the infant’s blood supply. This constriction is a sort of minor starvation, causing low birth weight and limiting the level of oxygen going to each organ. (Dr. James Scala, 1, The Smoker’s Health Plan)

Passive smoking

Breathing other peoples smoke is called passive, involuntary or second-hand smoking. The non-smoker breathes sidestream smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette and mainstream smoke that has been inhaled and then exhaled by the smoker

Passive smoking has immediate and unpleasant effects. Passive smoking can cause disease, including lung cancer, in otherwise non-smokers. This was reported by both the United State Surgeon General and the National and Medical Research Council of the United States in 186. The studies have showed that the greater the amount of passive smoking, the greater the risk of disease. The passive smokers could be between 50 to 100 percent more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers. (National Heart Foundation of Australia. So You Think You‘ve a Non Smoker. Canberra 185.)

Passive smoking may impair non-smokers’ lungs a 180 United State study on over two thousands middle-aged adults showed that the small air passages of the lungs had been damaged in non-smokers who had been breathing cigarette smoke

Tobacco smoke may trigger heart disease in healthy passive smokers. The above United State study of non-smoking American women found that those whose husbands were cigarette smokers were almost 15 times more likely to die of coronary heart disease than those whose husbands never smoked.

Children of smoking parents are more likely to have respiratory problems such as bronchitis and pneumonia in their first year than children of non-smoking parents.

Children of smoking parents are more likely to contract leukaemia than children of non-smokers. Non-smokers living with smokers are six to eight times more likely to contract leukaemia than those who have lived in a smoke-free household. (Ash Newsletter No 1, April 185, P1.)

How to give up smoking

Reasons For Quitting

According to the 181 Census, there are 40,000 ex-smokers in New Zealand. They felt better, enjoy their food more, have more money for other purchases, are less at risk of dying from smoking-related diseases and no longer have smokers’ hangovers. They are liberated from the bondage of cigarette dependence. They are free to go out of the house without their fags and are no longer afraid of their nicotine supply running out.

When you give up smoking you have many benefits on your health, finances and confidence. You can avoid many diseases which are caused by smoking such as lung cancer, heart attacked and teeth decay. In a way, stop smoking is like getting a pay rise, for example, in England as much as £1500 a year if you smoke 0 cigarettes a day. Giving up smoking is a challenge, if one decides to stop he will know he can succeed at difficult talks and take more control of his life because giving up helps one believe in oneself.

Let us consider the below table about the time and benefits of stop smoking.

Time Benefits

0 min. Blood pressure and pulse return to normal

8 hrs Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half. Oxygen levels return to normal.

4 hrs Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body. Lungs start to clear out mucous and other smoking debris.

48 hrs There is no nicotine left in the body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.

7 hrs Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase.

-1 weeks Circulation improves

- months Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung functions are increased by up to 10%

5 yrs. Risk of heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker

10 yrs. Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.

Source � 001 Quit-smoking-stop.com

Some methods of giving up smoking

Gradual stop.

The U.S. Public Health Service and researchers from the National Cancer Institute compiled the method for smokers who want to give up. It expects smoking quitters have plan to reduce smoking cigarettes gradually by many steps and finally give up. The quitters should smoker only half of each cigarette. They should not smoke when they first experience a craving and try to postpone lighting the first and the next cigarettes, during this time, change activity or talk to someone.

Making it difficult to have one cigarette is very useful, such as stopping storing many cigarettes at home and carrying at work, or putting cigarettes and lighter in unfamiliar places to break the habit. They should not empty the ashtrays because this will not only remind them of how many cigarettes they have smoked each day, the sight and smell of stable butts will be very unpleasant.

Change the eating habits to aid in cutting down. For example, drink milk, which is frequently considered incompatible with smoking. End meals or snacks with something that will not lead to a cigarette.

Abrupt and complete stop.

The sudden stopping method is especially effective for heavily addicted person. This avoid the ability of one tapering off problem in a crisis smoking quitters will not be tempted to slide back into your old smoking levels. On the other hand, this method demands more of a commitment. Quitters can not procrastinate, so unnecessary delays can be avoided. They only need to pick a day.

However, the date needs to be selected carefully. Smokers deserve some mental preparation and have to get ready for this milestone in their life. For example, when a smoker chooses the day in a tense period at work, in the week of pending divorce, or in the time of crucial meetings, exams, deadlines.

Dr. Art Ulene, a well-known physician and television personality (California station - KABC-TV) gave the ‘public statement’ to smokers and the ‘contract’ with themselves can be followed on the actual day

Throw away all cigarettes and matches. Hide lighters and ashtrays

Visit the dentist and have the teeth cleaned to get rid of tobacco stains. Notice how nice they look and resolve to keep them that way.

Make a list of things you would like to buy yourself or someone else. Estimate the cost in terms of packs of cigarettes and put the money aside to buy these presents.

Keep very busy on the big day. Go to the movies, exercise, take long walks, go bike riding.

Buy yourself a treat or do something special to celebrate.


Self-hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility wherein personal programming can be directed to and accepted by the subconscious mind. The untapped reservoir of intelligence is brought to the surface and almost anything is possible. Individuals can sometimes match the success of professionals in alleviating their own behavioural problems. Self-hypnosis also reduces stress and promotes a stronger personality. Most people learn how to induce self-hypnosis by first being hypnotized by a professional.

Experts believe that self-hypnosis has great advantages. It allows smokers to get involved with themselves. Quitters can employ self-hypnosis several times a day, or every time they crave a cigarette. Some clinics suggest that at least ten or more daily self-hypnosis sessions.


Tobacco which contains many harmful chemicals damages human beings’ health day by day. Although people are aware the bad effect of smoking many they still smoke for one reason or others.

Smoking that has been spreading all over the world is not only the problems of a countries or a territory but the problems of mankind because smoking brings many disadvantages for humans like diseases.

It is important to help children remain lifelong non-smokers because they are our hope for a non-smoking future. Many non-smokers believe that all we need is one generation of non-smokers to put cigarette out of business.

VII. Illustrations

Some situations and method to help smoking quitters

Decode Distract change


frustrated deep breathing. Do some physical exercise, dance to some loud music Resolve to avoid source of anger or frustration in future, or change your approach to it.

Lonely Call or write to a friend. Reward yourself. Visit someone lonelier than you. Do someone a favour Become involved with people; make yourself important and available to others

Tired Take a break and stretch. Deep breathing. Have some orange juice or soup. Get enough rest at night. Schedule a nap during the day if you can. Practise yoga. Exercise more regularly.


Restless Do something physical. Refer to the Rewards list. Start some project you’ve been meaning to get into. Adult Education classes, new hobby. Add some variety to your daily routine.

Embarrassed Remind yourself your are human. Call on your sense of humour. Do not be so concern with what others might think of you; they are more concerned with themselves. Rely on your new sense of self-esteem

Difficulty/ Concentrating Deep breathing. Take a walk. Come back to Tackle your tasks during a more productive time of day for you. If the material is boring, try to do something more absorbing.

Tension Relaxation ritual. Take o hot shower or bath. Go for a walk or a swim. Increase Vitamin B1 in form of whole grains or wheat germ. Try to avoid tension or confrontations as much as possible.


pressure Deep breathing. Exercise - diffuse the stress by activating your whole body. Learn to control your response to stress-producing situation - be flexible, do what is comfortable for you.

Depressed Do something physical. Fix yourself up - look your best. Have a good cry, and get it over with. Call someone. Become involved with people. Check out possibility of water retention. Plan daily rewards.

Worried Relaxation ritual. Walk, run or do something physical. Put problems into perspective. Attack the smallest problem first and resolve it.

Disappointed Mirror Talk. Reward yourself. Plan an alternative strategy ahead of time, just in case. Accept it with a mature attitude-set a new goal.

Source How to stop smoking, Simon Morgan, 187, W.H. Allen & Co. Plc

VIII. Bibliography


- Gilian Riley, 1, 17 How to Stop Smoking and stay stopped for good, Random House UK Limited.

- Simon Morgan , 187, How to stop smoking, The Paperback Division of W.H.ALLEN & Co. Plc.

- Jack Gebhardt, 18, The Enlightened Smoker’s Guide to Quitting, Element Books, Inc. USA.

- Sue Armstrong, Smoking What’s in it for You?, Macdonald Publishers, Edinburgh, Scotland.

- Dr. James Scala, 1, The Smoker’s Health Plan, Harper Collins Publishers, Hammersmith, London.

- Curtis W. Casewit, 18, Quit Smoking, Para Research, Inc. USA.

- Vanora Leigh, 186, Let’s Discuss Smoking, Wayland (Publishers) Ltd., East Sussex, England.

- Miriam Stoppard, 18, Quit Smoking, the British Broadcasting Corp. London.

- Katherine Robinson in association with Department of Health, 187, Clear the Air coping with Smokers, Government Printing Office, Wellington, NZ.


- Harmful chemicals in tobacco.


- History of smoking.


- Smoking statistics


- Smoking statistics in UK


Lung cancer


Tobacco news



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